August 2016


Cenovus invests in caribou habitat restoration

Cenovus Caribou habitat infographicCenovus Energy announced in early June it would spend $32 million over 10 years to restore caribou habitats affected by its Alberta oil sands operations. Cenovus has worked to restore the caribou habitats near its Foster Creek oil sands operation through various pilot projects since 2008. Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) also plans to continue restoring the caribou habitat in the Athabasca and Cold Lake oil sand areas. Cenovus’s commitment came a week after the Alberta government said it had accepted all the recommendations in mediator Eric Denhoff’s report on developing a provincial caribou protection strategy, including providing more permanent range protection. The government also released a draft of its plan to recover the caribou populations in west-central Alberta which recommends the restoration of over 10,000 kilometres of deforested terrain created by past oil and gas exploration, and will eventually develop plans for all caribou ranges in the province; a plan for the Cold Lake range, which overlaps with several oil sands operations including Cenovus’s Foster Creek, is expected in 2017. The province’s caribou are listed as threatened under the Alberta Wildlife Act. Part of that decline is attributed to those long tracks of seismic exploration lines which have made the caribou easy prey for wolves.

 – Vince Morello

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