IEG represents and supports Fort McKay in negotiations with the Government of Alberta to develop an access management plan for the west side of Fort McKay’s Traditional Territory.
As a result of oil sands development in northeastern Alberta, the community of Fort McKay has experienced substantial disturbance and increased public use in their Traditional Territory over the past 60 years. Linear disturbance associated with industrial development has led to a landscape fragmented by seismic lines, roads, pipelines and utility lines. This infrastructure continues to expand with new development and is used by the public to access areas of the land that were previously remote and relatively inaccessible. Recent studies conducted by Fort McKay and the Cumulative Environmental Management Association (CEMA) have demonstrated that increased public use of linear disturbances for recreational activities such as hunting, fishing and trapping has resulted in increased stress for wildlife and fish in the region.
Through previous research, Fort McKay has demonstrated that access management is a key solution to mitigating the negative effects of industrial disturbance and associated land uses to fish and wildlife. IEG is a technical representative for Fort McKay in negotiations with regulators to develop an access and linear disturbance management plan for the west side of Fort McKay’s Traditional Territory. The planning exercise is ongoing, and IEG provides both scientific and planning support. Additionally, IEG assists in engaging the Fort McKay community in the planning process, to define cultural objectives for the planning area and to ensure maintenance of access for traditional uses as part of the plan.