This World Water Day we wanted to share the efforts of J.D. Irving, Limited to conserve and protect the water that is home to many different species. Throughout our woodlands we have over 27,000 KM (almost 17,000 miles) of protective buffers around lakes and rivers. This is in addition to many conservation efforts with universities and environmental groups.
Working with Nature Conservancy of Canada the Tusket River Headwaters have been protected as one of the largest private conservation projects ever in Atlantic Canada. Since then, JDI has worked with local stakeholders and partners to manage and steward this site.
“This is a special place. As headwaters to one of the most threatened and significant river systems in the Province and home to several species at risk, this site is of significant ecological value,” said Craig Smith, Nature Conservancy of Canada Program Manager in Nova Scotia.
These water-bodies provide habitat for the threatened snapping turtle, American eel and brook trout and protection of their shoreline helps to maintain downstream water quality. The site also has potential for breeding waterfowl including the American black duck, Wood duck and Common mergansers.
Vernal pools - natural, shallow depressions in the forest floor that typically fill during the spring melt and often dry up in the heat of summer - are another focus area for JDI foresters. Wood Frogs and Yellow and Blue Spotted Salamanders require very special habitats to reproduce successfully. Even the smallest pools of water (smaller than a ¼ acre) can be valuable homes to these creatures, as they don’t have to worry about being prey to fish. Conserving these pools is vital to the ecosystem, not only for breeding purposes, but these creatures are also important food sources to larger carnivores.
Our field staff and contractors are trained in spotting these types of habitats and use LiDAR (an aerial digital imaging technology) to identify habitats before any work begins in the woods. LiDAR is like an MRI of the forest, which allows us to identify and avoid harming the pools. This information is then entered into our award winning, voluntary Unique Areas program.
Protecting and reversing the decline of wild Atlantic salmon. CAST (Collaboration for Atlantic Salmon Tomorrow) is a partnership of eight partners (including UNB and the Canadian Rivers Institute) focused on four research projects to save wild Atlantic salmon on the Miramichi River before it’s too late. castforsalmon.com
With the help of our partners and technology, we can conserve and protect many bodies of water and the species that rely on them. From the tiniest salamander to the snapping turtle, this World Water Day we are working hard to ensure a safe and protected water source for all.