In 2003, Suncor Energy and Alberta Conservation Association (ACA) formed the Boreal Habitat Conservation Initiative (BHCI) to conserve ecologically significant areas of Alberta’s boreal forest. Since then, with almost $6.5 million invested, 9,779 acres of natural boreal forest have been protected with the creation of 43 Conservation Sites.
The BHCI began with a pilot project at Winagami Lake in Alberta's Peace Country. A $250,000 grant conserved 470 acres of habitat around the lake. The protected area complemented the adjacent provincial park and provincial wildland park ensuring connectivity and the natural ecological function of the land. The pilot project and partnership successfully proved how a conservation organization, a landowner and an energy company can team up to protect significant boreal forest habitat.
Recognizing conservation is a long-term commitment, this partnership was initiated as a front-runner to the concept of voluntary offsets. Nominated twice for the Emerald Awards, the BHCI continues to acquire and manage habitat in the boreal forest, while looking for opportunities to include additional partners and make greater impact in protecting the boreal forest. The BHCI is a leader in collaboration supporting boreal conservation and is a model for how ACA has developed partnerships with other industries in this area.
To see the land we have preserved so far, visit albertadiscoverguide.com and search “Suncor.”