Conservation Lands Management
Agreements with Ducks Unlimited Canada
The Ministry and Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) signed a 30-year provincial umbrella agreement in 1983 to formalize the cooperation of the two parties on wetland habitat preservation and enhancement with a special emphasis on wetlands deemed essential to waterfowl.
Over 130 site-specific agreements have been signed with Ducks Unlimited Canada authorizing DUC to manage specific wetland values including the construction and operation of dams and other works to manage water flows.
DUC retains responsibility for maintaining and operating the works and the ministry assists in obtaining any required permits or authorizations.
Land leased to the Ministry
The Ministry, through long term lease arrangements, partner to bring new areas into the provincial system of conservation lands.
For example, The Nature Trust of BC, which holds title to land with high conservation values, may lease all or a portion of that land to the Ministry to manage for conservation purposes – usually for 99 years.
Once land is leased to the ministry, it is considered Crown administered land and may be included as part of a designated wildlife management area and managed under the associated provincial legislation. Even if not designated, leased properties may still be managed under the terms of the lease agreement with the land owner and applicable Crown legislation.
The ministry currently has over 135 lease agreements in place encompassing approximately 11,000 hectares of valuable habitat.
Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation: Land Management Funding
The Ministry works closely with the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) to support operations and maintenance activities on ministry and partner conservation lands in the Province.
In the past several years, over $14 million has been endowed to HCTF to help fund conservation land management activities. Dispersed by HCTF, these funds are used for approved land management projects in sites such as wildlife management areas, lease-held lands or other sites.
Vancouver Island Conservation Land Management Program
The Vancouver Island Conservation Land Management Program (VICLMP) is an innovative strategic partnership program which involves the management of over 60 conservation areas on Vancouver Island.
This partnership includes many coastal wetlands and estuaries owned by The Nature Trust of BC and managed by the Ministry as well as designated wildlife management areas and other ministry conservation lands.
The partnership has been in place for over 15 years and includes the Ministry, The Nature Trust of BC, Ducks Unlimited Canada and Environment Canada (Canadian Wildlife Service). Funding has also been provided by the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation.
VICLMP projects are coordinated by a Conservation Lands Manager who assists the partners in achieving the seven objectives:
- developing management and restoration plans;
- assisting with private land acquisitions;
- coordinating land management programs;
- expanding the volunteer warden program;
- developing third party management agreements;
guiding stewardship programs focusing on public education and community involvement; and,
- developing and implementing site monitoring and evaluation programs.