Towards a Manitoba Hydro boreal woodland caribou strategy: Outcomes from Manitoba Hydro boreal woodland caribou workshop
Keywords:boreal woodland caribou, Delphi, Manitoba Hydro, threats, transmission line right-of-ways
AbstractManitoba Hydro is responsible for the continued supply of energy to meet the needs of the province and is committed to protecting the environment when planning the construction and operation of its facilities. Corporate policy dictates ongoing improvement of Environmental Management Systems (EMS) in order to meet or surpass regulatory requirements. Environmental objectives are reviewed annually and programs are modified when necessary to address improvements in environmental performance. Manitoba Hydro plans and constructs major transmission projects throughout northern Manitoba which includes areas occupied by boreal woodland caribou. In recognition of the potential issues associated with hydro transmission construction in boreal caribou range, Manitoba Hydro hosted an expert workshop on May 8, 2007 to provide objective advice in the development of a draft corporate strategy that effectively directs targeted monitoring and research for environmental assessment and mitigation. The workshop focused on assessing the potential threats to boreal woodland caribou from a transmission line construction and operation perspective, and identifying appropriate approaches in site selection and environmental assessment (SSEA) and long-term monitoring and research. A total of nine threat categories were reviewed to determine the degree and magnitude of potential effects that may result from transmission construction and operation; and of the original nine, five final threat categories were delineated. The main elements of the workshop provided strategic approaches for proactive pre-construction monitoring, research on recruitment and mortality for local populations impacted by ROWs and control areas, and various habitat monitoring, management, and mitigation techniques. Research and monitoring priorities have been identified and continued collaboration with Manitoba Conservation and other land users were also identified.
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