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Poster Presentations: Legal Considerations and Requirements
Species at Risk – Nuisance or Opportunity?
Barbara Hard1, Stephanie Dryden-Cripton1, Devon Witheridge2, Bonnie Walhin3
1Arcadis Canada Inc.
2Cameco Corporation
3Department of National Defence
The objective of this presentation is to demonstrate that net habitat gain, or at minimum no net loss, can be achieved using relatively inexpensive habitat compensation approaches.  

In Canada species at risk (SAR) on federal land are protected under the Species at Risk Act (SARA, 2002). The Act prohibits the killing, harming, harassment and capture of species listed in Schedule 1 of SARA as well as prohibiting the destruction or damage of SAR residences such as dens and nests.

Managers of federal lands have responsibilities under the Act such as identification of SAR on the property and protection of these SAR and their habitat.

The presence of SAR on federal lands becomes relevant the moment a project is in the planning stage or about to commence, such as construction or demolition of a building or change in land use. A permit is required if one or more SAR may be impacted by project activities. As part of the permitting process habitat compensation may be required. Although the requirements to comply with SARA may be considered inconvenient for the implementation of a project, they also provide opportunities for environmental stewardship and net habitat gain.

Several projects are shown by which relatively inexpensive habitat compensation can be implemented and net habitat gain/no net loss may be achieved. Examples include habitat compensation for bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus), whip-poor-will (Caprimulgus vociferous), chimney swift (Chaetura pelagica) and barn swallow (Hirundo rustica).

Barbara Hard, Discipline Lead, Natural Sciences, Arcadis Canada Inc.
Barbara Hard is the Arcadis Canada Inc. Discipline Lead for Natural Sciences in Canada. She is a Professional Biologist (P.Biol., R.P.Bio.) with over 27 years of experience in ecological risk assessment, environmental assessment, natural resources and permitting. Her experience includes terrestrial and aquatic biology, wetland evaluation, species at risk surveys and compensation plans, ecological risk assessment, phytoremediation, permit applications, public consultation processes and project management. She has completed natural environment projects across Canada for mining and aggregate clients, energy companies, oil and gas clients, municipalities, provincial and federal clients. Barbara is a hands-on biologist with extensive field work experience.

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