The Alberta NAWMP Partnership aims to retain important wetland and upland habitats and facilitate wetland and upland restoration through securement programs that include land purchase, conservation easements and agreements, management agreements, and forage agreements. These programs are delivered by Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) and the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC).
The Alberta NAWMP Partnership continually seeks out new opportunities to identify and create direct program opportunities among partners. Examples include integrated watershed management, biodiversity planning, wildlife and biodiversity enhancement best management practices (BMPs).
Wetland restoration programs seek to restore the historic hydrological and ecological function of previously drained wetlands. Ephemeral, temporary and seasonal wetlands have experienced the greatest losses due to historic and ongoing rural and urban development and are a priority however all wetland classes are targeted. Restoration typically involves the installation of earth-fill dams or “ditch plugs” in the outlet ditches of drained basins. Landowners are compensated financially for the restoration of the associated Ecosystem Services (ES) through voluntary agreements. DUC is currently the only partner that implements wetland restoration, with NCC actively facilitating wetland restoration opportunities through its securement efforts. Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) creates opportunities for wetland restoration through the Alberta Wetland Policy.
Upland restoration activities include cropland-to-perennial cover conversion and planted nesting cover. Most cropland conversion is to pasture or hayland with regular agricultural use. Upland restoration programs, including the conservation of existing wetlands, are delivered by DUC and require minimum 10-year agreements. Management of forage stands becomes the responsibility of landowners. Planted nesting cover is set aside for waterfowl nesting on a small amount of the highest quality, permanently secured lands. Only periodic management occurs to maintain cover quality. DUC is the only Alberta NAWMP Partner offering this program.