|BOTANICAL ELECTRONIC NEWS|
|No. 302 February 14, firstname.lastname@example.org||Victoria, B.C.|
On December 12, 2002, the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA) received Royal Ascent. The new legislation will come into force in 2003. The act has already had an interesting history, with several predecessors dying on the order table over a nine year period, and this version receiving one of the longest deliberations by a Standing Committee in the history of Canadian legislation. The Act was also modified in its last week in the house, resulting in changes that considerably strengthened the act.
The protection of wildlife is a shared responsibility among provinces, territories and the Government of Canada. The Accord for the Protection of Species at Risk, agreed to in 1996, commits the federal government and the provinces and territories to establish complementary legislation and programs to protect Canada's species at risk. The Species at Risk Act is the federal government's legislative response to the commitments under "the Accord".
The act recognises the 25 year history of the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC), and COSEWIC is established by legislation for the first time. Operating at arm's length from governments, COSEWIC is tasked with assessing and classifying wildlife species (including plants) using the best available scientific, community and aboriginal traditional knowledge. In total, COSEWIC has assessed close to 600 species. COSEWIC's categories have been accepted by the act, and a species can be determined to be in one of the following categories: extinct, extirpated, endangered, threatened, special concern, not at risk or data deficient. COSEWIC's designations will usually be based on status reports commissioned by the committee, however the act makes provisions for unsolicited reports and emergency designations as well.
COSEWIC assessments will be published in the SARA public registry. SARA requires that the federal Minister of the Environment publish a response within 90 days, and that the Governor-in-Council has nine months to make a decision on whether to add the species to the legal list. This listing process acknowledges that adding species to the legal list could have potential serious economic and social implications for Canadians.
As soon as a species is added to the legal list, a number of binding provisions take effect, such as automatic prohibitions against killing or harming aquatic species, migratory bird species and all species on federal lands, and against destruction of their residences. The act is designed as "safety net legislation" and, the Minister of the Environment must recommend an emergency order to protect a listed species or its habitat if he or she believes that a species faces imminent threats to its survival or recovery. These provisions, which must go through federal cabinet, can apply to provincial Crown or private lands.
Mandatory recovery strategies will be required within specific time periods for all species listed as extirpated (2 years), endangered (1 year), threatened (2 years) or of special concern (management plans within 3 years). These strategies assess the biological feasibility of recovery, set goals for recovery activities and may be used to identify critical habitat Action plans follow that outline the in the ground activities necessary to achieve the goals set out in the Recovery Strategies, deal with the socio-economic costs of recovery implementation and can identify critical habitat for the species.
The Act has been widely criticized by some environmental groups because the ultimate decision to place species on the legal list is left to cabinet, rather than to COSEWIC. It should be noted however, upon proclamation, 233 species (96 of them plants) will be included on Schedule 1, the list of wildlife species at risk - is all of the species that COSEWIC had assessed to the end of 2001 with the criteria-based system that it adapted from the IUCN. Since then, and as the legislative process to enact SARA has continued, COSEWIC has continued its job of assessing species.
The act calls for recovery strategies, action plans and management plans to be prepared in cooperation with affected provinces, territories, aboriginal organizations, landowners and other affected parties "to the extent possible" The minister may accept recovery strategies prepared by others in lieu of preparing one himself. Currently there are recovery strategies under preparation for 24 of 27 plants, moss and lichen spp listed by COSEWIC as endangered or threatened in British Columbia. Many of these species Recovery planning is also underway for a large number of other species (especially those associated with Garry Oak and related ecosystems) that are on the provincial red list, but have not been assessed by COSEWIC. Recovery planning for nationally listed species is coordinated by RENEW (Recovery of Nationally Endangered Wildlife) a cooperative federal, provincial, territory program with a secretariat housed by the Canadian Wildlife Service.
If the cooperative approach under the Act fails or the laws of a province fail to adequately protect the species, SARA provides for the Government of Canada to protect critical habitat of species at risk. Under the Act, critical habitat is defined as habitat necessary for the survival or recovery of a species.
