Corduroy is back in fashion with foresters and conservationists who want new ways to conserve wetlands crossed by resource roads. The earliest days of Canada’s timber trade featured wetland crossings made of logs lined up in rows, which resembled corduroy fabric. Road building gradually became more permanent, sometimes affecting water flow in wetlands.
Putting a modern spin on corduroy roads is one of the recommendations in a new field guide just released by FPInnovations and Ducks Unlimited Canada. The guide, “Resource Roads and Wetlands: A Guide for Planning, Construction and Maintenance,” developed in part with funding from the SFI Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant program, offers best management practices to mitigate the impacts of roads on wetlands in Canada’s forests.
The new field guide’s road-building best practices are predicated on understanding the nature of individual wetlands. “These are delicate ecosystems with different characteristics. For example, water in bogs is stagnant; in swamps it fluctuates; and in fens it’s a slow trickle. Understanding the way water flows is key to choosing the right road construction,” said Greg Siekaniec, CEO of Ducks Unlimited Canada.
Scientists, biologists, wetland ecologists, engineers and GIS specialists at FPInnovations and Ducks Unlimited shared their expertise to plan and build roads in ways that conserve Canada’s critical boreal forest wetland ecosystems.
“FPInnovations and our partners are committed to working together to support and promote best practices in in the planning, construction and maintenance of resource roads in wetlands,” said Pierre Lapointe, FPInnovations President and CEO. “We are proud of this collaboration which demonstrates the forest sector’s continued leadership in reducing its environmental footprint and adapting to climate change. By working together we can better develop and promote best practices that maintain the health of wetlands while supporting communities dependent on sustainable resource-based industries.”
“One of the most exciting things about this new guide is its potential to promote the use of best practices for resource road wetland crossings on millions of hectares of forestland certified to the SFI Standard across Canada,” said Kathy Abusow, President and CEO of SFI Inc. “We’re pleased that SFI Program Participants including Louisiana-Pacific, J.D. Irving, Resolute Forest Products and Weyerhaeuser have been involved in this important work led by FPInnovations and Ducks Unlimited Canada.”
This guide is primarily directed at road managers, planners, and construction crews who plan, build and maintain resource roads across wetlands. But it is also relevant and useful for conservationists and anyone concerned with protecting and managing wetlands, as these resource roads are also often the main way people access the backcountry for recreation.
Project partners included: FPInnovations, Ducks Unlimited Canada, the New Brunswick Department of Environment, Natural Resources Canada, and SFI Program Participants J.D. Irving, Louisiana-Pacific, Resolute Forest Products and Weyerhaeuser.
FPInnovations is a not-for-profit world leader that specializes in the creation of scientific solutions in support of the Canadian forest sector’s global competitiveness and responds to the priority needs of its industry members and government partners. It is ideally positioned to perform research, innovate, and deliver state-of-the-art solutions for every area of the sector’s value chain, from forest operations to consumer and industrial products. FPInnovations’ staff numbers more than 525. Its R&D laboratories are located in Québec City, Montréal, and Vancouver, and it has technology transfer offices across Canada. Learn more at: fpinnovations.ca.
About Ducks Unlimited Canada
Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) is the leader in wetland conservation. A registered charity, DUC partners with government, industry, non-profit organizations and landowners to conserve wetlands that are critical to waterfowl, wildlife and the environment. DUC’s mission is to conserve, restore and manage wetlands and associated habitats for North America’s waterfowl. These habitats benefit other wildlife, people and our environment. We partner with government, industry, non-profit organizations and landowners to get our work done so we can connect people to nature and make a healthier world for future generations. Learn more at: ducks.ca
About the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® Inc. (SFI)
The Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Inc. (SFI) stands for future forests. An independent nonprofit organization, SFI promotes sustainable forestry with comprehensive programs supporting ecosystem research and conservation, education and professional accreditation, community engagement, and an internationally-recognized forest certification program. Since 1995, SFI program participants have invested more than $1.5 billion in sustainable forestry research and more than 113 million hectares in the Canada and the US have been certified to the SFI Forest Management Standard. SFI Inc. is governed by a three-chamber board of directors with equally balanced representation from the environmental, social, and economic sectors. Learn more at sfiprogram.org.
About the SFI Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant Program
The SFI Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant Program fosters partnerships between organizations interested in improving forest management in the United States and Canada, and responsible procurement globally. Projects address topics of current importance such as improving wildlife habitat management and conservation of biodiversity, avoiding controversial sources of fiber such as those resulting from illegal logging, and assisting local communities through forest education programs and green building projects for low-income families. Since the program began in 2010, SFI has awarded 50 Conservation and 35 Community Partnership grants totaling more than $3 million to foster conservation and community-building projects. When leveraged with project partner contributions, that total investment exceeds $9.5 million.
Vice President, Communications and Community Engagement
Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc.
Communications Specialist, Boreal Programs
Ducks Unlimited Canada