Surface Material Lease Impact Assessment, Mitigation, and End-use Recommendations

Fiera Biological was retained by Green Plan Ltd. to assess the potential impacts of a proposed Surface Material Lease on wildlife and wildlife habitats near Whitecourt, Alberta. The study area was located within the Athabasca River valley, an area that contained sensitive Class “C” watercourses, nesting area for trumpeter swans, and important Ungulate Winter Range. Fiera conducted field assessments to assess the potential impacts of the project on fisheries and species at risk, and modeled areas of critical ungulate habitat. We proposed a development plan that resulted in limiting the timing and volume of access into the lease, as well as identifying and designating a wildlife movement corridor through the area.

Cumulative impacts were addressed and an “end-use” plan that considered both human needs (resource extraction and recreation), as well as requirements for the protection and management of fisheries and species at risk. We combined a landscape view of the study area using GIS and available information with on-the-ground field assessment to provide scientifically defensible recommendations that were grounded in principles of conservation biology. Issues were vetted by regional experts, as well as Alberta Sustainable Resource Development (ASRD) biologists, which resulted in a well-rounded report that provided objective results, conclusions, and recommendations.

Green Plan Ltd.

Project Duration
July 2009 to December 2009