Algar Caribou Habitat Restoration
The Landscape Ecological Assessment and Planning (LEAP) tool is being used in an OSLI reclamation project in the Algar Region that is aimed at reducing the impact of historical industrial disturbances on woodland caribou habitat.
Although no OSLI company has worked in the Algar area, it is being included in OSLI’s regional approach to caribou protection in the southern Lower Athabasca Region. The Algar Region, which is home to one of seven East Side Athabasca River (ESAR) caribou herds, has not been the site of heavy industrial and forestry activity; however, oil and gas work has left linear paths through the area.
The area of the Algar Region targeted for reclamation is 570 square kilometres (km2) which includes 20 km2 of land disturbance. It is a large boggy wetland that spans six townships along the Athabasca River, southeast of Fort McMurray.
To help plan and measure reclamation of caribou habitat in the Algar Region, OSLI is using LEAP to establish a baseline for land use in the area.
In 2012, the first phase of a five- year restoration plan was started when reclamation specialists planted 45,000 trees in a remote region as an effort to restore woodland caribou habitat.