Miistakis Institute Annual Report 2016
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR MESSAGE
Miistakis made considerable conservation impact across our six research focus areas over the past year. We are often asked about our research focus areas – why these areas?
Our research areas are dynamic and are continually refined to address current conservation challenges. Today, our research areas focus on themes that play a significant role in conservation and involve working with landowners, industry, citizens, municipalities, agencies, conservation partners and academics. They also require a broad spectrum of methodologies including on-line mapping, jurisdictional scans, literature reviews, spatial analyses, modeling, facilitation, tool development, community engagement, policy analysis and catalyzing community conservation action.
These are all areas in which Miistakis has developed significant expertise. Environmental conservation is complex. It requires engagement of a diversity of perspectives and stakeholders and a multitude of approaches to realize conservation success. Our approach to research at Miistakis embraces the complexity – and our track record exemplifies it. We are excited to showcase this year’s projects that have contributed to conservation in Alberta and the research areas we undertake at Miistakis. Please read our 2016 annual report to see the difference Miistakis has made.
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WE FOCUS OUR CONSERVATION RESEARCH ACROSS SIX THEMATIC AREAS. OUR CONSERVATION IMPACT THROUGHOUT 2016 IN EACH AREA IS PROFILED BELOW.
01 Citizen Science for Conservation
02 Municipalities and Conservation
03 Human Wildlife Coexistence
04 Transportation Ecology
05 Conservation Planning And Policy
06 Private Land Conservation
01 CITIZEN SCIENCE FOR CONSERVATION
Citizens are facing complex conservation challenges. Stronger sustainable solutions engage citizens in better understanding the issue, contributing personal knowledge and experience, and implementation. Miistakis uses a citizen science approach to generate data to inform conservation challenges, and create a knowledgeable and engaged citizenry. Miistakis develops tools and frameworks that contribute to successful citizen science projects.
Improved biodiversity monitoring and community engagement through delivery of citizen science programs
Finding wildlife crossing hotspots in BC +
A new way to collect grizzly observations +
Calgary citizens monitoring amphibians +
Enhanced the field of practice of citizen science in Alberta
Helping to develop citizen science policy +
Joining the international discussion +
Usability testing for effective citizen science +
02 MUNICIPALITIES AND CONSERVATION
Environmental conservation is inextricably linked to land use, and municipalities are the front lines of land use. This means land use decisions at the municipal level have a disproportionate ability to conserve – or degrade – the ecological systems on which citizens rely. Miistakis works directly with urban and rural municipalities to develop usable information, tools, and research that can promote more sustainable land use decisions at the local government level.
Enhanced municipalities' ability to make use of existing conservation tools
Building awareness of conservation tools +
Implementing TDCs in Rocky View County +
Guidance on ecological connectivity +
Expanded the capacity of Alberta municipalities to address environment and conservation challenges
Climate resiliency for communities +
Conservation crowd-funding platform +
Planning using 'Human Footprint' data +
03 HUMAN WILDLIFE COEXISTENCE
In today's changing landscape it is often challenging for wildlife to coexist on the landscape with humans. Human developments including housing, agriculture, industry and recreation infringe on wildlife habitat and movement areas. Wildlife management attempts to balance the needs of wildlife with the needs of people using the best available science. Miistakis is interested in examining the ways to improve the coexistence of humans and wildlife. This often includes determining wildlife needs, assessing human impacts to wildlife habitat and exploring adaptive management for both humans and wildlife.
Improved human-wildlife coexistence
Promoting coexistence with beavers +
Carnivore compensation research +
Understanding wildlife and renewables +
04 TRANSPORTATION ECOLOGY
Transportation infrastructure across the world poses numerous environmental challenges, affecting our air, landscapes and water. From a landscape perspective, roads and railways cause wildlife mortality through collisions and act as a significant barrier to wildlife movements. The Miistakis Institute aims to: generate awareness of the challenges that transportation infrastructure poses to wildlife; to promote workable solutions to these challenges; and to generate support for implementing these solutions.
Improved wildlife connectivity by integrating research into highway mitigation
Clarity on corridors in the Crowsnest Pass +
Connectivity modelling for Alberta roads +
05 CONSERVATION PLANNING AND POLICY
Success in environmental conservation largely relies on being proactive. This requires developing plans of various types, catalyzing improvements in the policy process, and working with a wide variety of ENGOs, provincial agencies, local governments, and industry players. Miistakis provides support in many areas of conservation planning (wildlife management, private land securement, connectivity, municipal conservation, park management, strategic conservation, watershed management, and others), and works to catalyze innovation in policy making of various types (land use policy, fiscal policy, conservation policy, science policy, and others)
Supported and participated in regional conservation planning initiatives
Conservation plan for the Eastern Slopes +
'EcoPlan' for the Calgary Region +
Urban ecosystem management review +
Worked to improve the conservation capacity of municipalities through the Municipal Government Act Review
Conservation-based review of new MGA +
'Conservation Reserve' tool usability +
Assessing 'Environmental Reserves' +
06 PRIVATE LAND CONSERVATION
Much of the land that is critical for wildlife habitat, water cycling, nutrient flows and other ecological processes across the broad landscape is privately held. Land trusts and municipalities are working to ensure those parcels continue to play these important roles. Miistakis supports both the individual organizations and the private land conservation community, including landowners, by providing necessary research services, tools, resources, and planning, management and policy assistance
Increased the private land conservation capacity of Alberta's Conservation Easement (CE) holders
Supporting 'Land Trust Grants' program +
Created CE guide for municipalities +
Assisting new CE holders +
March 31, 2017
These statements are excerpts from the audited financial statements prepared for the organization and exclude the audit report, other pertinent statements and notes to the financial statements. Users are cautioned that these statements alone may be inappropriate for their purposes.