Critical Habitat of the Fernald's Braya (Braya fernaldii) Order: SOR/2021-12
Canada Gazette, Part II, Volume 155, Number 4
SOR/2021-12 February 8, 2021
SPECIES AT RISK ACT
Whereas the Fernald's Braya (Braya fernaldii) is a wildlife species that is listed as an endangered species in Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act footnote a;
Whereas the action plan that identified the critical habitat of that species has been included in the Species at Risk Public Registry;
Whereas no portion of the critical habitat of that species that is specified in the annexed Order is in a place referred to in subsection 58(2) footnote b of that Act;
Whereas, pursuant to subsection 58(5) of that Act, the competent minister must consult with every other competent minister and whereas the Minister of the Environment is also the Minister responsible for the Parks Canada Agency;
And whereas the Minister of the Environment is of the opinion that the annexed Order would affect land that is under the authority of the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and, pursuant to subsection 58(9) of that Act, has consulted with that Minister with respect to the Order;
Therefore, the Minister of the Environment, pursuant to subsections 58(4) and (5) of the Species at Risk Act footnote a, makes the annexed Critical Habitat of the Fernald's Braya (Braya fernaldii) Order.
Gatineau, February 5, 2021
Minister of the Environment
Critical Habitat of the Fernald's Braya (Braya fernaldii) Order
1 Subsection 58(1) of the Species at Risk Act applies to the critical habitat of the Fernald's Braya (Braya fernaldii), which is identified in the action plan for that species that is included in the Species at Risk Public Registry.
Coming into force
2 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.)
Loss of habitat is one of the greatest threats to biodiversity and species persistence in the world today. footnote 1 Protecting the habitat of species at risk is therefore key to their conservation, and to the preservation of biodiversity.
Fernald's Braya (Braya fernaldii) is a small (10 cm tall) herbaceous perennial plant endemic to the limestone barrens ecosystem on the Island of Newfoundland, Canada. footnote 2 The main threats to the Fernald's Braya are loss and degradation of habitat due to human activities, as well as non-native species (e.g. insect pests and pathogens). Fernald's Braya was listed as threatened under the Species at Risk Act (SARA or the Act) in 2003. The species was subsequently reassessed by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) in 2012 as endangered. In February 2018, the species was reclassified from threatened to endangered on Schedule 1 of SARA.
As required by SARA, a final recovery strategy for Fernald's Braya was posted on the Species at Risk (SAR) Public Registry on July 7, 2012. The recovery strategy identified habitat that is necessary for the survival or recovery of the species (also known as critical habitat), some of which occurs on federal land on the Island of Newfoundland. Subsequently, the action plan for the Fernald's Braya was posted on March 28, 2018, which identified additional critical habitat for the Fernald's Braya and provided updated maps of the critical habitat. In 2020, the action plan was amended to allow for a more comprehensive description of the critical habitat, including both the description of the approach and the biophysical attributes.
When, in a final posted recovery strategy or action plan, all of a species' critical habitat or portions of that critical habitat have been identified on federal lands, footnote 3 SARA requires that it be protected within 180 days. The Department of the Environment (the Department) has determined that portions of the critical habitat of the Fernald's Braya located on federal land are not protected under SARA or another Act of Parliament, and that a ministerial order pursuant to section 58 of SARA is required.
Canada's natural heritage is an integral part of its identity and history. In 1992, Canada signed and ratified the Convention on Biological Diversity (the Convention). The Convention is an international legal agreement between governments that was established to help ensure that biological diversity is conserved and used sustainably. The text of the Convention notes that the conservation of ecosystems and habitats is a “fundamental requirement for the conservation of biological diversity.”
