Provincial Wildlife Monitoring Program

Nothing to Report: The Failure of Ontario’s Provincial Wildlife Population Monitoring Program for Commercial Timber Harvesting

SUMMARY:  In Ontario, the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) is authorized to undertake planning for timber harvesting and related activities under a Class Environmental Assessment, subject to binding terms and conditions.  A condition of the original 1994 decision was to maintain a Provincial Wildlife Population Monitoring Program (PWPMP). The PWPMP was established to monitor population trends of representative terrestrial vertebrate species within the Area of the Undertaking of commercial timber harvesting (AOU), in order to understand the effects of forestry on wildlife at the provincial level. Despite being a legal requirement for the last 18 years, the program has failed to achieve its own objective and is unable, in its current form, to adequately inform government policy and/or management decisions. The net result is the inability of MNR to mitigate potential declines of wildlife populations or to ensure the sustainability of Crown forests.

This article was passed in the Journal of Environmental Law and Practice, Volume 24(2), pp. 125-144, 2013.

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