Recent Items – 1999
Sept. 2, 1999, By Jim Sinclair, for the Peace River Block News
Good news for the ducks — the North American Waterfowl Management Plan is coming to the B.C. Peace. The area was originally excluded from the NAWMP, explains Prince George’s Murray Clark, the northern B.C. representative for Ducks Unlimited, an organization working for the benefit of waterfowl. His area covers from 70 Mile House north to the Yukon border and from the Alberta border to the coast.
The plan has been put into practice in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba for more than 10 years.
“The B.C. Peace was sort of left out of the whole planning thing because it’s a small portion of the actual prairie agricultural land,” Clark says.
“Only through some major efforts in the last year or two by Ducks Unlimited and some other organizations were they able to convince the NAWMP that the B.C. Peace is prairies and should be treated equally.”
The plan is funded by the U.S. and Canadian federal governments, provincial governments and non-government agencies and Clark bills it “one of the most successful programs ever launched as far as waterfowl habitat goes.”
The plan, as it relates to the B.C. Peace region, was born in January of this year. Clark says the process is now to get the various government bodies aware of what’s going on and how the plan works and eventually to have some public meetings. A formula is in place to enhance wetlands for the benefit of nesting waterfowl.
“The aim is not a net loss for agriculture , and hopefully some net gains,” Clark says.
Allan Blair, of the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture and Food in Fort St. John, says the focus is to maintain the current population of waterfowl, not to increase it. He believes the plan will be easily accepted by the public.
“There has been good response on the prairies. I came from Saskatchewan. We had a good program in the northeast and there was good co-operation. I think there will be here too, as soon as producers understand what the plan is all about. Public meetings to explain the plan are planned for late fall.