SARA contains provisions for compensation should it become necessary to apply the critical habitat prohibitions. When these prohibitions are used, people will be able to apply for compensation for losses suffered as a result of an extraordinary impact. The federal government will be developing general compensation regulations that will set out the procedures for making an application for compensation. Claims will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.
The Act mandates the establishment of a National Aboriginal Council on Species at Risk to advise the Minister on the administration of the Act, and to provided advice to the federal, provincial, territorial ministers through the recently created Canadian Endangered Species Conservation Council.
For plants, the prohibitions on wilful killing, protection of the residence and the critical habitat provisions will be new protections for species in British Columbia. The provincial government is investigating what measures will be to meet the its commitment to the Accord and to encourage consistency with SARA. These may include changes to legislation, as well as changes to programs and policy.
Table 1. The following British Columbia species occur on schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act (SARA) and will be immediately come under the provisions of the act upon proclamation:
Table 2. COSEWIC has assessed a number of other species of plants since schedule 1 was prepared and these species will be put before cabinet for legal listing shortly after proclamation.
Table 3. Plant species assessed by COSEWIC under older criteria that require reassessment before they can be put forward for legal listing.
* Recovery planning is being addressed by an existing recovery team. For more information there are a number of useful websites:
We prepared a bibliography for Quercus garryana (and botanically related and geographically associated species) last year. I have some updates to pass on.
Information available at electronic links can be searched by putting in URL as a keyword. There were (and still may be) a few references where the link is to a place to order the publication rather than to the actual reference. But there is more available on-line than you might guess. The on-line instructions will be updated soon (including some keywords that have been added).
The searchable database with instructions is at: http://www.fs.fed.us/pnw/olympia/silv/publications/oak/bibliography/quercus_garryana.htm
If you have figured out what you are doing and just need the Bibliography database, it is at: http://www.ncrs.fs.fed.us/RIS/RISWEB.cgi
Plants and Civilization - online essays
Professor Arthur C. Gibson's course on economic botany, taken by over 8600 undergraduates at UCLA, incorporates material from a wealth of essays on economically important plants. This web page version has 94 main pages, extending from taxon-related topics (e.g., algae, figs, tea, myriad plants) to processrelated sites (e.g., papermaking, poisons, dtugs, dyes). Although some pages are mostly or all text, the online information is interesting and fact laden. The narrative is useful, even if the images are faded, and many topics are covered. This is a good site to bookmark for both students and instructors of economic botany classes.
[No spinach, though! - AC]
Note: BOT-LINX Home Delivery sends you the Botanical Link-of-the-Day from Scott's Botanical Link site at URL: http://www.ou.edu/cas/botany-micro/bot-linx/ To subscribe, visit the listserv site at URL: http://www.ou.edu/cas/botany-micro/bot-linx/listserv.shtml or contact Scott Russell by email: email@example.com Archived since 1996 at URL: http://lists.ou.edu/archives/botlinx.html
Gledhill's valuable little book appeared in two previous editions, the first in 1985 in viii, 159 pages (for review see R. Schmid, Taxon 35: 445), the second in 1989 in vi, 202 pages. The new edition of ix, 326 pages is updated for the latest nomenclatural Codes (1995 cultivated, 2000 wild) and the glossary is expanded, especially for commemorative names, although the aforenoted numbers for pagination suggest deceptive expansion because in the third edition much more line spacing separates terms. This is a two-part book: The first 53 pages discuss the naming of plants, whereas the following 268 pages treat the names of plants in a sparsely illustrated glossary (e.g., "maru mastic"), which includes seven full-page figures and a ten-page "addendum." A four-page bibliography concludes. Gledhill's nifty book is essential for the botanical reference shelf. -- Rudolf Schmid, UC
[Contents: pref. ("foreword"); list society presidents, 1916-2000; authors, titles (2799 entries, 45 pp.); subjects (18,226 entries, 163 pp.); noteworthy colls. (866 entries, 8 pp.); revs. books, articles (1401 entries, 11 pp.); list vols., nos. (2 pp.). On over 23,000 entries for the 43 vols., 282 nos., 13,554 pp., 234 suppl. pp. "The paucity of records for certain common or widespread species is surprising, e.g., Platanus racemosa, Sambucus mexicana, and Tamarisk [sic] sp. [sic], to name a few. Taxa for which there are few or no records can be thought of as a starting point to initiate basic taxonomic, ecological, or other types of research" (p. iii)--a nice thought, but I doubt many people will be prowling through indices looking for things to do.]
