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Amended Recovery Strategy and Management Plan for Multiple Species of Atlantic Coastal Plain Flora in Canada - 2015 [Proposed]


Appendix 10 : Effects on the Environment and Other Species

A strategic environmental assessment (SEA) is conducted on all SARA recovery planning documents, in accordance with the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals. The purpose of a SEA is to incorporate environmental considerations into the development of public policies, plans, and program proposals to support environmentally sound decision-making.

Recovery planning is intended to benefit species at risk and biodiversity in general. However, it is recognized that strategies may also inadvertently lead to environmental effects beyond the intended benefits. The planning process based on national guidelines directly incorporates consideration of all environmental effects, with a particular focus on possible impacts upon non-target species or habitats. The results of the SEA are incorporated directly into the document itself, but are also summarized below in this statement.

This recovery strategy and management plan will clearly benefit the environment by promoting the recovery of ACPF. The potential for this document to inadvertently lead to adverse effects on other species was considered. The SEA concluded that this document will clearly benefit the environment and will not entail any significant adverse effects. This multiple species document maintains an ecosystem perspective and includes all 98 ACPF species in Nova Scotia; although the focus is on the legally listed ACPF species under SARA and the Nova Scotia Endangered Species Act(NS ESA). Recovery at this scale will help to address immediate threats and offer protection to legally listed ACPF species, while also increasing the likelihood of long-term persistence of associated ACPF species not at risk. The reader should refer to the following sections of the document in particular: Section 2.7 (Recommended Approach for Recovery Implementation), as well as the habitat and biological needs descriptions in Section 3 of the document.

There are several proposed recovery approaches that will also benefit non-target species, ecological processes, and the environment. Threats to ACPF fundamentally impact the integrity of the natural environment and habitats and thus steps taken to reduce and mitigate these threats will inevitably benefit species in other taxonomic groups. Reduction of some of the threats to ACPF would include changing how cottage development occurs, eliminating or reducing shoreline alterations, decreasing nutrient runoff, and stopping infilling in lake, bog/fen and estuarine habitats. As a result of these steps there are several associated plant species not covered under this document that may also benefit (see associated species listed in Tables in Section 2.6). There are also associated species from other taxa, such as pollinator insects or fish species and aquatic insects that will also benefit.

Where other species at risk co-exist with ACPF, recovery and conservation initiatives outlined in this document will be coordinated with other recovery teams. This will help to avoid potential conflicts with other recovery actions planned or underway and will ensure actions are mutually beneficial to other species at risk. Open communication will be maintained with the following Recovery Teams in particular: the Endangered Atlantic Whitefish (Coregonus huntsmani), the Endangered Blanding's Turtle (Emydoidea blandingii), and the Threatened Eastern Ribbonsnake (Thamnophis sauritus).

Stewardship actions as well as education and awareness initiatives with landowners, all levels of government, industry and other audiences will lead to a greater understanding, appreciation, and ensuing action towards conservation and recovery in general. Ecological processes are difficult to understand due to their complexities. Using the precautionary approach means adapting effectively to emerging information and making decisions that err on the side of caution. Management decisions must weigh both the short and long term outcomes of threats and management intervention based on the best available science to ensure effective conservation on an ecosystem level.

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