The Amoco Road restoration site is a legacy oil and gas road that stretches from valley bottom to the alpine in the Klinse-Za caribou herd in northeastern BC. Twenty-two years after the road was installed, the site is still dominated by non-native grass species, which has prevented naturally re-seeded seedlings from establishing and growing. As a result, the road remains a large scar on the landscape and fragments the mature forest ecosystem. The road also creates an easy travel route for predators to access critical caribou habitat in the alpine, and large stretches of open road also enable predators to spot caribou further away, improving their hunting efficiency. Use of the road by snowmobiles during the winter allows wolves easy travel along the packed trails into the alpine, increasing risk of predation on caribou. To speed up forest recovery and reduce the use of the road by predators, the Nîkanêse Wah tzee Stewardship Society has undertaken steps to restore the road to a forested ecosystem, thereby restoring critical caribou habitat. Restoration activities such as the planting of seedlings and juvenile trees along the road and the falling of dead trees across the road surface were completed in Summer 2020. These restoration activities will speed up natural forest regeneration and limit the ability of predators to use the corridor to access critical caribou habitat. Moving forward, activities, such as tree regeneration surveys and wildlife use monitoring, will be continued to determine the success of the restoration activities.
This Caribou Habitat Restoration Fund project was undertaken with the financial support of the Province of British Columbia and the Government of Canada through the federal Department of Environment and Climate Change.