[Contents: intro--early naturalists; 13 chaps. in 3 topic areas: (a) traveling in the wild lands: Lewis and Clark; Peter Custis, Red River Expedition; Thomas Nuttall and wilderness collectors; Thomas Say, Edwin James; Eur. visitors; (b) collectors, interpreters: Charles Wilkes, U.S. Exploring Expedition; John James Audubon; pre-WWI people; coll. in the West; (c) the new naturalists: Martha Maxwell and her museum; John Muir; digging up bones; new enthusiastic amateurs; biblio.; index. A nicely written hist. by zoologist Moring (1946-2002).]
[Contents: intro (origin; geogr.; crafts; cricket bat production; diverse uses); general chars. (class.; bot.; hybridization; field ID; attractive features; adaptability to environ.); management, cult. (propag.; cuttings; spacing; soil; pruning; maintenance; assoc. pls.; selecting willows for specific sites); descr. pt. (ornamental trees, shrubs for large gards., parks, estates; idem for small gards.; dwarf and ground-hugging alpine spp. for rock gards.; tiny willows for sink gards.); glossary; biblio.; indices. With great photos, helpful line drawings, lots of hort., tax., ecol., or other info, e.g., Salix alba var. coerulea female trees used for cricket bats or (p. 33): Under normal conditions the big species of Salix trees and shrubs grow in the fertile soil of river valleys, while dwarf creeping species are adapted to conditions of maximum exposure on mountains and in the Arctic regions. The intermediate members of the genus, including sallows and osiers [i.e., subgen. Caprisalix, the shrubby willows, the "osiers" being used for wickerwork, "sallows" a Briticism for shrubby willows], are located in mainly damp areas between these two extremes. Salix, although thriving most in moist habitats, are outstanding as pioneer species, and are often present in the most unlikely places. They are among the first woody shrubs to colonize areas following natural upheavals caused by glaciation, earthquakes, and soil erosion associated with flooding. Most Salix species possess great powers of survival, tolerating long periods of drought. Their prolific seed production and highly effective adaptation to wind dispersal ensures their distribution over considerable distances. Rapid germination and outstandingly vigorous growth in the most unpropitious conditions render certain members of this genus particular useful in land reclamation. The sallows are especially suited to low-grade soils and will thrive on infertile, compacted, poorly drained land. The hardiest and most adaptable of the sallow species are.... Several hundred taxa descr. on pp. 44-213. "[Alice] came upon a large flower-bed, with a border of daisies, and a willow-tree growing in the middle."]
[Contents: intro; Lewis and Clark; use of book; habitat tour from Lolo to Lewiston; seasonal almanac; HW 12 stop-by-stop guide; w. end Lolo Trail guide; e. end idem; biblio.; map sources; bionotes; cross-ref. index chart. A well-presented guidebook on the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1805-06) and nat. hist. of the Bitterroot Range (Idaho, Mont.); on over 100 taxa.]
[Contents: roads (Rs), traffic (T); scoping ecol. Rs, T; biol. Rs, roadside verges; habitat fragmentation, barriers, corridors; phys., chem. effects Rs, T; road kills of animals; reducing adverse effects; future re. ecol. Rs; appendices (defs.; environ., ecol. impact assessments; examples); biblio.; index. A fascinating treatment, w/ a U.K., N.Z. flavor.]
[Contents: summary; intro; methods; results, discussion; descrs.; biblio.; no index. On 66 gen., 76 spp., 38 gen. assignable to 24 fam. (incl. Palm., Pin., Taxodi., Ginkgo.), 7 gen. to 3 dicot. orders only; w/ 61 figs. The "data indicate that the climatic conditions [ca. 44 mya] were probably in the range of warm temperate to subtropical, but not fully tropical" (p. 4).]