|Sponsor:||Hinton Wood Products|
Object & Deliverables
The project was originally approved by FRIAA on September 2, 2008. The project was to address issues related to Integrated Land Management (ILM) of forest sector and energy sector industrial activity on the Hinton Wood Products (HWP) FMA. The goal was to integrate cumulative effects issues related to surface infrastructure development (primarily linear corridors and initially focused on LOC roads) from multiple companies and resource sectors. The scope was industrial surface footprint and related cumulative effects were to include public use. Values to be assessed for cumulative effects were to include caribou, grizzly bear, trumpeter swan, fish, wetlands, and water quality (sediment).
In Alberta there were, and still currently are, no established planning and approval processes to consider and address in a comprehensive manner the cumulative effects of all developments on a given land area. However, there are examples of companies and sectors working together on ILM programs and projects. For example, the Foothills Landscape Management Forum (FLMF) developed the Berland Smoky Access Plan for primary roads in the ranges of the A la Peche and Little Smoky caribou herds in 2007-2008. That plan was approved in Alberta. A main genesis of this FRIAA project was to take the partnerships and learnings from the development of the Berland Smoky Access ILM Plan and develop a similar plan for the remainder of HWP’s FMA area.
However, this project’s goal of developing a FMA-wide ILM Plan in consultation and cooperation with those involved in the ILM Plan developed by the FLMF never came to fruition. There were a number of reasons that this didn’t happen, including:
- The range planning process for the A la Peche and Little Smoky caribou herds are still ongoing (8 years later) and have yet to be resolved. It proved difficult to convince other companies to participate in the wilder ILM initiative proposed in this project while the planning process in the caribou range was still unresolved.
- The extent of the work required and cooperation necessary to complete a multi-partnered ILM plan across the entire FMA area was underestimated.
- We anticipated that this FRIAA project was going to be our contribution toward a larger multi-partnered ILM project and we were unable to secure funding from other potential participants.
- Much of the required work needed to undertake the inventory and planning process for HWP’s own existing and proposed roads had to be completed in-house due to the sensitivity of the data and the existing expertise (i.e. no one knows our existing roads and required future roading better than our staff). Time constraints on staff (the forest industry went through a large economic downturn from 2008 to 2013; consequently HWP’s woodlands department was not fully staffed) only allowed sporadic work on this project over the years.
Instead of abandoning the project, HWP took the strategy of developing an ILM Plan for its FMA by inventorying all the roads on the FMA (regardless of ownership) and then deciding what HWP’s future use of those roads might be. That way when other companies come to HWP to see if we want to take over a road after they are done using it, we can consult this plan to see it we may need it in the future. If HWP does not need the road, the plan provides direction on if the road could be reclaimed by the other company. If the road might be used in the future by HWP, the plan provides a deactivation strategy; and, if we might need the road right away, then the plan would say it should be maintained by HWP. This gives us much needed information and will result in far fewer roads being kept open. HWP also looked at future road access and where it is needed. Again, if another company is looking to develop road on the FMA, the ILM Plan developed in this project shows the preferred location of new road corridors, so that roads will be functional for both HWP and the other company (which should result in fewer kilometers of road being built).
The remainder of this report will provide an overview of what HWP did not accomplish in this project as compared to the project proposal.
The complete findings of this project are contained in the Final Report.