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Released on April 27, 2012
The Ministry of Environment will continue the Boreal Watershed Initiative in 2012, building on the progress made last year. The project looks at identifying regional environmental responses to multiple land uses. The results will help form the scientific basis of measuring the sensitivity of ecosystems to development in the region.
"The project proposed for this year is seen as the second step in assessing and maintaining the ecological integrity of Saskatchewan's northern watersheds," Environment Minister Dustin Duncan said. "We will continue to strive for the collection of data that can be used to make informed scientific decisions on the northern landscape."
The plan emphasizes baseline and historical studies, utilization of traditional knowledge, legacy data and development of tools. It is expected that some of the baseline studies will be extended into a time-series, which will capture changes to select elements of the ecosystem over time. Future studies will monitor changes in sensitive elements of the environment and provide an overall assessment of the ecological integrity of the boreal watersheds to enable establishment of appropriate thresholds.
The Boreal Watershed initiative addresses six priority areas: water quality, aquatic ecosystem health, air quality, soil quality, biodiversity and traditional land use and knowledge in the boreal region.
The ministry will maintain collaboration with current partners with plans to establish new partnerships in addressing baseline environmental concerns and sustainable management practices in the region.
The 2012-13 project is estimated at $1.5 million. The ministry has funding of $1 million and current partners are contributing $530,000 to the project.
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