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Notice of permit

Regional or Local Number: JNP-2017-24900

Notice is hereby given that pursuant to the provisions of section 74 of the Species at Risk Act permit no. JNP-2017-24900 is issued.

Purpose:
Scientific research for the conservation of the species

Description:
This research project aims to determine whether resin ducts in whitebark pine change with increases in elevation. Investigating resin ducts in whitebark pine is relevant to Parks Canada's initiatives in helping whitebark pine survival. Resin ducts are important to research since they are a mechanism that helps a tree to rid itself of disease and pests. Determining how resin ducts change across elevation gradients can help to determine the areas where whitebark pine may be susceptible to white pine blister rust and mountain pine beetle. The researchers plan to select three sites in Jasper National Park. In each site, three elevation gradients will be chosen, with 10 trees at each gradient. Across the three sites, 90 trees will be sampled. A sample of the resin duct will be taken with an increment borer for diseased trees (pine beetle or blister rust), and only one sample will be taken from each tree. Mitigations to reduce the impact of boring will be implemented. The samples will be wrapped in aluminium foil and taken back to the lab at the University of Alberta for analysis. The trees will repel biotic disturbances at the entry site through pitch responses. For healthy trees, the researchers will only remove some of the needles.

Start Date: 2017-06-12   End Date: 2017-08-31

Issuing Authority: Parks Canada Agency

Authority Used:

  • Species at Risk Act
  • Canada National Parks Act

Location of Activity (province, territory or ocean):

  • Alberta

Affected Species:

Pre-Conditions:
a)All reasonable alternatives to the activity that would reduce the impact on the species have been considered and the best solution has been adopted: An alternative to reduce the impact of collecting on whitebark pine is to study the relationship between mountain pine beetle and elevation using another tree species. However, a key purpose of this research is to identify genetic traits of resin ducts in whitebark pine toward encouraging selective breeding practices to aid in the species’ survival. Therefore, using an alternate species is not possible to meet the conservation purpose of the research. b)All feasible measures will be taken to minimize the impact of the activity on the species or its critical habitat or the residences of its individuals: Originally the researchers planned to collect resin samples using an increment borer for healthy trees. The mitigation for healthy tree sampling is to collect only five needles per tree without doing any increment boring. Collecting needles form healthy trees does not have any impact on individuals. For diseased trees, the mitigations to address residual adverse effects are the following: Researchers will only take increment cores from trees either infected with blister rust, or infested with mountain pine beetle. Before increment boring, they will spray the outer bark with isopropyl alcohol to kill pathogens on the bark. Between uses, the increment borer will be soaked in alcohol. This greatly reduces the chances of spreading white pine blister rust. The increment borer will only be injected three to five centimeters into the tree. This short depth lessens pathogen exposure and the tree can heal the area quickly. Finally, they will fill the small holes with wooden dowels. This will close the hole and greatly reduce insect and pathogen infection, especially since white pine blister rust is airborne. c)The activity will not jeopardize the survival or recovery of the species: The population and distribution objectives set in the draft recovery strategy and the proposed Jasper multi-species action plan is "to establish a self-sustaining, rust-resistant population of Whitebark Pine throughout the species' range that demonstrates natural seed dispersal, connectivity, genetic diversity and adaptability to changing climate." The most significant threats to whitebark park are the combined effects of mountain pine beetle, white pine blister rust, fire suppression, and climate change; and Parks Canada's restoration efforts focus on reducing the threats from blister rust, pine beetle and fire suppression . This activity will not contribute significantly to the cumulative effect of these threats. Tree coring will only be conducted on individuals already infected by blister rust or mountain pine beetle and are unlikely to survive; and the activity will not affect candidate trees (trees thought to be resistant to blister rust). Given the mitigation measures, the project is not expected to measurably affect Parks Canada's ability to achieve population and distribution objectives for the species.

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
pca_sar.registrycomments@pc.gc.ca