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Recovery Strategy for the Eastern Sand Darter

Appendix B:Record of Cooperation and Consultation

The Eastern Sand Darter Recovery Strategy was prepared by a writing team with members from the National Eastern Sand Darter Recovery Team (NESDRT).  The NESDRT has members from both the Ontario Eastern Sand Darter Recovery Team, made up of representative from Fisheries and Oceans Canada-Central and Arctic Region (DFOCA), Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Royal Ontario Museum, Michigan State University, and St. Michael's College, Colchester Vermont; and the Quebec Cyprinidae and Small Percidae Recovery Team with representatives from DFO-Québec Region (DFOQ), Ministère des Ressources Naturelles et de la Faune, Secteur Faune Québec (MRNF), First Nations of Québec and Labrador Sustainable Development Institute (FNQLSDI), Comité de concertation et de valorisation du bassin de la rivière Richelieu (COVABAR), Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), Société de conservation et d'aménagement du bassin de la rivière Châteauguay (SCABRIC), Union des producteurs agricoles (UPA).

The eastern sand darter has been included in a number of watershed-based recovery strategies in Ontario.  This species is included in five aquatic ecosystem recovery strategies for the Ausable River, Grand River, Sydenham River, Thames River and the Essex-Erie, which includes the major wetlands on the north shore of Lake Erie.

DFO has attempted to engage all potentially affected Aboriginal communities in Southern Ontario during the development of the proposed recovery strategy for the Eastern sand darter.  In addition to the First Nations listed above, information packages were sent to the Chief and Council of Aamjiwnaang First Nation, Aamjiwnaang First Nation, Algonquins of Ontario - Mattawa/North Bay, Aundeck-Omni-Kaning, Batchewana First Nation, Beausoleil, Caldwell First Nation, Chippewas of Kettle & Stony Point, Chippewas of Georgina Island, Chippewas of Mnjikaning First Nation, Chippewas of Nawash First Nation, Dokis, Garden River First Nation, Henvey Inlet First Nation, Magnetawan, M'Chigeeng First Nation, Mississauga, Mississauga of the New Credit, Moose Deer Point, Moravian of the Thames, Munsee-Delaware Nation, Sagamok Anishnawbek, Saugeen, Serpent River, Shawanaga First Nation, Sheguiandah, Sheshegwaning, Thessalon, Wahta Mohawk, Wasauksing First Nation, Whitefish Lake, Whitefish River, Whitesand, Wikwemikong, Zhiibaahaasing First Nation. Information packages were also sent to Metis Nation of Ontario (MNO) Captains of the Hunt for Regions 4, 5, 7, 8, and 9 and the MNO senior policy advisor.  In Quebec, DFO sent letters to Wendake, Wôlinak, Odanak, Kahnawake, Kanesatake  and Akwesasne First Nations.  Members of these communities may have traveled or harvested fish from the waters where the Eastern sand darter was historically found.  Follow-up telephone calls were made to each community office to ensure that packages were received and to ask if they would like to schedule a meeting to learn more about Species at Risk in general and proposed recovery strategies.

As a result of these letters and calls, one meeting was held with the Chief and Councilor for environmental issues of the Munsee - Deleware First Nation.   The Chippewas of Mnjikaning First Nation responded that they have no comments but would like to be kept informed of further development.

In addition to the above activities, DFO has established an ongoing dialogue with respect to aquatic species at risk in general with the policy advisor to the Southern First Nations Secretariat and has engaged the London Chiefs Council (an association of the 8 area First Nation governments in Southwestern Ontario) on several occasions. Meetings have been held with the director of the Walpole Island Natural Heritage Centre and the Fish and Game Enforcement Officer from Walpole Island First Nation.  DFO also discussed SARA issues with a representative of the Six Nations of the Grand who works for the Six Nations EcoCentre and who also represents First Nation interests on the Grand River Fishes at Risk Management Plan, the Thames River Fish Management Plan and the St. Clair River Management Strategy.

DFO has prepared a list of non-government organizations and municipalities which may be impacted by the proposed recovery strategy. Information packages have been prepared to inform these groups that the proposed recovery strategy is about to be approved and invites each group to comment on the strategy.  As well, an announcement has been prepared and will be placed in newspapers with circulation in the area of Ontario and Quebec where this fish was historically found to inform landowners and the general public about the strategy and to request their comments.  These packages will be sent and the announcements published at the time the proposed recovery strategy is posted on the SARA registry.

Comments on the proposed recovery strategy were solicited from Quebec (MNRF), Ontario (OMNR), Parks Canada Agency and Environment Canada.

The eastern sand darter is only found in Canada and the United States of America.  The NESDRT has contacted representatives from resource management agencies from the states of New York, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Vermont where this fish species occurs.

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