Wood bison face “imminent threats” from Frontier oil sands project
The wood bison herd in northern Alberta near the proposed site of Teck Resources Ltd’s Frontier oil sands project, face “imminent threats” to their recovery, a report from the country’s environment department said.
A one-page summary released late on Wednesday said Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson has concluded that “immediate intervention is required to allow for recovery.”
The summary does not mention Frontier, which would operate for 40 years starting in 2026. But it said the Ronald Lake herd is at risk of contracting disease in the Wood Buffalo National Park and of losing range to “proposed industrial activities.”
According to Reuters, Wilkinson must decide by the end of February whether to approve $20.6-billion Frontier. He could also delay.
In a statement, Wilkinson said he takes indigenous concerns about the bison “very seriously.” He said Ottawa is working with Alberta to further protect the herds.
“Action to protect the bison is required regardless of the Teck Frontier project. The decision regarding the Frontier oil sands mine is a separate decision.”