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WildFIRE & WildLIFE Webinar

2023-07-27 @ 18:00 19:00 MDT

Please register for this webinar here.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

The Alberta Chapter of the Wildlife Society is hosting a special event featuring renowned guest speakers Edward Struzik, Dr. Mark Boyce, and David Kamelchuk. The event will focus on three crucial topics: 1) Managing and Restoring Wetlands for Wildlife and Wildfire Management, 2) Impacts of Wildfire: Wildlife Response and Landscape Complexity, and 3) Fire – Impact on Alberta Forest Management Planning. With over 1.1 million hectares burned in Alberta this wildfire season, the second-worst on record since 1981, these presentations will shed light on important strategies and insights related to wildlife conservation, habitat restoration, forest management planning, and wildfire management.

1. Wetlands as Refuges and Firebreaks: Unveiling the Impacts of Climate-Driven Wildfires and the Need for Wetland Restoration

Presented by Edward Struzik

Abstract: Wildfires are burning bigger, hotter and with increasing frequency as the climate warms. Wetlands – fens, bogs, swamps and marshes – traditionally offered animals short term refuges from these conflagrations. These wetlands also slowed and stopped wildfires, allowing predators such as wolves and bears to move back into the burned out forests to feed on carrion, and for ungulates to browse and graze on aspen and other forms of vegetation that shoot up almost immediately after a low to medium intensity fire. Drawing on his two recent books: Dark Days at Noon, The Future of Fire, and Swamplands, Tundra Beavers, Quaking Bogs and the Improbable World of Peat, Ed Struzik will describe how and why we have systematically drained these refugia and why this new paradigm of fire offers an unprecedented opportunity to better manage and restore wetlands for wildlife and wildfire management.

Bio: Edward Struzik is a writer, educator and fellow at Queen’s Institute for Energy and Environmental Policy at Queen’s University. He is a regular contributor to Yale Environment 360, an international on-line magazine published by the Yale School of the Environment. His many other articles and essays appear in journals and magazines such as Scientific American, Natural History, Policy Options, Canadian Geographic, National Geographic and in newspapers such as the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, and the National Post. He often appears on programs such as PBS’s Living on Earth, CBC’s The Current and Sunday Magazine, and the Geographical Podcast of the Royal Geographical Society in Great Britain.

Included in the many fellowships and awards he has received over the years are the U.S. based Grantham Prize for environmental writing, and the Sir Sanford Fleming Medal. He has also won the Science in Society award from the Science Writers and Communicators of Canada eight times.

His book, Swamplands: Tundra Beavers, Quaking Bogs and the Improbable World of Peat was made a top pick by the Wall Street Journal. His latest book, Dark Days At Noon, The Future of Fire is his eighth book. In his review of the book for the Literary Review of Canada, Pulitzer Prize winner David Shribman described it as “incendiary and intoxicating.”

2. Impacts of Wildfire: Wildlife Response and Landscape Complexity

Presented by Dr. Mark Boyce

Abstract: Fires in Alberta this spring caused substantial consequences to many Albertans with tragic property loss. Effects on wildlife were highly variable. Regrowth after the early fires has been rapid in most places. Indeed, forests of the Rocky Mountains and the boreal are fire-maintained ecosystems highly adapted to periodic fires. Deer, elk, moose and bears thrive on early seral vegetation following fires but there are other species that are severely affected by fires. Spatial heterogeneity of natural forest fires increases landscape complexity and diversity and can reduce the extent and severity of subsequent fires.

Bio: Mark S. Boyce received his BS from Iowa State, MS from Univ of Alaska, and MPhil and PhD degrees from Yale Univ; he was then a NATO postdoctoral fellow at Oxford University. He is Professor of Ecology and holds the Alberta Conservation Association Chair in Fisheries & Wildlife at the University of Alberta. His research specialty is population ecology of vertebrates and he currently supervises 8 graduate students. He has been a member of TWS since 1971 and he has served as a Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Wildlife Management. He is a member of the Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution and the Population Institute of Canada. He is a Fellow of both the Royal Society of Canada and The Wildlife Society. In 2023 he received the Stan Hodgkiss Outdoorsperson of the Year Award from the Canadian Wildlife Federation. In 2016 he was awarded the Mirosław Romanowski Medal by the Royal Society of Canada for his applications of science to environmental problems. He received the C. Hart Merriam Award from the American Society of Mammalogists in 2017 for outstanding research contributions. During 1988-1993 he was Director of the National Park Service Research Centre overseeing post-fire research on the fires in Yellowstone National Park in 1988 when 1/3 of the Park burned.

3. Fire – Impact on AB Forest Management Planning

Presented by David Kamelchuk, MScF, RPF

Abstract: 2023 has been a record fire season for Alberta. Burning almost 10 times the average amount of forest in an average year results in significant impacts to forest companies and their futures. Although salvage of burned timber is a readily accepted practice, fire has a direct impact on how much forest companies are allowed to cut far into the future – affecting Annual Allowable Cuts (AACs). AACs are adjusted based on the amount of area burned within a specific forest management unit and these impacts carry through until a new inventory is produced which can show that these areas are reforested. With rotation ages of up to 100 years for some tree species, these impacts are dealt with in long-term strategic level forest management planning.

Bio: David is currently the Management Forester with Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries (Al-Pac). He has been involved in the forest industry for his entire career which is close to reaching the 25-year mark. David is a proud graduate of the University of Alberta’s Forestry program with an undergrad and Masters in Forest management. David’s main role of his current position is to put together the long-term strategic Forest Management Plan for Al-Pac which he has been enjoying immensely. Having grown up in rural Alberta, David has always enjoyed being out in the woods and currently reside on a small farm with his own woodlot and lots of green space.

Please register for this webinar here.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

PO BOX 4990
Edmonton AB
T6E 5G8

Rooted in Wisdom: Deer Aging Techniques

Embark on a journey of precision and insight with the Lethbridge College Wildlife Analytics Lab (WAL) at the ACTWS Conference in Jasper! Join our workshop, ‘Rooted in Wisdom: Deer Aging Techniques‘, to explore the secrets hidden within wildlife teeth. Explore both the field technique of ‘tooth eruption and wear’ and the laboratory marvel of ‘cementum analysis’ – both dedicated to unraveling the mysteries of ungulate ages. Delve into the heart of these techniques, comparing their accuracy and precision, with a revelation of the superior accuracy of cementum analysis. Learn the art of tooth extraction and witness the seamless process of submitting your own wildlife teeth to the WAL for aging through cementum analysis. Elevate your understanding of deer populations and contribute to the advancement of wildlife knowledge and bolster your resume with applied experience. Participants will gain hands-on familiarity with the field technique of jaw aging, and the lab process of tooth extraction, inspection, preparation, and cementum analysis. Join us in Jasper for a transformative experience at the intersection of field expertise and cutting-edge laboratory analysis!

Facilitated by the Wildlife Analytics Lab, Lethbridge College

Cost: $15

Professional refers to someone who works with wildlife and/or their habitats in a professional setting.

In this context, it is not in reference to a legal professional designation.