As a party to this Convention, Canada has developed a national strategy for the conservation of biological diversity (the Canadian Biodiversity Strategy), and federal legislation to protect species at risk, Canada's Species at Risk Act. The purposes of SARA are to prevent wildlife species from being extirpated from Canada or becoming extinct; to provide for recovery of wildlife species that are listed as extirpated, endangered or threatened as a result of human activity; and to manage species of special concern to prevent them from becoming endangered or threatened. footnote 4 Consistent with the Convention, SARA recognizes that the habitat of species at risk is key to their conservation, and includes provisions that enable the protection of this habitat.
Habitat protection under SARA
Once a species has been listed under SARA as endangered, threatened or extirpated, the competent federal minister(s) footnote 5 must prepare a recovery strategy. Recovery strategies must contain information such as a description of the species, threats to species survival and, to the extent possible, the identification of the species' critical habitat (i.e. the habitat necessary for a listed wildlife species' recovery or survival). Recovery strategies are posted on the SAR Public Registry.
Following the development of a recovery strategy, the Act requires the development of one or more action plans for the species. Action plans summarize the projects and activities required to meet recovery strategy objectives and goals. They include information on habitat, details of protection measures, and evaluation of socio-economic costs and benefits.
When, in a final posted recovery strategy or action plan, critical habitat or portions of critical habitat have been identified on federal lands, in the exclusive economic zone of Canada or on the continental shelf of Canada, or the listed species is an aquatic species or a migratory bird protected by the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994, SARA requires that it be protected within 180 days of the date of posting on the SAR Public Registry.
If the critical habitat is located in a migratory bird sanctuary under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994, in a national park described in Schedule 1 of the Canada National Parks Act, in the Rouge National Urban Park established by the Rouge National Urban Park Act, in a marine protected area under the Oceans Act or in a national wildlife area under the Canada Wildlife Act, the competent minister must publish a description of that critical habitat in the Canada Gazette within 90 days of the date that critical habitat was identified in a final recovery strategy or action plan. Ninety days after this description of the critical habitat is published in the Canada Gazette, the critical habitat protection under subsection 58(1) of SARA (i.e. prohibiting the destruction of the critical habitat) comes into effect automatically, and the critical habitat located in the federal protected area is legally protected under SARA.
If the critical habitat or any portion of that habitat is found on federal lands other than a federal protected area listed in the previous paragraph, the competent minister must, under subsection 58(5) of SARA, either make a ministerial order to apply subsection 58(1) of SARA, prohibiting the destruction of this critical habitat, within 180 days following the identification of this habitat in a final posted recovery strategy or action plan, or publish on the SAR Public Registry a statement explaining how the critical habitat or portions of it are legally protected under SARA or another Act of Parliament.
Permits issued under SARA
A person intending to engage in an activity affecting a listed species, any part of its critical habitat or the residences of its individuals that is prohibited under SARA may apply to the competent minister for a permit under section 73 of the Act. A permit may be issued if the competent minister is of the opinion that the activity meets one of three purposes:
- (a) the activity is scientific research relating to the conservation of the species and conducted by qualified persons;
- (b) the activity benefits the species or is required to enhance its chance of survival in the wild; or
- (c) affecting the species is incidental to the carrying out of the activity.
The permit may only be issued if the competent minister is of the opinion that the following three preconditions are met:
- (a) all reasonable alternatives to the activity that would reduce the impact on the species have been considered and the best solution has been adopted;
- (b) all feasible measures will be taken to minimize the impact of the activity on the species or its critical habitat or the residences of its individuals; and
- (c) the activity will not jeopardize the survival or recovery of the species.
Section 74 of SARA allows for a competent minister to issue permits under another Act of Parliament (e.g. the Canada National Parks Act) to engage in an activity that affects a listed wildlife species, any part of its critical habitat or the residences of its individuals, and have the same effect as those issued under subsection 73(1) of SARA, if certain conditions are met. This is meant to reduce the need for multiple authorizations where the competent minister is the same under both acts.
The Fernald's Braya (Braya fernaldii) was listed under the SARA in 2003 as threatened. Fernald's Braya was subsequently reassessed by the COSEWIC in 2012 as endangered. In February 2018, the species was reclassified from threatened to endangered on Schedule 1 of SARA. The Minister of the Environment is the competent minister under SARA for the Fernald's Braya.
