Faster Forests™ & COSIA
Following 2011 and the improvement of the world economy after the financial crisis, the Reclaimit forestland environmental consultancy was invited to participate in managing projects within a program called Faster Forests™. The program, championed by ConocoPhillips Canada (CPC) in partnership with oil and gas developers in the oilsands region of northeast Alberta (Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance – COSIA), remains active today. When Reclaimit environmental consultants arrived on the scene, the program’s standard reforestation workers and plant species remained largely aligned with systems and processes followed by the Canadian forestry sector silviculture model.
In recognition of a different set of goals and objectives for this customer group, Reclaimit consultants modified the program to incorporate the Reclaimit-developed system of ecological grouping for the assignment of reforestation species to support ecological restoration of impacted sites. The Reclaimit consultant-derived solutions included combinations of up to five plant species per ecological group and a total pool of 12 species to use across five ecological groupings.
From 2012-2019 Reclaimit environmental consultants planned and lead the execution of ecologically aligned re-vegetation on more than 1250 oilsands exploration leases (50 m x 50 m). Beyond the sizeable compliment of sites completed in the program, there are three notable benefits our customers received from the Reclaimit consultant leadership in the Faster Forests™ program. First, a tighter alignment of plant species with ecosystem groups. Second, increased optimization of seasonal worker skills. In the case of Faster Forests™, the summer work force included a highly educated cohort of people largely comprised of post-secondary students. These workers, hired for their tree planting skills, were also engaged to use their academic proficiency to document their work activities and submit reports of site condition observations (for example: mapping, tally, and work field notes). Reclaimit forestland consultants put those skills to work for the program participants. The third highlight in terms of benefits received by the customer base was the acquisition of valuable and replicable reclamation methods. As the Faster Forests™ program continues, the program has retained the benefit of many of the system improvements that Reclaimit’s solution-focused environmental consultants introduced. This is a huge win for the Reclaimit environmental consultancy and proof of benefit beyond project execution!