DMI has been devoted to the Sulphur Lake project since 1989. The site's stocking history dates back to 1958, and aeration began in 1993. Today, AEP maintains a stocking program in conjunction with the ACA aeration initiative. For over 25 years, DMI has partnered with ACA on the project, investing $188,000 into fisheries to date. They have also directed funding contributions exceeding $420,000, which includes the purchase of the initial aeration system equipment and annual funding of part ($7,500) of its operational costs.
While a rather remote site, Sulphur Lake has become a success story, both in the size and vigour of trout species thriving in the lake and in the site's popularity among local boreal residents. In 2008, the company partnered with ESRD and Alberta Parks to establish an interpretive trail. The trail offers visitors educational insight into boreal forest dynamics and shared stewardship responsibilities among various stakeholders in northern forest landscapes.
Through its Peace River pulp mill, DMI manages 2.7 million hectares of Forest Management Agreement (FMA) forest lands. As a long-term corporate member of the northwest Alberta community it has held FMA tenures in that region since 1989 and employs some 300 staff. The company has been a central driver in the adoption of innovative ecosystem-based forest management practices on those landscapes since 1999. It recognizes that forest resources add significantly to the quality of life for residents in the region because of the environmental, social, spiritual and economic services those resources have provided historically.
From a business perspective, DMI believes that healthy forest ecosystems play a fundamental role in the very ecological productivity that forest managers depend on for sustained timber supplies. They consider the resilience and persistence of non-timber values such as biodiversity, soils and watershed conservation to be inseparably connected to the business of forest management. The company practices “sustainable forest management” under an ecosystem-based approach employing continual improvement and innovation that is guided by third-party audits of its activities and investments in long-range ecological research, some of it occurring near Sulphur Lake.
DMI has directed over $10 million towards improving human understanding of northern forest ecosystems, developing tools for forest management, and improving use of forest resources through technology and research partnerships. The company is committed to responsible stewardship, including projects like Sulphur Lake, that ensures the public gets to experience Alberta's natural heritage.
Most recently, the company consulted with ACA staff to develop an ecosystem-based forest-harvest design plan near Deadwood, Alberta, that respected and complemented moose habitat enhancement initiatives established in the area (Buck-for-Wildlife). The harvest design has increased browse availability for moose. Now DMI is co-funding northwest Alberta wolverine research projects being led by ACA and U of A.