The Fernald's Braya is also listed as endangered under the Newfoundland and Labrador Endangered Species Act and benefits from protections under this piece of legislation.
The general prohibitions under section 32 (for individuals) apply automatically on federal lands in the provinces for terrestrial species listed as extirpated, endangered or threatened. As such, it is prohibited to kill, harm, harass, capture or take an individual Fernald's Braya, and to possess, collect, buy, sell or trade an individual Fernald's Braya, or any part or derivative of the plant.
The Recovery Strategy for the Long's Braya (Braya longii) and the Fernald's Braya (Braya fernaldii) in Canada (the recovery strategy) was posted on the Species at Risk Public Registry (SAR Public Registry) on July 6, 2012. The recovery strategy includes a partial identification of critical habitat for the species in Canada, and sets out a schedule of studies required to complete the identification of critical habitat. A recovery strategy may be amended, as described in section 45 of SARA, if additional scientific information becomes available.
The Action Plan for the Long's Braya (Braya longii) and the Fernald's Braya (Braya fernaldii) in Canada (the action plan) was posted on March 28, 2018, and subsequently amended on October 27, 2020. This action plan identifies recovery measures required to meet the population and distribution objective to maintain populations within the current species range and, when possible, attain self-sustaining populations.
Through the development and posting of the recovery documents, the competent minister consulted and cooperated with numerous groups, including other federal departments, the provincial government, Indigenous organizations and stakeholders.
Fernald's Braya critical habitat on federal land
The Fernald's Braya is located within the Great Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland. Fernald's Braya is endemic to the limestone barrens ecosystem and is currently found in several populations that span about 260 km of coastline from Bellburns to Burnt Cape, Newfoundland. Portions of the critical habitat identified in the Fernald's Braya action plan occur on five federal properties administered by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and the Parks Canada Agency (PCA). The properties are Cape Norman lighthouse (DFO) located near Cook's Harbour, Big Brook Wharf (DFO) located in Big Brook, and three properties found in Port au Choix: Port au Choix National Historic Site (PCA), Port au Choix Range Rear (DFO), and a portion of Point Riche Road (DFO). These federal lands are used for a variety of purposes, including the operation of a lighthouse, access roads, wharves, and heritage conservation.
The Department of the Environment has determined that the portions of critical habitat on these five properties are not protected under SARA or another Act of Parliament. As such, a ministerial order pursuant to section 58 of SARA is required.
The objective of the Critical Habitat of the Fernald's Braya (Braya fernaldii) Order (the Order) is to support the survival and recovery of the Fernald's Braya through the legal protection of its critical habitat on federal land.
The Order will apply the prohibition against the destruction of critical habitat set out in subsection 58(1) of SARA to the critical habitat of the Fernald's Braya on federal land. The Order will apply to five federal properties located on the Island of Newfoundland: Cape Norman lighthouse (DFO), Big Brook Wharf (DFO), Port au Choix National Historic Site (PCA), Port au Choix Range Rear (DFO), and a portion of the Point Riche Road (DFO).
Activities likely to destroy critical habitat
The recovery strategy for the Fernald's Braya describes the types of activities that would be likely to result in the destruction of critical habitat. Examples of these activities include, but are not limited to, activities that involve the following:
- The removal of vegetation and/or the organic layer that can result in the destruction of critical habitat. Specific examples include commercial or industrial activities such as limestone gravel excavation, quarrying, drilling and road construction. Other local activities include the development of recreational trails for ecotourism purposes. It should be noted that these activities occur infrequently but result in a significant loss of habitat;
- Substrate compaction and substrate damage (e.g. limestone shattering) that affects normal root function, seedling recruitment, and natural hydrologic patterns. Specific examples capable of causing compaction and substrate damage include inappropriate maintenance of roads, utility corridors, and service lines; recreational use of off-road vehicles; and the placement of temporary or permanent structures. It is important to note that even a single pass of an off-road vehicle (e.g. all-terrain vehicle or dirt bike), especially when substrate is wet, can cause enough compaction to result in the temporary loss of habitat function; and
- Any activity on critical habitat that may result in the disturbance or alteration of the habitat in such a way as to reduce the quality of habitat by removing substrate or damaging components of the plant community. Specific examples include the laying out of fish nets or other fishing equipment, wood piling, the collecting of rock or plants for horticultural purposes, the collecting of fossils, allowing any domestic animal to run at large, picnicking or camping, the depositing of waste material, and the introduction of plants or animals non-native to the limestone barrens.
