Species-at-Risk Tool for BC Coast now live

SFI CONSERVATION PARTNERSHIP RESULTS IN FIELD GUIDEIDENTIFYING SPECIES AT RISK ON BRITISH COLUMBIA’S SOUTH COAST

Vancouver – Thanks to a conservation grant from the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®), the South Coast Conservation Program, in partnership with International Forest Products Ltd.(Interfor), has created a new on-line tool featuring 95 fact sheets on species of conservation concern for the Coastal Region of British Columbia. With contributions from a number of well-known species-at-risk specialists, this resource will help land managers identify and protect species-at-risk on British Columbia’s Pacific Coast.

Other project partners include SFI program participants Capacity Forest Management Ltd., which manages SFI-certified forest tenures held by coastal First Nations, as well as the British Columbia Ministry of Environment. The South Coast Conservation Program works with a variety of partners to identify and implement conservation actions that maintain and restore species and ecosystems in need of conservation on British Columbia’s south coast.

The independent SFI forest certification program awarded the South Coast Conservation Program$60,000 through its Conservation and Community Partnerships Grants Program to update and expand onan existing field guide on forest-dependent plant and animal species at-risk for the Coast Region. Thisarea of British Columbia’s coast includes 40.7 million acres/16.5 million hectares of forest.

“The completion of this project represents a significant step toward ensuring those who work in conservation and forest management in British Columbia are able to keep up with important developments in species protection,” Tamsin Baker of the South Coast Conservation Program said today.“This tool would not have been possible without the support of SFI and our partners.”

”The fact sheets will help us identify and address environmental priorities and meet SFI’s rigorous requirements for species at risk,” said Corby Lamb, president of Capacity Forest Management. “Our First Nation licensees can use the information not only for planning and fieldwork, but also to support higher level land use planning decisions on their lands.”

The factsheets, posted at http://www.geog.ubc.ca/biodiversity/factsheets/, provide photos for field identification and current conservation status of forest-dependent species such as the Pacific watershrew, western screech owl and marbled murrelet. Each species profile contains the most up-to-date science on conservation issues from as many open-access sources as possible. The South Coast Conservation Program also prepared a training package and held two workshops for land use and resource professionals.

British Columbia is a world leader with more than 50 million hectares/123.5 million acres of third-party certified forest lands, more than one third of them certified to the SFI program. The SFI program manages the largest single forest certification standard in the world – and more than a quarter of SFI forest certifications are in British Columbia.

“This is an excellent resource for professionals working in the field now, for students who will go on to manage British Columbia’s forests, and for any organization or individual who wants to support conservation efforts,” said Dr. John Innes, Dean of Forestry at the University of British Columbia. “It will add to more informed discussions and more effective decisions.”

SFI Inc. introduced its Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant Program last year and committed$675,000 to support nine projects – $307,500 for 2010 alone. Earlier this month, it opened a request forproposals for up to $200,000 in grants for 2011. SFI is the only forest certification standard in North America with research requirements to improve forestry, forest health, productivity and sustainablemanagement of forest resources. Visit http://www.sfiprogram.org/conservation-grant/index.php to learn moreabout the grant program and the work it is supporting.

About SFI Inc.
SFI Inc. is an independent 501c(3) non-profit charitable organization, and is solely responsible formaintaining, overseeing and improving the internationally recognized Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) program (www.sfiprogram.org). Across North America, more than 180 million acres/73 million hectares are certified to the SFI forest management standard, making it the largest single standard in the world.SFI chain-of-custody certification tells buyers how much certified, responsibly sourced and/or recycledcontent is in a product. The SFI program’s unique fiber sourcing requirements promote responsible forestmanagement on all suppliers’ lands. SFI Inc. is governed by a three-chamber board of directors representing environmental, social and economic sectors equally.

About the South Coast Conservation Program
The South Coast Conservation Program (www.sccp.ca), established in 2005, is a multi-partner,landscape-level conservation program whose primary objective is to coordinate and facilitate theimplementation of conservation actions to maintain and restore species and ecosystems at risk on theSouth Coast of British Columbia.

Contacts:
Allison Welde, DirectorConservation Partnerships and Communications
SFI Inc.
202-596-3452 (Washington, DC)

Tamsin Baker, Regional ManagerLower Mainland Region
South Coast Conservation Program
604-733-2313 (Burnaby, BC)

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Thanks to Pamela Zevit for sharing.

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