Reserves announced to protect endangered American Marten, Newfoundland population
Charles Furey, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation, along with Kevin Aylward, Minister of Forest Resources and Agrifoods, today announced government's protection regime for the Little Grand Lake area. Also participating in the announcement were Bob Mercer, MHA for Humber East, Martin vonMirbach, Chair for the Western Newfoundland Model Forest, and Judy Tsang, of the Wilderness and Ecological Reserves Advisory Council (WERAC).
The regime, which has been put in place to protect the endangered marten, includes a combination of a wildlife reserve, a public reserve, and a provisional ecological reserve. The provisional reserve is also extremely significant since it protects the intersection of three ecoregions, namely Western Newfoundland Forest, Central Newfoundland Forest and the Long Range Mountains.
"Government is committed to the preservation and protection of Newfoundland and Labrador's outstanding and unique natural heritage," said Furey. "The Little Grand Lake initiative announced today is essential to ensure preservation of the marten, which is an indigenous endangered species. The provisional ecological reserve, in particular, will protect the habitat required for a core population of marten considered essential for the continued viability of this species in Newfoundland. This regime is also extremely significant because for the first time ever government has established a reserve to protect three indigenous ecoregions."
The Little Grand Lake reserve system encompasses 1,496 square kilometres (577 sq. miles). It is located approximately 20 kilometres southeast of Corner Brook and involves three different levels of protection.
- PROVISIONAL ECOLOGICAL RESERVE (742 sq km.) that includes the area surrounding Little Grand Lake and extends northeastward, along with a section of the western shoreline of Grand Lake. The provisional ecological reserve is administered under the Wilderness and Ecological Reserves Act and is considered the highest level of protection available for the core marten area.
- PUBLIC RESERVE (178 sq km.) that includes Glover Island which is administered under the Crown Lands Act.
- The remainder of the area is protected as a WILDLIFE RESERVE (575 sq km.) under the Wildlife Act and consists of two areas: one south and the other north of the provisional ecological reserve.
"To survive, the marten depends on specific forest conditions usually found in mature to over mature forest, a disappearing resource on the island. The Little Grand Lake area has long been recognized as having the largest remaining core population of Newfoundland Marten and provides such habitat. These reserves are part of an overall habitat management strategy for the marten. We will have to manage additional areas in a sustainable manner to ensure long term survival and recovery of this species," said Aylward. "The local pulp and paper companies, Corner Brook Pulp and Paper and Abitibi Price Consolidated, are to be commended for their participation and cooperation in the establishment of these reserves."
"The protection regime announced today is as a result of a combination of considerable research which resulted in the identification of the best reserve design to accommodate marten habitat needs and a consensus between government departments, environmental groups, and industry," said Mercer. "I am very pleased to have been a part of such an important initiative which is a demonstration of government's commitment to protection of our outstanding natural heritage."
LITTLE GRAND LAKE RESERVES
LITTLE GRAND LAKE PROVISIONAL RESERVE
The provisional ecological reserve is administered under the Wilderness and Ecological Reserves Act and is considered the highest level of protection available for the core pine marten area. It encompasses 742 square kilometers and includes two areas: the main one surrounds Little Grand Lake and extends northeastward, the smaller portion is located along the western shoreline of Grand Lake. It is estimated that the provisional ecological reserve contains habitat sufficient to support 50-60 marten. It is an interim protection measure in the process of seeking to set aside a portion of the Little Grand Lake area as a permanent ecological reserve. Essentially, it freezes activities (ie. new cabin development, roads, trails, logging, mining, etc;) which could compromise the natural condition of the site. It provides the opportunity for the Wilderness and Ecological Reserves Advisory Council (WERAC) in concert with Parks and Natural Areas Division of the Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation to develop a management plan, consult with stakeholders and hold formal public hearings in the local area. When these tasks are completed, a recommendation will be made to Cabinet on the advisability of setting aside the area as a permanent ecological reserve.
THE WILDLIFE RESERVE AT LITTLE GRAND LAKE
The wildlife reserve is approximately 575 square kilometres of which 191 square kilometres is forested land. An order is to be prepared establishing the reserve under the Wildlife Act and draft regulations are also to be prepared in order to control certain activities. Mineral exploration and development may occur within the reserve but under permit. Limited wood harvesting may occur in the southern part of the reserve but, again, under permit only. Regulations governing these and other activities will be written to minimize impact on the endangered marten. Some activities such as wood harvesting (with the exception of commercial activity in the southern section) and snaring and trapping will not be allowed to continue.
THE PUBLIC RESERVE ON GLOVER ISLAND
The public reserve will be established under section 8(2) of the Lands Act. It will be approximately 178 square kilometres of which 123 square kilometres is forested. Mineral exploration and development will be allowed to continue. Guidelines to minimize the impact on the endangered marten will be developed. Hunting, except for snaring and trapping, will be allowed to continue. Allowance will also be made for scientific research and management of the marten. No cutting will be permitted and most general crown land uses will be prohibited.
1999 10 15 11:30 a.m.