Whitesand First Nation Nature Legacy
In early 2019, Whitesand First Nation secured four-year federal Nature Legacy funding to explore alternative forest and land management strategies that meet the community’s needs for wildlife, social and economic benefits, access management and value protection. This project prioritizes community input in order to establish locally determined and culturally appropriate forest management plans.
As a part of this project, a Traditional Knowledge collection project was undertaken. Maps, stories, and histories were collected from more than 25 community Elders, with the assistance of community youth. The final report, containing traditional land use maps, will be used to guide forest management in the Whitesand Traditional Territory.
The community has also partnered up with NRCan scientists to explore alternative ways to manage caribou habitat connectivity while balancing wood costs – an important community objective for economic development. Development of a community-driven, cost-effective silviculture program framework using herbicide alternatives and economic opportunities in forestry operations is also underway.
Wabauskang First Nation Forest Management Engagement Strategy
Wabauskang First Nation’s interests are tied to several forest management units in Northwestern Ontario. It requires a significant time commitment for the community to stay meaningfully engaged in decision making in all forest management units of interest. As such, Wabauskang First Nation engaged NWES to design a forestry engagement strategy that: (a) secures an effective protection of community values and land uses, (b) increases the understanding of potential opportunities from forest management process, and (c) maximizes the benefit from the consultation process while minimizing the time spent at meetings, on correspondence etc.
Wataynikaneyap Power Permanent Wildlife Survey Plots
Giiwedin Environmental Services has been selected by Valard Construction to conduct the Permanent Wildlife Survey Plot (PWSP) monitoring program in support of the Wataynikaneyap Power Transmission Project. The PWSP program is being conducted in partial fulfillment of the Endangered Species Act permit issued for the Project, primarily associated with Woodland Caribou and Wolverine. Giiwedin field staff have successfully established survey plots, and are now completing the first year of field data collection for long-term monitoring program. Field data include site condition, human and wildlife activity, and changes to the site, as well as incidental wildlife sightings and other relevant habitat information.
Lac Des Mille Lacs First Nation Forest Management Plan
Lac des Mille Lacs (LDML) First Nation is working to develop a forest management planning approach for their two land parcels. The LDML lands total nearly 5000 ha, and consist of the original community location as well as a land parcel on the banks of the Firesteel and Seine Rivers. The plan assesses the current forest condition, and lays out a strategic direction for the LDML forests based on community goals that will protect and enhance community values while providing economic benefits to the community.
Wabadowgang Noopming Forest Management Planning
In Joint Venture with Whitesand First Nation, NorthWinds Environmental Services has been contracted by Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry to develop a 2-year Contingency Plan and 10-year Forest Management Plan for Wabadowgang Noopming Management Unit in northwestern Ontario (formerly known as the Armstrong Portion of the Lake Nipigon Forest).
Wood Supply Analyses, Forest Management Operations, Planning, and Permitting
NorthWinds has and continues to complete wood supply and forest management analyses for various Indigenous communities in Ontario and Quebec, including Lac Des Mille Lacs First Nation (2020 to ongoing), Neskantaga First Nation (2019 to ongoing), Algonquins of Lake Barriere (2019-2020), Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation (2020 to ongoing), and Sachigo Lake First Nation (2020 to ongoing).
Collaborative Development of a Regional Landscape Approach to Conservation of Caribou and Other Values for the Trout Lake Forest
Domtar is the Sustainable Forest License holder for the Trout Lake Forest and is currently pursuing Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification for the Forest. One aspect of the process is to establish a woodland caribou conservation approach that is consistent with the Range Plan Guidance for Woodland Caribou, Boreal Population (ECCC 2016). NorthWinds Environmental Services assembled a team of highly qualified professionals to deliver the project using Structured Decision Making or SDM – an organized approach to identifying and evaluating creative options and making choices in complex decision situations. The project features a series of workshops with stakeholders and Indigenous peoples with the objective of collaboratively developing an effective caribou conservation approach in the Trout Lake Forest.