In 2011, prior to posting the proposed recovery strategy for the Fernald's Braya, the Department engaged in consultations with stakeholders. One response was received, which was supportive of the recovery strategy. No concerns were raised during these consultations. Following these pre-posting consultations, the proposed recovery strategy was posted on the SAR Public Registry for public comment on October 20, 2011, for a 60-day period. Three comments were received that were supportive of the recovery strategy and provided suggested changes. The final recovery strategy was posted on July 6, 2012.
Subsequently, the Department and PCA worked collaboratively with DFO and the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador in the development of the action plan for the Fernald's Braya. The proposed action plan for the Fernald's Braya was posted on the SAR Public Registry on August 5, 2016, for a 60-day public comment period. One comment was received to request an additional clarification, which was provided. The province was also supportive and the final action plan was posted on March 28, 2018. The province was also supportive of the amendments in the amended action plan posted on October 27, 2020.
In December 2019, letters were sent to the Newfoundland and Labrador Government, DFO, PCA, as well as Miawpukek and Qalipu First Nations, indicating that the Department would be moving forward with the Order. Recipients were invited to provide comments. No concerns were raised. Further to that, in March 2020, PCA also sent similar letters to 15 partner and stakeholder groups of the Port au Choix National Historic Site, indicating the Department would be moving forward with the Order. In line with commitments made by PCA, additional Indigenous groups in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador were also consulted with in preparation for the Order. While recipients were invited to provide comments, no concerns were raised.
Modern treaty obligations and Indigenous engagement and consultation
Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982 recognizes and affirms aboriginal and treaty rights of Indigenous peoples of Canada, including rights related to activities, practices, and traditions of Indigenous peoples that are integral to their distinctive culture. As required by the Cabinet Directive on the Federal Approach to Modern Treaty Implementation, an assessment of modern treaty implications was conducted for the Order. The assessment found no modern treaty implications given the location of the species and no Indigenous groups with modern treaties in the area.
Benefits and costs
It is expected that the Order, in combination with additional protection and recovery measures, will contribute to the recovery of Fernald's Braya. The Fernald's Braya and its critical habitat provide various benefits to society, including recreational and aesthetic values, co-benefits for other species, and potential contributions to future research. This analysis does not reveal any major incremental cost impacts on stakeholders and Indigenous peoples. The Government of Canada will incur minor costs related to compliance promotion and enforcement.
This cost-benefit analysis considers incremental impacts of the Critical Habitat of the Fernald's Braya (Braya fernaldii) Order. Incremental impacts are defined as the difference between the baseline scenario and the scenario in which the Order is implemented over the same period. The baseline scenario for the cost analysis includes activities ongoing on federally administered lands where Fernald's Braya's critical habitat may be found, and incorporates any likely changes over the next 10 years (2021 – 2030) without the Order in place. An analytical period of 10 years was selected, because section 24 of SARA states that the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) must reassess the status of the species every 10 years.
Unless otherwise noted, all monetary values reported in this analysis are in 2020 constant dollars.
Benefits of the Order
This Order will support the overall recovery objective identified in the recovery strategy for the Fernald's Braya by protecting the species' critical habitat from destruction on federal land. Although all of the benefits associated with the continued existence of the species cannot be attributed to the Order in isolation, these benefits are presented below for context.
