Alberta is home to the country’s largest land conservation project, which is also Canada’s largest.
The Alberta Land Conservation Authority has announced it will start work on an 800-hectare reserve to protect land and wildlife from the impact of oil and gas development.
Land conservation projects will now be eligible for government funding, with the government to provide 25 per cent of the costs.
They are also expected to reduce the number of oil sands wells by 1,000 per cent.
It’s a win-win situation, said Alberta Land Council president David McInnes.
“It’s an opportunity to get back some of the land that’s lost to development, and it’s an investment for the province to get it back,” he said.
The project will involve digging a trench along the land and planting native vegetation, creating a buffer zone.
The Alberta government says the reserve will help reduce the amount of land available for oil and natural gas exploration, and create new jobs.
“Our land and water is our future, and our future is our land,” said Premier Rachel Notley.
“We will work to ensure our land and our water is conserved for future generations.”
The province says the project is part of a wider plan to create more environmentally-friendly land use in the province.
With files from The Canadian Press