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Recovery Strategy for the Engelmann's Quillwort (Isoetes engelmannii) in Canada (Proposed)

Engelmann's Quillwort

Engelmann's Quillwort. Photo: D. Brunton


August 2006


Strategic Environmental Assessment


About the Species at Risk Act Recovery Strategy Series

What is the Species at Risk Act (SARA)?

SARA is the Act developed by the federal government as a key contribution to the common national effort to protect and conserve species at risk in Canada. SARA came into force in 2003 and one of its purposes is“to provide for the recovery of wildlife species that are extirpated, endangered or threatened as a result of human activity.”

What is recovery?

In the context of species at risk conservation, recovery is the process by which the decline of an endangered, threatened, or extirpated species is arrested or reversed and threats are removed or reduced to improve the likelihood of the species’ persistence in the wild. A species will be considered recovered when its long-term persistence in the wild has been secured.

What is a recovery strategy?

A recovery strategy is a planning document that identifies what needs to be done to arrest or reverse the decline of a species. It sets goals and objectives and identifies the main areas of activities to be undertaken. Detailed planning is done at the action plan stage.

Recovery strategy development is a commitment of all provinces and territories and of three federal agencies -- Environment Canada, Parks Canada Agency, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada -- under the Accord for the Protection of Species at Risk. Sections 37–46 of SARA outline both the required content and the process for developing recovery strategies published in this series.

Depending on the status of the species and when it was assessed, a recovery strategy has to be developed within one to two years after the species is added to the List of Wildlife Species at Risk. Three to four years is allowed for those species that were automatically listed when SARA came into force.

What’s next?

In most cases, one or more action plans will be developed to define and guide implementation of the recovery strategy. Nevertheless, directions set in the recovery strategy are sufficient to begin involving communities, land users, and conservationists in recovery implementation. Cost-effective measures to prevent the reduction or loss of the species should not be postponed for lack of full scientific certainty.

The series

This series presents the recovery strategies prepared or adopted by the federal government under SARA. New documents will be added regularly as species get listed and as strategies are updated.

To learn more

To learn more about the Species at Risk Act and recovery initiatives, please consult the SARA Public Registry and the Web site of the Recovery Secretariat (http://www.speciesatrisk.gc.ca/recovery/).

Recommended citation:

Parks Canada. 2006. Recovery Strategy for the Engelmann's Quillwort (Isoetes engelmannii) in Canada [Proposed]. Species at Risk Act Recovery Strategy Series. Parks Canada Agency and Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. pp. 27.

Additional copies:

You can download additional copies from the SARA Public Registry.

Cover illustrations: Photo credit: D. Brunton

Également disponible en français sous le titre « Programme de rétablissement de l'isoète d'Engelmann (Isoetes engelmannii) au Canada »

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of the Environment, 2006. All rights reserved.

Content (excluding the cover illustration) may be used without permission, with appropriate credit to the source.


Prepared by: The Engelmann's Quillwort Recovery Team


The team would like to thank Kelly Eggers, Cathy Darevic, and Kirt Nelson of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources for undertaking the bulk of the work in the preparation of the maps. We are very appreciative of the guidance, effort and skill in underwater monitoring and mapping that Willis Stevens and his crew have brought to bear on behalf of the team. The underwater videos and photographs have assisted us greatly. Thanks to Keri Pidgen and Paul Heydon who have spent countless hours doing ecological sampling for the team. The team would also like to thank Beth Cockburn of Parks Canada and Leeyann Tomasini of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources for their assistance in the arrangement of meetings, the taking and distribution of minutes, and looking after all of the other myriad of details that go into making a recovery team successful. Rob Carter, Parks Canada Lockmaster at Big Chute, and his crew provided amiable and invaluable logistical assistance to Recovery Team members and researchers throughout the Recovery Strategy research and planning process. Their help is greatly appreciated. The team would like to thank former recovery team members Gary Allen, Angie Horner, Brian Hutchinson and Angela McConnell for their extensive efforts toward the completion of this strategy. Lastly, the team would like to thank Parks Canada for providing internal species at risk funding for research and education studies that were essential to complete this strategy.


The Species at Risk Act (SARA, Section 37) requires the competent Minister to prepare a recovery strategy for all listed Extirpated, Endangered or Threatened species. The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (on behalf of the Minister of Natural Resources) and the Parks Canada Agency (on behalf of the competent Minister) cooperatively led the development of this Recovery Strategy with the members of the Engelmann's Quillwort Recovery Team and in cooperation and consultation with the Canadian Wildlife Service - Ontario Region, stakeholders and private landowners.

The recovery strategy fulfills commitments of all jurisdictions for recovery planning under the Accord for the Protection of Species at Risk in Canada. All responsible jurisdictions reviewed the strategy for content and process requirements under their respective legislation and policy.

Strategic Environmental Assessment

A strategic environmental assessment (SEA) is conducted for all SARA recovery planning documents, in accordance with the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals. The purpose of a SEA is to incorporate environmental considerations into the development of public policies, plans, and program proposals to support decision-making that is environmentally-sound.

Recovery planning is intended to benefit species at risk and biodiversity in general. However, it is recognized that strategies may also inadvertently lead to environmental effects beyond the intended benefits. The planning process based on national guidelines directly incorporates consideration of all environmental effects, with a particular focus on possible impacts on nontarget species or habitats. A summary of the SEA is presented below.

There are no anticipated adverse environmental impacts of the Recovery Strategy for Engelmann's quillwort (Isoetes engelmannii) in Canada. The assessment of environmental effect was conducted for each objective including population size and distribution, ecological requirements, identification and monitoring, identification and mitigation of negative impacts, policy and legislation, and education and communication. Implementation of the recommendations outlined in this strategy, in order to meet the above recovery goals, will result in positive or neutral environmental effects. In addition, it is anticipated that other species will benefit from the implementation of this recovery strategy, as it addresses waterway issues of importance beyond Engelmann's quillwort. No mitigation measures were described given that only positive or neutral impacts are expected.

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