Canadians place value on Canada's natural assets. This analysis reveals that the recovery of the Fernald's Braya will be associated with maintaining and enhancing a variety of benefits for Canadians, including recreational and aesthetic values, co-benefits for other species, and benefits from the Fernald's Braya's potential use in future research.
People may derive recreational and aesthetic benefits from observing Fernald's Braya in its natural habitat. The species is unique and endemic to the limestone barrens ecosystem on the Great Northern Peninsula on the Island of Newfoundland, Canada. This is a globally rare habitat with distinctive climactic, geological, and biological characteristics. footnote 6 The limestone barrens flora is valued by local communities for its contribution to ecotourism in Newfoundland and Labrador. footnote 7
Preventing the extinction of a given species contributes to overall biodiversity, the maintenance of which is essential for healthy ecosystems, human health, prosperity, and well-being. Overall, the Order may benefit the larger ecological community as well as other species at risk (including the endangered Long's Braya). The limestone barrens are ecologically important as a hotspot for rare plant diversity. footnote 8 Approximately one third of rare vascular plants on the Island of Newfoundland reside in ecoregions containing limestone barrens and some, like Fernald's Braya, are endemic to these unique ecoregions. footnote 9
Society also places a value on retaining the option of possible future uses associated with a species. The option value of the Fernald's Braya to Canadians stems from the preservation of its genetic information that may be used in future research.
Costs of the Order
Three locations on the Island of Newfoundland contain federal properties with unprotected portions of Fernald's Braya's critical habitat: Cape Norman lighthouse (one property), Big Brook (one property) and Port au Choix (three properties). The federal properties within these locations are managed by DFO and PCA.
Cape Norman lighthouse and the nearby town of Cook's Harbour (population < 100) attracts tourists visiting the Cape Norman lighthouse, whale watching, and visiting the L'Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site. The main activities that occur near Fernald's Braya's critical habitat at the federal property in this area include lighthouse operations, the use of walking paths, and hydro line maintenance. There are no anticipated incremental costs to stakeholders related to these activities, since they are not expected to be affected by the Order.
Fernald's Braya critical habitat is found along walking paths on the Cape Norman property as well as in some areas around the lighthouse. DFO has installed a number of signs on the property, including within the walking path area. These signs bring awareness of the presence of species at risk to people using the property in an effort to avoid disturbing the rare plants or their habitat. The small active parking lot near the lighthouse does not meet the biophysical attributes of Fernald's Braya's critical habitat. Parking is sufficient for the current and projected use of the property and pressure to expand the parking lot is not expected. The Order is also unlikely to affect the power company that maintains the hydro line and utility pole on the property, since a SARA permit is already required for activities that could affect Fernald's Braya.
In Big Brook, one property affected by the Order — the Big Brook Wharf — is no longer deemed vital to the commercial fishing industry. In the long term, DFO plans to demolish the infrastructure and restore the site to its natural state (primarily water lot and immediate shoreline). No short-term plans for this demolition are currently in place. Mitigation measures would be in place during the demolition phase. No incremental impacts on stakeholders are therefore expected as a result of the Order.
Fernald's Braya's critical habitat can also be found on federal properties near Port au Choix, including the Port au Choix National Historic Site, Port au Choix Range Rear, and a portion of Point Riche Road. Main activities that could threaten Fernald's Braya's critical habitat on these properties are the construction of new walking trails and infrastructure, and maintenance of a hydro line.
There are approximately 10 000 to 15 000 visitors to the Port au Choix National Historic Site each year. Visitors use the site for recreational purposes such as hiking and accessing fishing and hunting grounds. Several information sources, including signs and PCA's website, ask visitors to stay on trails and educate them about the limestone barrens' plants. NL Hydro (Nalcor Energy Company) maintains a transmission line that runs through the Port au Choix site. No major changes to the maintenance work are anticipated due to the Order, since any such work would already be subject to a SARA permit. Portions of the Point Riche Road and Port au Choix Range Rear are also frequented by hikers and tourists. Information signs are posted at the beginning of the access road and along the trails, advising visitors to stay on the trail.
