Strategic and Scientific Thinking about American Chestnut Recovery

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Strategic and Scientific Thinking about American Chestnut Recovery

Strategic and Scientific Thinking about American Chestnut Recovery

Summary of ESA Content on Recovery Government Response Statements The ESA states: “[T]he Minister

Summary of ESA Content on Recovery Government Response Statements The ESA states: “[T]he Minister shall publish a statement that summarizes the actions that the Government of Ontario intends to take in response to the recovery strategy and the Government's priorities with respect to taking those actions. ” It also states that the Minister shall ensure the implementation of the actions referred to in a GRS that, in the opinion of the Minister, are feasible and are within the responsibilities of the Minister. In reaching an opinion about whether something is feasible, the Minister may consider social and economic factors. 2

Summary of ESA Content on Recovery Government Response Statements The SARB website states: “This

Summary of ESA Content on Recovery Government Response Statements The SARB website states: “This statement outlines the government’s goal for the recovery of the species and summarizes the prioritized actions the government intends to take or support for the protection and recovery of the species. It is based on advice provided in the recovery strategy, social and economic factors, and input from stakeholders, other jurisdictions, Aboriginal communities and members of the public. ” 3

Summary of ESA Content on Recovery Strategies The ESA states: A recovery strategy prepared

Summary of ESA Content on Recovery Strategies The ESA states: A recovery strategy prepared for a species shall include the following: 1. An identification of the habitat needs of the species. 2. A description of the threats to the survival and recovery of the species. 3. Recommendations to the Minister and other persons on, i. objectives for the protection and recovery of the species, ii. approaches to achieve the objectives recommended under subparagraph i, and iii. the area that should be considered in developing a habitat regulation for the species. 4. Such other information as is prescribed by the regulations. 4

Summary of ESA Content on Recovery Strategies The SARB website states: “Under the Endangered

Summary of ESA Content on Recovery Strategies The SARB website states: “Under the Endangered Species Act, a recovery strategy is developed to provide the ministry with the best available scientific knowledge on what is required to recover a species. A recovery strategy outlines the habitat needs and the threats to the survival and recovery of the species. It also makes recommendations on the objectives for protection and recovery, the approaches to achieve those objectives, and the physical area that should be considered in the development of a habitat regulation. ” A very similar explanation is given in the preamble of documents in the Ontario Recovery Strategy Series. The preamble within published Government Response Statements says: “The response statement is the government’s policy response to the scientific advice provided in the recovery strategy. ” 5

Summary of ESA Content on Recovery Authorizations Under the section entitled “Stewardship Agreements, ”

Summary of ESA Content on Recovery Authorizations Under the section entitled “Stewardship Agreements, ” the ESA states: “Before entering into an agreement under this section, the Minister shall consider any statement that has been published under subsection 11 (8) with respect to a recovery strategy for the species specified in the agreement. ” Under the section entitled “Permits, ” the ESA states: “Before issuing a permit under this section, the Minister shall consider any statement that has been published under subsection 11 (8) with respect to a recovery strategy for the species specified in the permit. ” 6

Summary of ESA Content on Recovery Authorizations In the preamble to government response statements,

Summary of ESA Content on Recovery Authorizations In the preamble to government response statements, it says: “Actions identified as ‘high’ will be given priority consideration for funding under the ESA. Where reasonable, the government will also consider the priority assigned to these actions when reviewing and issuing authorizations under the Endangered Species Act. Other organizations are encouraged to consider these priorities when developing projects or mitigation plans related to species at risk. The government will focus its support on these high-priority actions over the next five years. ” 7

GRS on American Chestnut Goal Statement “The government’s goal for the recovery of American

GRS on American Chestnut Goal Statement “The government’s goal for the recovery of American Chestnut is to retain the current population level and distribution in Ontario while increasing genetic diversity and reproductive success, and where possible, explore the feasibility of implementing blight control measures to restore the species to a self-sustaining state. ” 8

GRS on American Chestnut Government-supported Actions Inventory and Monitoring 1. (HIGH) Develop and implement

GRS on American Chestnut Government-supported Actions Inventory and Monitoring 1. (HIGH) Develop and implement a standardized survey monitoring program for naturally -occurring populations of American Chestnut 2. Identify and assess planted populations of American Chestnut across Ontario to: • • • 9 determine the genetic parentage and geographical source of the trees; act as potential sources of genetically-resistant trees for future restoration efforts and research purposes; and reduce the risk of spreading blight from planted chestnut trees to naturallyoccurring American Chestnuts.

GRS on American Chestnut Government-supported Actions Threat Management 3. (HIGH) Conserve and enhance genetic

GRS on American Chestnut Government-supported Actions Threat Management 3. (HIGH) Conserve and enhance genetic diversity of American Chestnuts through the establishment of quarantined plantations (e. g. , from seed or clones) and facilitated propagation (e. g. , cross pollination) in naturally-occurring populations. 4. (HIGH) Investigate the effectiveness of producing a modified American Chestnut with genes from blight resistant or blight-tolerant Chestnut species (e. g. , Chinese Chestnut). 5. Investigate the effectiveness of breeding American Chestnut with other American Chestnuts for blight resistance. 6. Investigate the effectiveness of inoculating the species with a viral infection to weaken the blight fungus and decrease the species’ vulnerability to the disease. 10

GRS on American Chestnut Government-supported Actions Awareness 7. Promote awareness among land management authorities,

GRS on American Chestnut Government-supported Actions Awareness 7. Promote awareness among land management authorities, private landowners, conservation partners, and Aboriginal communities of the need to increase protection of American Chestnut, reduce the movement of all chestnut species, and limit the spread of blight. 11

GRS on American Chestnut Inventory, Monitoring and Threat Management “The abundance of American chestnut

GRS on American Chestnut Inventory, Monitoring and Threat Management “The abundance of American chestnut and the number of blight-free trees in southern Ontario is higher than previously known. ” (Tindall et al. 2004) What is the current state of knowledge of the distribution of Chestnut blight relative to American Chestnut? How can this be explained, taking into consideration the provenance of the blight-free trees, their age-class and changes in distribution over the last decade? What are the implications? 12

GRS on American Chestnut Threat Management Plant Quarantine: “All activities designed to prevent the

GRS on American Chestnut Threat Management Plant Quarantine: “All activities designed to prevent the introduction or spread of quarantine pests or to ensure their official control” (IPPC 2012). “Official control” means, among other things, “the application of mandatory phytosanitary procedures with the objective of eradication or containment […] or for the management of” a plant pest. What procedures, if any, are available to reduce the risk of introduction of Chestnut Blight into plantations (e. g. barriers at the tree, at the site)? 13