Wellers Bay National Wildlife Area Management Plan: chapter 5


4 Goals & objectives

4.1 Vision

The long-term vision for the Wellers Bay National Wildlife Area (NWA) is conservation: to conserve habitat for migratory birds and native wildlife and plants, including species at risk.

In the interest of public safety and to protect the ecological values of the site, Environment and Climate Change Canada's Canadian Wildlife Services (CWS) will continue to prohibit public access to the Wellers Bay NWA.

4.2 Goals and objectives

Goal 1: Maintain and protect sand spit, dune, upland deciduous forest, and wetland habitats, particularly for migratory birds and native plants and wildlife, including species at risk.

Objectives:

1.1 Naturally occurring coastal processes and plant succession will persist and occur unimpeded over the long term (10 years).

1.2 Detect and reduce the extent and/or rate of expansion of non-native and invasive plants, within the next five years, in areas determined to be causing significant problems for native plants and wildlife, particularly species at risk and their habitats.

1.3 Reduce the impacts of feral and domestic animals and overabundant wildlife on the diversity of native flora and fauna, within the next five years, if the species are determined to be causing significant problems for native plants and wildlife, particularly species at risk and their habitats.

1.4 Reduce the number of unauthorized access and the incidents of prohibited activities within the NWA.

1.5 Manage and monitor authorized activities (e.g., ECCC-CWS site management and research, Environment and Climate Change Canada's Wildlife Enforcement Division (ECCC-WED) enforcement, and Department of National Defence's (DNDs) unexploded explosive ordnance (UXO) investigations and clearance activities), to reduce ecological impacts.

Goal 2: Reduce risks to public health and safety due to the presence of UXO within the NWA.

Objective:

2.1 Implement a coordinated ECCC/DND strategy to reduce UXO risks, including the establishment and implementation of procedures and training to reduce risks to authorized visitors from potential hazards posed by UXO, and to promote general public awareness.

2.2 Ensure ECCC-CWS capacity to maintain relationships with stakeholders (e.g., neighbours, local planning authorities, government agencies (DND and Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry [OMNRF]), and enforcement personnel), participate in community and stakeholder meetings, and promote public awareness and compliance with general prohibitions.

Table 4. Mangement approaches for Wellers Bay National Wildlife Area
Management challenges and threats Goals and objectives Management approaches (actions, including level of prioritye)
  • Disturbance (e.g., increased erosion, trampling) to fragile sand beach and dune environment and wildlife from prohibited activities.
  • Fragmentation of habitats and travel corridors for migrant wildlife as a result of development pressures and human disturbance.
  • Decreased biodiversity due to the expansion of invasive and/or non-native plant and animal species.
  • Habitat degradation and predation pressures by feral and domestic animals.
  • Unauthorized and authorized access causing disturbance to wildlife and habitat (particularly staging and nesting birds, species at risk).
  • Data deficiencies about site-specific habitat requirements for species at risk.

Goal 1: Maintain and protect sand spit, dune, upland deciduous forest, and wetland habitats, particularly for migratory birds and native plants and wildlife, including species at risk.

1.1 Naturally occurring coastal processes and plant succession will persist and occur unimpeded to support populations of migratory birds and native plants including species at risk.

1.2 Detect and reduce the extent and/or rate of expansion of non-native and invasive plants, within the next five years, in areas determined to be causing significant problems for native plants and wildlife, particularly species at risk and their habitats.

1.3 Reduce the extent of negative impacts of feral and domestic animals and overabundant wildlife on the diversity of native flora and fauna.

1.4 Reduce the number of unauthorized access and the incidents of prohibited activities within the NWA.

1.5 Manage and monitor authorized activities (e.g., ECCC-CWS site management and research, ECCC-WED enforcement, and DND UXO investigations and clearance activities), to reduce ecological impacts.

  • Allow natural processes to occur undisturbed and unimpeded as much as possible.
  • Authorized visitors (e.g. ECCC-CWS, DND, ECCC-WED, Canada Wildlife Act permit holders) receive mandatory training or are accompanied by trained personnel to avoid and reduce disturbance to wildlife and habitat. (1)
  • Conduct biological inventory for the NWA every six years to report on biological diversity and threats. (2)
  • Implement recommendations from recovery documents (recovery strategies, action plans, management plans, etc.) for survival and recovery of species at risk, where feasible. (1)
  • Monitor habitat change (i.e., extent and quality) of wetland, prairie and upland vegetation communities, including the extent of invasive species (e.g. non-native Phragmites) using aerial photography and site visits. (3)
  • Implement erosion control (e.g., revegetation, sediment traps) to retain sand and promote dune restoration, where appropriate. (2)
  • Undertake targeted control of non-native and invasive species as appropriate. (3)
  • Control and remove over-abundant, non-native and invasive wildlife when necessary. (2)
  • Publish public notices annually in local newspapers and post public notices at local campgrounds and boat launches, and on northeast and southwest boundaries of NWA to promote compliance with Wildlife Area Regulations. (1)
  • Engage ECCC-WED when required. (1)
  • Review of collaborative arrangements, agreements and permits; revise and renew as appropriate. (1)
  • Complete outreach and education initiatives within neighbouring communities. (2)
  • UXO risk to visitors.
  • Public misconception or mistrust of high UXO risks and prohibited public access.
  • Ongoing demand for public access and recreation within Wellers Bay NWA.
  • Communicating UXO and safety risks to various audiences.
  • Unauthorized access causing disturbance to wildlife and habitat (particularly staging and nesting birds, species at risk).

Goal 2: Reduce risks to public health and safety due to presence of UXO within the NWA.

2.1 Implement a coordinated ECCC/DND strategy to reduce UXO risks, including the establishment and implementation of procedures and training to reduce risks to authorized visitors from potential hazards posed by UXO, and to promote general public awareness.

2.2 Ensure ECCC-CWS capacity to maintain relationships with stakeholders (e.g., neighbours, local planning authorities, government agencies (DND and OMNRF), and enforcement personnel), participate in community and stakeholder meetings, and promote public awareness and compliance with general prohibitions.

  • Continue to implement coordinated DND/ECCC UXO strategy to include: cooperative posting (i.e., signs, public notices, prohibition of entry and activities by public), public meetings, UXO sweeps and removal, as necessary, UXO reporting procedures, and mandatory Occupational Health and Safety training, and UXO Safety briefings for authorized visitors. (1)
  • ECCC-CWS conduct regular site visits to monitor and maintain signs and assess impacts of human activities on wildlife and habitat, and mitigate as necessary. (1)
  • ECCC-WED conduct regular site visits. (1)
  • Document and prepare annual summary of prohibited activities and authorized activities on the NWA and assess potential and cumulative impacts on wildlife and habitat. (1)
  • Use signage and public notices to promote compliance and reduce unauthorized access and prohibited activities. (1)
  • Complete outreach and education initiatives within neighbouring communities. (2)

e Level of priority: 1 (from 0 to 3 years), 2 (from 4 to 6 years), 3 (from 7 to 10)

4.3 Evaluation

Annual monitoring will be performed within the limits imposed by the availability of financial and human resources. The management plan will be reviewed 5 years after its initial approval and reviewed and updated every 10 years thereafter. The evaluation will take the form of an annual review of monitoring data obtained from the monitoring, surveys and research outlined below. This monitoring will be used to establish priorities for action and to allocate resources.

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