Wildlife Land Use Guidelines

The following Wildlife Land Use Guidelines reflect current recommendations of the Fish and Wildlife Division of Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) and are consistent with the direction provided within the Enhanced Approval Process (EAP).

These wildlife guidelines apply to all land-use activities not covered by the EAP. For direction on wildlife mitigation for all upstream oil and gas activities, please consult:

Recommended Wildlife Land Use Guidelines

The guidelines have been developed for selected wildlife species, species groups and ecological regions of the province to assist land managers, land owners and land users in avoiding or minimizing potential adverse impacts to wildlife from various land use activities.

Fish and Wildlife Division Area staff are available for consultation and discussion on the recommendations within these guidelines.

Wildlife Guidelines for Alberta Solar Energy Projects

Interim guidelines have been developed in order to help guide industry minimize impacts of solar projects to wildlife and wildlife habitat during their planning process. These guidelines are designed to inform solar energy proponents of potential wildlife issues and mitigation. Additionally, this document serves to assist AEP Fish and Wildlife staff in advising solar energy developers and providing consistent responses to wind energy applications submitted to the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) under Rule 007.

The interim guidelines will be reviewed in the future to ensure the latest information on science and technology is included.

Wildlife Directive for Alberta Wind Energy Projects

Wildlife Directive for Alberta Wind Energy Projects summarizes potential wildlife issues associated with wind energy developments and provides standards and best management practices for minimizing impacts to wildlife and wildlife habitat during the siting, construction and operation of wind farms in Alberta.

The Directive is an update of the Wildlife Guideline for Alberta Wind Energy Projects (2011) and was developed in consultation with industry and appropriate stakeholders. It is designed to direct wind energy proponents to minimize wildlife and wildlife habitat risks.

Documents associated with the Wildlife Directive for Alberta Wind Energy Projects include the Wind Energy Projects Checklists and the Administrative Procedure that outlines the transition process from the 2011 Wildlife Guideline to the 2017 Wildlife Directive. The appropriate version of the checklist must be included in any requests for review to Alberta Environment and Parks.

The Frequently Asked Questions page regarding the Wildlife Directive for Alberta Wind Energy Projects may help to provide some guidance and alleviate any outstanding confusion.

Bat Mitigation Framework for Wind Power Development

This framework is to inform both AEP-Wildlife Branch staff and industrial proponents about the management of bats in relation to wind power generation. The intent is that both developers and staff can use this framework to assist when discussing bat migration.

This framework can assist in the application of mitigation measures specific to reduce the effect of turbine operation on bats (i.e., minimize mortality). This document aims to improve upon knowledge and consistency when discussing

  • bat fatalities
  • pre-construction surveys and risk assessment
  • post-construction monitoring
  • step-wise bat mitigation strategies

This document was reviewed with bat experts with Alberta Bat Action Team (ABAT) and staff at the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) and endorsed by ESRD Wildlife Management.

Wildlife Key Areas/Sites

The guidelines are primarily targeted to specific wildlife key areas/sites that play an essential role in ensuring the continued survival of local and regional populations of the identified wildlife species or species group.

The areas where these recommendations apply are indicated by Wildlife Sensitivity Layers that are consistent with the Landscape Analysis Tool (LAT) and available at:

NOTE:

These guidelines are either provincial or regional in scope and should be applied with judgement that considers the specific physical and vegetative characteristics of an area/site, as well as the types of existing land uses at and adjacent to the area/site.

Applying the Guidelines to Private Land Use

Provincial land managers (i.e., Forestry Division and Lands Division of Alberta Environment and Parks) will consider these guidelines and may incorporate them into land use dispositions on provincial Crown lands.

However, because wildlife are the property of the Crown, irrespective of whether they occur on publicly- or private-owned land, private land owners and businesses/companies operating on private lands should also be familiar with these guidelines and make use of them where and as appropriate.

Guideline Review Process

These guidelines are subject to review and refinement on an ongoing basis, and may be updated to reflect changes in knowledge of mitigation strategies.

Contact

Comments on the substance of these guidelines and requests for further information may be submitted to:

  • Provincial Wildlife Habitat Specialist
    Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development
    Tel: 780 427-3029

For AEP Area Office locations, see:

Related Information

Please refer to the Caribou Management to see some of the mitigation strategies the Alberta government is using to stop the decline of woodland caribou populations.

Alberta Energy Regulator

 

Page Information

Updated: May 11, 2017