Wild roses like these are just one of the many types of indigenous plants that will be replanted in this innovative pilot project.
Photo courtesy of Mike Keefer, Keefer Ecological Services
A unique collaborative initiative is under way to select the best plants to restore areas that have been disturbed by oil and natural gas development in northeast British Columbia.
Encana, Treaty 8 First Nations and others operators in the Dawson Creek area who are members of Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), as well as the BC Oil & Gas Commission and the Province of British Columbia, are working together on the initiative called the Native Plants for Reclamation pilot project.
At least three local field trial sites will be selected in partnership with Elders from the West Moberly First Nations, Doig River First Nation and Prophet River First Nation.
At each site, depending on local ecology and soil conditions a variety of plants including blueberry, huckleberry, cranberry, black diamond willow, aspen, birch, wild rose, rushes, sedges or cattails will be planted.
Elders from the three First Nations are contributing to the selection of the most appropriate plants for each site.
The field trials will provide guidance on what plants will work best, and where. Examples of sites to be reclaimed could be decommissioned wellheads, seismic line cuts in the forest or areas near agricultural activity.
At the conclusion of the three-year initiative, a field guide will be produced containing operational tools and suggested best practices for oil and gas companies on utilizing native plants in reclamation activities in Northeast BC.
It’s hoped the initiative will help to mitigate past impacts on the land from industry, and will speed return of the land to its natural state.
For background on the initiative read the LTOGA Reclamation Project profile on the Science, Community and Environmental Knowledge (SCEK) Fund website. The SCEK Fund is an industry-supported initiative managed by the BC Oil & Gas Commission.
For more information on Encana’s approach to responsible development visit our sustainability section.