WSP worked with a group of stakeholders to develop the Boreal Caribou Habitat Restoration Pilot Program on the Parker Range in northern British Columbia. Senior members of the British Columbia Oil and Gas Commission, Ministry of Forestry Lands and Natural Resource Operations, Ministry of Environment and the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) have joined together in an effort to restore habitat within an entire boreal caribou range.
This is the first collaborative, landscape range restoration project of this scale in Canada, with WSP leading this group of stakeholders through the development of the project permitting, barriers to implementation, project planning, and an Indigenous Inclusion and Contracting Plan process. The plan has been designed to be implemented over a five year period, starting with a desktop disturbance and vegetation mapping exercise and implementation planning, through to applying restoration treatments and tactical implementation design. The project involves archaeology assessments, watercourse crossing assessments, local contractor procurement, tree planting, wildlife monitoring, and post-treatment monitoring.
Through WSP’s influence, the overall Program Plan included an Indigenous Inclusion Plan focused on utilizing local Fort Nelson First Nation owned businesses. Environmental field technicians and observers from local communities will help to build capacity within the community to support caribou habitat restoration efforts over the long-term in north-eastern British Columbia. During the Implementation Phase in 2017, over 36% of the Project spend went to Indigenous-owned businesses and over 40% went to local businesses to support the Project. The process used by WSP to engage the local communities, and the success of the Indigenous Inclusion Plan was considered a great success by the Government of British Columbia, and as a result their caribou planning and project execution practices have been amended to involve indigenous communities at the start of all new caribou restoration projects in that province.
Outcomes of the habitat restoration implementation are projected to be immediate for predator and human movement and access control, and to take 20 to 30 years for ecological habitat restoration for caribou.
* This work was performed by Golder professionals who joined WSP in an acquisition completed in 2021