While there are no asserted or accepted land claims within the area, the Port au Choix National Historic Site has clear evidence of use by three ancient and four historic and contemporary Indigenous groups. There are currently five Indigenous groups in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Since Fernald's Braya has no known traditional significance to Indigenous groups, the incremental impacts of the Order on the First Nations communities in the area are expected to be minimal.
This analysis also considers the potential for issuance of permits under section 73(1) of SARA. Such permits could allow for habitat destruction under certain conditions. Permits are assessed on a case-by-case basis at the time of application and may be granted only where all reasonable alternatives have been considered and the best solution has been adopted; all feasible measures are taken to minimize the negative impact of the activity; and the activity will not jeopardize the survival or recovery of the species. Although no conclusions can be made on whether a permit could be issued prior to the submission of an application, this analysis takes into account the potential labour cost implications of permit application development and review. Over the 10-year period, for the five identified properties, five permit applications were included in the analysis, with a total cost to Government of approximately $13,600 and a total cost to applicants of approximately $7,800.
Compliance promotion and enforcement
The federal government will incur incremental costs related to compliance and promotion activities as well as inspections, investigations, and measures to deal with any alleged offences under the proposed order. Pre-operational enforcement efforts (i.e. intelligence analysis and engagement with partner agencies) are estimated to cost about $1,800.
The enforcement costs during the first year of operation are estimated at about $18,000. These include $600 for analysis, $7,000 for inspections (including operations and transportation costs), $1,000 for measures to deal with alleged violations (including warnings), $1,000 for investigations, and $8,000 for proceeding with prosecutions. The estimated total for each subsequent year of operation is about $16,000.
The present value of all costs described above is estimated at about $160,000 over 10 years (discounted at 3%), $139,000 of which is attributed to enforcement costs. No costs to Indigenous peoples were identified.
Small business lens
The small business lens does not apply, as the Order will not impose any compliance or administrative costs on small businesses.
Section 5 of the Red Tape Reduction Act (the one-for-one rule) does not apply, as the Order is not expected to impose any new administrative burden on businesses.
Strategic environmental assessment
A strategic environmental assessment (SEA) was conducted for the Order. The SEA concluded that, although the benefits associated with the continued existence of the species cannot be attributed to the Order alone, the legal protection of the critical habitat for the Fernald's Braya on federal land would have benefits for the species. The Order will also benefit other species that inhabit or visit the federal land and protect the limestone barrens habitat unique to this location.
The objective of the Order directly supports the following goal of the 2019 – 2022 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS): “Healthy Wildlife Populations — All species have healthy and viable populations.” The Order supports the goal's medium-term target, “By 2020, species that are secure remain secure and populations of species at risk listed under federal law exhibit trends that are consistent with recovery strategies and management plans.” The objective of the Order supports the Canadian Biodiversity Strategy, which recognizes the importance of protecting the habitats of species at risk as a key component of conserving biological diversity. The protection of habitat by the Order will also contribute to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, particularly Sustainable Development Goal 15 — “Life on Land.”
In summary, the Order will contribute to the recovery of the Fernald's Braya, although its contribution is likely to be limited given that the portion of critical habitat found on federal land is a small proportion of the critical habitat of the species. The incremental costs of the Order include Government of Canada actions related to compliance promotion and enforcement. No incremental costs to stakeholders or Indigenous peoples were identified.
Gender-based analysis plus
A gender-based analysis plus (GBA+) was performed for this proposal, looking at whether characteristics such as sex, gender, age, race, sexual orientation, income, education, employment status, language, visible minority status, disability or religion could influence how a person is impacted by the Order. The analysis found that, in general, Canadians benefit positively from the protection of species at risk and from maintaining biodiversity. No GBA+ impacts have been identified.
