Vol. 148, No. 7 — March 26, 2014
SOR/2014-54 March 7, 2014
SPECIES AT RISK ACT
Emergency Order Amending the Emergency Order for the Protection of the Greater Sage-Grouse
P.C. 2014-263 March 6, 2014
Whereas the Minister of the Environment is of the opinion that the Greater Sage-Grouse faces imminent threats to its survival and recovery;
Therefore, His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, pursuant to section 80 of the Species at Risk Act (see footnote a), makes the annexed Emergency Order Amending the Emergency Order for the Protection of the Greater Sage-Grouse.
EMERGENCY ORDER AMENDING THE EMERGENCY ORDER FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE GREATER SAGE-GROUSE
1. The Emergency Order for the Protection of the Greater Sage-Grouse (see footnote 1) is amended by adding the following after section 1:
1.1 Despite paragraph 2(b) and subsections 3(7) and (8), this Order does not apply to
- (a) legal subdivision 12 of the northwest quarter-section of section 29, township 2, range 29 and west of the third meridian; and
- (b) legal subdivisions 3, 4, 5 and 6 of the southwest quarter-section of section 29, township 2, range 29 and west of the third meridian.
2. Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the Order is amended by replacing the references to “NW 29-2-29-W3 / N.O. 29-2-29-O.3” and “SW 29-2-29-W3 / S.O. 29-2-29-O.3” with the references “NW 29-2-29-W3 (See section 1.1 of this Order) / N.O. 29-2-29-O.3 (Voir l’article 1.1 du présent décret)” and “SW 29-2-29-W3 (See section 1.1 of this Order) / S.O. 29-2-29-O.3 (Voir l’article 1.1 du présent décret)”, respectively, in column 1.
COMING INTO FORCE
3. This Order comes into force on the day on which it is registered.
REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT
(This statement is not part of the Order.)
The Emergency Order for the Protection of the Greater Sage-Grouse, made pursuant to the Species at Risk Act, was published on December 4, 2013. The Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement that accompanied the Emergency Order stated that the Emergency Order did not apply to privately owned lands. Since then, the Department of the Environment (the Department) has become aware that five legal subdivisions included in Schedule 1 of the Order were sold by the Province of Saskatchewan to a private landowner while the Order was being finalized.
The Emergency Order Amending the Emergency Order for the Protection of the Greater Sage-Grouse removes the lands purchased by this individual from Schedule 1 of the Emergency Order for the Protection of the Greater Sage-Grouse.
The Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus urophasianus) is the largest of the North American indigenous grouse species. Over the past several decades, Canada’s Greater Sage-Grouse population has been reduced to remnant populations in Alberta and Saskatchewan, occupying approximately 7% of the species’ historic range. The Greater Sage-Grouse is now extirpated from British Columbia and five U.S. states. The current population trajectory for this species suggests that without increased protection and additional conservation actions, the Greater Sage-Grouse is likely to become extirpated from Canada within approximately five years.
The Emergency Order for the Protection of the Greater Sage-Grouse was published on December 4, 2013, to address the imminent threats to the survival and recovery of the Greater Sage-Grouse. The Emergency Order contains prohibitions that apply to a number of legal subdivisions (see footnote 2) found on provincial and federal Crown lands in southwestern Saskatchewan and southeastern Alberta. These include and surround all leks (mating sites) that were active with male Sage-Grouse in at least one of the years between 2007 and 2012. The lands are listed in Schedule 1 of the Order.
The Emergency Order was designed to limit some activities in key habitat areas on provincial and federal Crown lands. Five legal subdivisions out of 10 166 legal subdivisions within the area subject to the Order were sold by the Province of Saskatchewan to a private landowner during the development of the Order. The five legal subdivisions represent a total of 80 ha out of the 167 200 ha where the Order applies.
To correct Schedule 1 of the Emergency Order for the Protection of the Greater Sage-Grouse by removing five legal subdivisions from the area subject to the prohibitions, in order to ensure the Emergency Order does not apply to private lands.
The amendment removes the following five legal subdivisions (LSD) from Schedule 1 of the Emergency Order:
- SW-29-02-29-3, LSD 3
- SW-29-02-29-3, LSD 4
- SW-29-02-29-3, LSD 5
- SW-29-02-29-3, LSD 6
- NW-29-02-29-3, LSD 12
The “One-for-One” Rule does not apply to this proposal, as there is no change in administrative costs to business.
Small business lens
The small business lens does not apply to this proposal, as there are no costs (or only insignificant costs) to small business.
Environment Canada confirmed with the Province of Saskatchewan that the aforementioned legal subdivisions were sold to private interests prior to the Emergency Order publication on December 4, 2013.
The Department has also verified the land ownership of each of the legal subdivisions included in the Order. These five legal subdivisions are the only privately owned lands included in the Emergency Order.
The approach respects the Government of Canada’s policy direction of removing from the Order privately owned land that should not have been in the Order when it was made.
The correction will not substantially alter the Emergency Order’s contribution towards Greater Sage-Grouse recovery and survival. The 80 ha in question do not contain any breeding sites (leks) for the species, although they are located in suitable Sage-Grouse habitat. They amount to about 0.05% of the total area covered by the Order.
Implementation, enforcement and service standards
The Emergency Order no longer applies to the five legal subdivisions. No compliance promotion or enforcement activities are required.
Wildlife Program Support Division
Canadian Wildlife Service