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Recovery Strategy for the Pink Sand-verbena (Abronia umbellata) in Canada (Proposed)

Pink Sand-verbena © University of Washington Press; reprinted with permission.

Pink Sand-verbena



September 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:

Fairbarns, M.D., C. Webb, L.K. Blight, N. Page, B. Costanzo, T. Kaye, T. Lea and J. McIntosh. 2006. Recovery Strategy for the Pink Sand-verbena (Abronia umbellata) in Canada [Proposed]. Species at Risk Act Recovery Strategy Series. Parks Canada Agency, Ottawa. vi + 21 pp.

Additional copies:

You can download additional copies from the SARA Public Registry.

Cover illustration: © University of Washington Press; reprinted with permission

Également disponible en français sous le titre :

« Programme de rétablissement de l'abronie rose (Abronia umbellata) au Canada [Proposition] »

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

Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication

Recovery strategy for the pink sand-verbena (Abronia umbellata) in Canada (proposed) [electronic resource].

(Species At Risk Act recovery strategy series)
Electronic monograph in PDF format.
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Issued also in French under title: Programme de rétablissement de l'abronie rose (Abronia umbellata) au Canada (proposé).
Includes bibliographical references.
ISBN 0-662-43894-9
Cat. no.: R62-388/2006E-PDF

1. Pink sand verbena--Conservation--Canada. 2. Pink sand verbena--Conservation--British Columbia. 3. Wildlife recovery--Canada. 4. Endangered plants--Canada. 5. Plant conservation--British Columbia. I. Parks Canada II. Series: Species At Risk Act recovery strategy series (Online).

QK495.V5R42 2006

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


This Recovery Strategy addresses the recovery of the Pink Sand-verbena. In Canada, the species occurrence consists of a single occurrence in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve of Canada, on the west coast of Vancouver Island. The species has not been seen at this site since 2001 but it is assumed that the species may still persist as dormant seeds and may produce reproductive plants at some future date.

Under the Accord for the Protection of Species at Risk (1996), the federal, provincial, and territorial governments agreed to work together on legislation, programs, and policies to protect wildlife species at risk throughout Canada. The Species at Risk Act (S.C. 2002, c.29) (SARA) requires the competent minister to prepare recovery strategies for listed Extirpated, Endangered and Threatened species.

The Parks Canada Agency led the preparation of this recovery strategy with the members of the Pink Sand-verbena Recovery Team, and in cooperation and consultation with the Province of British Columbia, Environment Canada/Canadian Wildlife Service, First Nations and landowners.

This strategy will be complemented by one action plan that will provide details regarding specific recovery measures to be taken to support conservation of the species. The Minister of the Environment will take steps to ensure that, to the extent possible, Canadians interested in or directly affected by these measures will be consulted.

Success in the recovery of this species depends on the commitment and cooperation of many different constituencies that will be involved in implementing the directions set out in this strategy. In the spirit of the Accord for the Protection of Species at Risk in Canada, all Canadians are invited to join in supporting and implementing this strategy for the benefit of the species and Canadian society as a whole. The Minister will report on progress within five years.

Strategic Environmental Assessment

A strategic environmental assessment (SEA) is conducted on 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 environmentally-sound decision making.

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 non-target species or habitats. The results of the SEA are incorporated directly in the strategy itself, but are also summarized below:

The Recovery Strategy for the Pink Sand-verbena (Abronia umbellata) in Canada underwent a strategic environmental assessment (SEA) review in accordance with the 2004 Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals. Impact assessment methodology focussed on identification and assessment of actions capable of generating environmental effects. Positive and negative impacts were considered. Scope of the assessment included review and evaluation of all actions proposed in the Recovery Strategy for the Pink Sand-verbena in Canada. Proposals thought to have potential to generate adverse environmental effects were assessed and documented in greater detail. Results of the assessment are briefly discussed here. Please consult the Strategic Environmental Assessment of the Recovery Strategy for the Pink Sand-verbena in Canada (Parks Canada Agency 2006), for more detailed environmental assessment documentation.

The Recovery Strategy identified current threats to the Pink Sand-verbena and its habitat. Knowledge gaps were also identified. Recovery objectives and actions are clearly focused on resolving threats and filling information gaps. Individually and collectively the actions proposed in the recovery strategy have little potential to produce significant adverse environmental effects. Research and monitoring fieldwork activities have the greatest potential to generate negative environmental effects. Existing access trails and other low impact means of access will be employed to reach and traverse study sites whenever possible. This will significantly reduce the potential for impacts while undertaking these activities. Best practices will be employed when conducting fieldwork in areas where the potential for human induced wildlife disturbance exists. The environmental effects of fieldwork activities are avoidable or can be fully mitigated with known technology. Fieldwork impacts are therefore considered to be insignificant and reversible.

Single species recovery planning is intended to benefit an individual species at risk. The recovery strategy was developed with an understanding that some recovery strategy activities might result in environmental effects beyond the intended benefits. Both the recovery strategy and the SEA assessed the potential for the strategy to inadvertently produce adverse effects on other species. Results indicate likely benefits to the Pink Sand-verbena population and other species occupying beachhead habitat.

Recovery strategy implementation is expected to result in a reduction of threats affecting Pink Sand-verbena, and improved understanding of its ecology in coastal British Columbia. This knowledge will help focus current and subsequent recovery planning actions for the species and increase the probability of successful recovery.

Some recovery strategy actions, such vegetative translocation, may require project-level environmental assessment as required under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA). For all activities that do trigger the CEAA, the environmental effects of those undertakings will be assessed pursuant to the provisions of the Act.

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