The Alberta Government is announcing new job-creating conservation projects, with a focus on the Cold Lake area.
Up to 125 jobs will be supported in conservation-related activities, including seed gathering and tree planting to restore seismic lines in caribou management areas.
Projects will also focus on culvert and bridge replacement, as well as repairs to water crossings that help recover at-risk species and protect habitat.
“We have put forward a bold, ambitious strategy to build, diversify and create jobs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Minister of Environment and Parks Jason Nixon. “This investment is key to getting Albertans back to work and enhancing conservation of Alberta’s public lands for future generations.”
The $9.7-million investment in these projects comes from the Land Stewardship Fund, and is a temporary measure the government says in response to the economic downturn.
“Trout Unlimited Canada supports the provincial government’s investment to remediate problem stream crossings — this is a great opportunity to address fish passage and sedimentation issues impacting native trout populations,” said Trout Unlimited biologist Lesley Peterson.
“In addition to the benefits to fish, wildlife, and the health of our rivers, this work creates jobs for engineers, aquatic biologists, restoration specialists and construction contractors within our communities.”
Projects will begin immediately, and will include tree planting and watercourse crossing replacement.
“Today’s announcement will provide substantial benefits to Albertans and rural communities by supporting the province’s caribou recovery strategy while providing important employment opportunities through construction contracts, field work and operational support,” said Murray Summers, president for the Forest Resource Improvement Association of Alberta.
“We are pleased to work with Alberta Environment and Parks, contractors, and Indigenous communities in delivering this work throughout central and northern Alberta.”
The provincial government describes the Alberta Recovery Plan as a bold, ambitious long-term strategy to build, diversify, and create tens of thousands of jobs through building schools, roads and other core infrastructure benefiting communities.