Skip booklet index and go to page content

Recovery Strategy for the Rocky Mountain Sculpin (Cottus sp.), Eastslope populations, in Canada


Appendix A: Effects on the environment and other species

A strategic environmental assessment (SEA) is conducted on all Species at Risk Act (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 strategy itself, but are also summarized below in this statement.

The recovery strategy will likely have positive impacts on other fish species. In the Milk River this would include the Western Silvery Minnow (Hybognathus argyritis) and the Stonecat (Noturus flavus), which are both considered “Threatened” in Alberta. The Western Silvery Minnow was listed as “Threatened” under SARA in 2003 with a recovery strategy completed in 2007 (Milk River Fish Species at Risk Recovery Team 2007). The recovery strategies for these species complement each other and provide for efficiencies in implementing many of the required recovery actions. In the St. Mary River, Bull Trout (Salvelinus confluentus) is considered “Sensitive” in Alberta and may benefit from any strategies designed to protect the Rocky Mountain Sculpin. Measures directed at maintaining stream flows, preventing habitat destruction and avoiding species introductions should benefit these and other species in both river systems.

Appendix B: Record of cooperation and consultation

The Rocky Mountain Sculpin, Eastslope populations, Recovery Team was formed in 2006. It continued the work begun by the Milk River Fish Species Recovery Team, which was organized in 2004 to develop a recovery strategy for the Western Silvery Minnow (Hybognathus argyritis) and to initiate recovery efforts for other potential “species at risk”, including the Rocky Mountain Sculpin, Eastslope populations. The Rocky Mountain Sculpin, Eastslope populations, Recovery Team was tasked with developing a recovery strategy that would consider both the St. Mary and Milk river watershed populations, and satisfy both federal and provincial requirements. The team represented a broad range of conservation, regulatory and stakeholder interests, with membership from Fisheries and Oceans Canada; Alberta Sustainable Resource Development; Alberta Environment; the Milk River Watershed Council of Canada (MRWCC); the Southern Alberta Environmental Group; the Milk River Ranchers’ Association; the Counties of Cardston, Forty Mile and Warner; the Villages of Coutts and Warner; and the Town of Milk River. All recovery team meetings were held in Lethbridge, Alberta. The Recovery Team also benefited from the participation of Annabelle Crop Eared Wolf of the Blood Tribe at the first meeting.

Previously, letters and plain language summaries of the proposed recovery strategy and factsheets were sent to two offices of the Métis Nation of Alberta. To date no comments have been received.

Concurrent with posting of the proposed recovery strategy on the SARA Public Registry, announcements will be placed in local newspapers inviting public comment. In addition, information packages will be forwarded to specific stakeholders with an identified interest in the recovery strategy including resource users, non-government organizations, local Aboriginal groups and local government inviting their comment. All comments received will be considered prior to posting of the final recovery strategy.