With over 75 years of experience and activity in every province and territory, Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) is a registered charity and a recognized leader in wetland conservation. DUC is a science-based, solutions-oriented organization with a vision of ‘abundant wetlands and waterfowl – today, tomorrow, and forever’. To achieve this vision, DUC works collaboratively with private landowners, industries, governments, First Nations, academia, and other conservation organizations. DUC’s boreal program works with partners towards waterfowl conservation in Canada’s 1.3 billion acres of boreal forest, a vast area that is important breeding habitat to over 15 million waterfowl of approximately 35 species. DUC’s conservation goal in the boreal forest is to conserve, through a balanced approach of protected areas and sustainable land-use practices, 660 million acres of habitat most important to waterfowl. Our activities in the boreal include mapping wetland and waterfowl distribution; researching wetland hydrology, wetland ecological goods and services, and effects of disturbance on waterbirds; developing conservation tools; supporting government policies and legislation that conserve wetlands; and identifying and promoting wetland best management practices (BMPs). DUC hosted the Wetlands BMPs Workshop as we believe now is the time to collaborate in developing, sharing, evaluating and distributing BMPs that help industry avoid and minimize impacts to wetlands. It is our hope that the workshop will help facilitate knowledge exchange, sharing of existing BMPs, and development of an “Information Management and Exchange System”; all of which will help move us forward to enhance boreal wetland conservation.
Kevin Smith is the National Manager of Boreal Programs for Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC). He has a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University, and a Masters of Environmental Management from Duke University with a focus on resource management. After graduation, Kevin launched his career working for a remote sensing firm in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he gained experience using satellites to map wetlands. This eventually led to a position with Ducks Unlimited in California, where he expanded wetland mapping products to the boreal regions of Canada, including leading the development of the Enhanced Wetland Classification which is now the classification standard used by DUC. This experience gave him a deep appreciation for the boreal forest, and ultimately led to a secondment to Canada to work for DUC, working to advance conservation across the vast boreal forest expanse. For the past three years, Kevin has been managing the Boreal Program for DUC, whose goal is to conserve, with partners, one billion acres across the boreal forest through a balance of established protected areas and sustainable land use practices.