Notice of permit

Regional or Local Number: SSFU-2017-014-BMP

Notice is hereby given that pursuant to the provisions of section 74 of the Species at Risk Act permit no. SSFU-2017-014-BMP is issued.

Activity necessary or beneficial to the species

Parks Canada will be conducting prescribed fires throughout Grasslands National Park over the next 10 years for a variety of purposes including: enhance native seed production, restore ecological integrity by mimicking natural disturbances, facilitate shift of vegetation composition from non-native to native plant species, increase spatial and temporal heterogeneity, manipulate grazing patterns, and enhance wildlife habitat. They result in reduced wildfire risk by creating landscape level barriers that limit the potential for uncontrollable wildfire fire spread, and protect park staff and visitors, valuable infrastructure, facilities, and natural and cultural resources. These fires will contravene s.58 for the Sprague’s Pipit. Sprague’s Pipit critical habitat occurs throughout Grasslands National Park, and many of the potential prescribed fires for the next 10 years will occur in this critical habitat.

Start Date: 2017-04-18   End Date: 2027-04-17

Issuing Authority: Parks Canada Agency

Authority Used:

  • Species at Risk Act
  • Canada National Parks Act

Location of Activity (province, territory or ocean):

  • Saskatchewan

Affected Species:

Alternatives: Two alternatives were considered: no prescribed fire, and consideration of alternate locations. Periodic disturbance, in the form of fire, is listed as an essential tool for enhancing or maintaining Sprague`s Pipit habitat. Therefore, both alternatives would in the long term result in habitat degradation. Excessive buildup of litter, invasion by woody vegetation, and invasive species expansion reduce habitat quality for Sprague`s Pipit, and are all possible consequences of fire suppression. Mitigations: Prescribed fire activities will be conducted outside of nesting periods, or field surveys will be conducted to confirm site is not being used for breeding immediately prior to prescribed fires. Fireguards within critical habitat will be designed to be maintained by mowing rather than grading to avoid fragmentation and the invasion of native prairie by exotic plants. Prescribed fires will adhere to the frequency of the historic fire cycle (?25 year) and no repeated annual burning will occur on one site unless it is for the express purpose of controlling exotic species. Jeopardy to Survival or Recovery of the Species: The population and distribution objective for the Sprague’s Pipit in Grasslands National Park is set at maintaining a population of 45 Sprague’s Pipits per 100 hectares. Prescribed fires are expected to assist in achieving this objective through habitat restoration/management by helping to control invasive species, limit the expansion of woody vegetation, and removing excessive litter. Therefore the fires will not jeopardize survival or recovery of the species but will help to achieve recovery objectives.

Contact Person(s)
Parks Canada
Species Conservation and Management
Natural Resource Conservation
Parks Canada
30 Victoria Street 3rd floor
Gatineau, QC
J8X 0B3
Tel: 888-773-8888
Fax: 819-420-9273