The Fernald's Braya is listed as an endangered species under SARA. The species is restricted to a rare habitat type within an ecologically and geologically unique region. Portions of the species' critical habitat on five federal properties are currently unprotected. SARA section 58 obliges the competent minister to put in place protection for critical habitat of endangered and threatened species on federal lands where protection is not in place. The Order will support the survival and recovery of the Fernald's Braya through the protection of the critical habitat on federal land, consistent with the overall objectives of SARA and Canada's biodiversity commitments under the Convention on Biological Diversity.
Implementation, compliance and enforcement, and service standards
The implementation of the Order will provide protection and recourse against the destruction of the Fernald's Braya critical habitat on federal land to which the Order applies.
PCA will be responsible for issuing permits, compliance promotion and enforcement of the Order on lands and waters under its jurisdiction. These lands are patrolled and protected by PCA's law enforcement personnel. On lands administered by PCA, proposed projects that might impact Fernald's Braya or its habitat will be assessed by either PCA's research permitting system or the Parks Canada Environmental Impact Assessment Process, under Canada's Impact Assessment Act (2019), including a careful assessment of potential impacts to all implicated species at risk and compliance with SARA.
The Department of the Environment will be responsible for issuing permits, compliance promotion and enforcement of the Order on the four properties administered by DFO. The Department has developed a compliance promotion strategy outlining activities focused towards federal land managers. The Department will continue to work with DFO and PCA to contribute to the conservation and protection of the Fernald's Braya and its critical habitat. The action plan for the Fernald's Braya provides information on other ongoing and future recovery measures to help achieve recovery for the Fernald's Braya. The Department will also continue to work with local habitat stewardship groups to help protect and bring awareness to species at risk in the unique limestone barrens habitat.
SARA provides for penalties for contraventions to the Act, including fines or imprisonment and seizure and forfeiture of things seized or of the proceeds of their disposition. Alternative measures agreements may also be used to deal with an alleged offender under certain conditions. SARA also provides for inspections and search and seizure operations by enforcement officers designated under the Act. Under the penalty provisions of the Act, a corporation other than a non-profit corporation found guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction is liable to a fine of not more than $300,000, a non-profit corporation is liable to a fine of not more than $50,000 and any other person is liable to a fine of not more than $50,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than one year, or to both. A corporation other than a non-profit corporation found guilty of an indictable offence is liable to a fine of not more than $1,000,000, a non-profit corporation to a fine of not more than $250,000, and any other person to a fine of not more than $250,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than five years, or to both.
The Permits Authorizing an Activity Affecting Listed Wildlife Species Regulations, which came into effect on June 19, 2013, impose a 90-day timeline on the Government of Canada to either issue or refuse permits under section 73 of SARA to authorize activities that may affect listed wildlife species. The 90-day timeline may be suspended in certain situations and may not apply in certain circumstances, such as a permit issued under another Act of Parliament (e.g. the Canada National Parks Act) as per section 74 of SARA. These Regulations contribute to consistency, predictability and transparency in the SARA permitting process by providing applicants with clear and measurable service standards. The Department measures its service performance annually and performance information is posted on the Department's website no later than June 1 for the preceding fiscal year.
SARA Policy and Regulatory Affairs
Canadian Wildlife Service
Environment and Climate Change Canada
Annex 1 — Description of the Fernald's Braya
Fernald's Braya (Braya fernaldii) is a small (10 cm tall) herbaceous perennial plant in the mustard family Brassicaceae. It has fleshy, dark green to purplish, linear spatulate (spoon-shaped) leaves arranged in rosettes and four-petalled white to pinkish or purplish flowers.
Fernald's Braya is endemic to the limestone barrens ecosystem on the Island of Newfoundland, Canada. It is currently found in an area that spans about 260 km of coastline from Bellburns to Burnt Cape, Newfoundland. It is likely that Fernald's Braya occurs sparsely throughout the almost continuous strip of limestone barrens at the northern (70 km) end of its range.