Caribou are one of Canada’s most recognizable national symbols, but their populations are under threat across Canada. To help support caribou populations in north eastern Alberta, oil sands companies are collaborating to restore caribou habitat.
Old, linear corridors from early oil and natural gas exploration have been very slow to regenerate and many of these open corridors have not returned to forest cover on their own. These long open stretches within the boreal forest make it easier for wolves to hunt caribou.
The Caribou Habitat Restoration Project addresses these legacy linear disturbances and is working to return the boreal forest to its natural state as a caribou habitat. The project uses proven reforestation techniques, such as mounding the ground, planting trees on these mounds, adding woody debris and leaning tree stems into the pathways to help cover historical corridors cut into the forest for seismic work, access roads and other activities.
Since 2013, this project has cumulatively treated more than 700 kilometres of linear disturbances and planted more than 850,000 trees (including almost 300,000 trees Kristen and her team planted in August alone).