Best Management Practices for Wetland Road Construction

Project Overview
SFI Program Participants have specific responsibilities related to the protection of waterways and wetland resources. These responsibilities take on even greater significant in the vast wetlands that characterize many northern forests. To help minimize impacts from these activities, Dalhousie University received $70,000 over three years, beginning in 2011, to develop best management practices for forest road crossings in Canada.
The project entailed rigorous experiments to test the most promising techniques to determine which are most effective at maintaining hydrologic function when building roads in forested swamps. In summer 2011, students took detailed measurements of wetland conditions, water flows and biodiversity in chosen forested wetlands to establish a baseline. Industry partners then installed various best management practices in late summer/early autumn of 2011. Students then measured site conditions in summer 2012. Their analysis showed which practices had the lowest impact on wetland structure and function. While these findings were shared with industry partners, this grant also served as an excellent educational opportunity for Dalhousie students.
The project intersects with Sustainable Forestry Initiative goals through the protection and maintenance of water resources and wetlands, including bogs, fens, marshes and vernal pools of ecological significance. It also serves to protect forests with exceptional conservation value.
Project Partners

For this project Dalhousie University partnered with Ducks Unlimited Canada, SFI Implementation Committees in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, the Nova Scotia Department of Environment, the New Brunswick Department of Natural Resources, University of New Brunswick, FPInnovations non-profit research institute, and SFI-certified J.D. Irving Ltd and Bowater Mersey Paper Company Ltd.
Sustainable Forestry Group Supports Wetland ResearchOutdoor Canada
April 20, 2011
SFI Conservation Grant Supports Dalhousie University Forest Road Research
Press Release – April 19, 2011
Project Resources
Project Overview PDF
About Dalhousie University
The School for Resource and Environmental Studies (SRES) is the centre for resource and environmental scholarship and research at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Its graduate programs, interdisciplinary teaching, and ongoing research programs, combined with collaboration with governmental, non-governmental, private sector, and community groups, provide a stimulating environment. The SRES community of students and faculty come from a variety of academic and professional disciplines and the resulting interdisciplinary approach to problem solving crosses the biophysical/social divide.