Boreal Forest Takes Center Stage During Wetlands America Trust Meeting

Monday, July 1, 2013

North America’s Boreal Forest is the world’s largest remaining intact, productive ecosystem encompassing more than 1.5 billion acres of forest, wetlands, lakes and streams that remain largely pristine but potentially threatened. To see firsthand the ongoing efforts to conserve this vital ecosystem that accounts for 25 percent of the world’s remaining intact forest and more than a fourth of the world’s wetlands, members of Ducks Unlimited’s Wetlands America Trust (WAT) board chose the location for their annual spring meeting. Discussions during the three-day gathering centered on the Boreal Forest’s importance to North America’s wildlife and people.

Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, board members had the opportunity to view the landscape the same way ducks and geese do: from the air. Daily excursions included surveying the breeding habitats of North American wigeon, green-winged teal, ring-necked ducks and many other species.

“We chose the Boreal Forest as our gathering point because of its importance to the viability of waterfowl and Neotropical songbirds worldwide,” said WAT COO Dan Thiel. “The vast Boreal Forest is the best place on earth to secure large-scale conservation and sustainable development through the proactive application of conservation science.”

Encompassing more than 1.5 billion acres, the Boreal is a DU conservation priority, and the organization has undertaken the world’s most ambitious conservation campaign to protect the forest. The Boreal provides habitat for 5 billion birds that migrate throughout the continent. The Pew Charitable Trusts created a partnership ultimately known as the International Boreal Conservation Campaign (IBCC), of which DU and Ducks Unlimited Canada are central partners. Early on, the IBCC was successful in conserving 500 million acres. Now, the goal is to permanently conserve an additional 500 million acres while allowing sustainable development on another 500 million acres.

Threats facing the Boreal include agricultural expansion at the southern boundary, petroleum exploration and development, forestry, hydroelectric development and mining expansion throughout the forest. By 1999, a consortium of aboriginal, federal, provincial, and territorial governments, non-governmental conservation organizations and visionary industries began working toward the common goal of conserving a substantial portion of Canada's boreal region.

“The Boreal and Prairie Pothole Region are the two most important breeding habitats for North American waterfowl, with as much as 40 percent of the continental duck population and the majority of Neotropical songbirds utilizing the boreal,” said DU Chief Conservation Officer Paul Schmidt. “Through DU’s Boreal Forest Initiative and the coordinated efforts of the IBCC, the vast and often-remote breeding grounds of Alaska and Canada will be conserved for future generations of waterfowl, wildlife and people.”

For more information about the Boreal and DU’s work in the region, visit www.ducks.org.


Outdoor Chattanooga News And Events

Here are upcoming news and events from Outdoor Chattanooga: Ready to Rock: Introduction to Rock Climbing June 5 & 19 Join Outdoor Chattanooga for Ready to Rock: Introduction to Rock Climbing at the Walnut Wall in Coolidge Park on Sunday, June 5 and 19 from 5:30 - 8:00 p.m. No experience necessary and all equipment is provided. Gym shoes and longer shorts or athletic ... (click for more)

Star Party Offered At Cloudland Canyon State Park On June 4

There will be a Star Party at Cloudland Canyon State Park on Saturday, June 4. It is sponsored by the staff and friends of Cloudland Canyon State Park and  conducted by the Barnard Astronomical Society. Officials said, "Come see the wonders of  the night sky through our telescopes. We will also be looking at and  identifying the constellations ... (click for more)

Woman, 26, Who Was Set To Testify In Murder Trial, Is Shot And Killed On Elder Street

A 26-year-old woman who was set to testify in an upcoming murder trial was shot multiple times and killed on Wednesday morning. Chattanooga Police responded to the 2100 block of Elder Street on a report of a dead person on the side of the road near Old Ringgold Road and Westside Drive. Police located Bianca Horton.  P olice established a crime scene.  Chattanooga ... (click for more)

Attorney For Bobby Stone Hits Berke, Fletcher For Commenting On Pending Case

The attorney for Bobby Stone on Wednesday said it was "fundamentally wrong" for Mayor Andy Berke and Police Chief Fred Fletcher to comment on the case in which Mr. Stone is charged with domestic assault against his wife, Berke advisor Lacie Stone. Attorney Lee Davis said the comments were unfair and "a disservice to the court." Mayor Berke denied any inappropriate contact ... (click for more)

Case Handled Like Any Other? - And Response

It is interesting that Chief Fletcher would deem the handling of the Mayor's encounter as typical or normal. Is the Chief asking the public to believe that all misdemeanor domestic violence arrests include a 4-hour taped interrogation, and delayed reporting after a visit to the Chief’s house. Of course, we believe that Chief Fletcher. April Eidson * * *  I ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Christian Schools Bully, Too

Earlier this week, after I shared a story about bullying written by a very brave mother, it opened a floodgate of emails from parents and students who have been forced to endure such madness in our elementary, junior and senior high schools. Discipline is the No. 1 problem in our schools. Because of it, or because of a lack of it, no wonder our children cannot achieve all that ... (click for more)