“I’m happy to announce the long-awaited finalization of the Moose Lake Access Management Plan, which will support key plan outcomes like the exercise of traditional land uses for local First Nations and the maintenance of the ecological integrity of the area with well-managed resource development.
“I extend my sincere thanks to Fort McKay First Nation Chief Grandjamb for all of his hard work on behalf of his people on the Moose Lake Access Management Plan. Alberta’s First Nations are our partners in prosperity and Fort McKay’s overall commitment to responsible resource development has been key to Alberta’s success as a province throughout the years.
“I also want to recognize the other working group members, made up of industry representatives from the oil and gas and forestry sectors as well as the Fort McKay Métis, for their important work on this important initiative and getting us to this point.
“This plan has been years in the making and we are pleased to be the government to bring it over the finish line.
“The Alberta government, Fort McKay First Nation and industry share the singular goal of supporting responsible development in the oilsands region.
“Alberta’s government is committed to working with First Nations and industry to ensure that we are addressing the interests of both, as well as creating certainty, and the Moose Lake Access Management Plan does just that.
“Fort McKay First Nation has been a valued partner of government and industry for generations, and we truly value this partnership.
“The Moose Lake Access Management Plan sets a maximum of 15 per cent of the planning area that may be disturbed by industrial development at any given time. Additionally, energy-related activities within one kilometre of the reserves will be limited to low impact exploration and monitoring only.
“The plan prohibits major infrastructure, including aerodromes, landfills, permanent work camps and central processing facilities, within the 10-kilometre zone.
“Enhanced environmental monitoring for air, land, water and biodiversity will be in place for all industrial development within the planning area and no new metallic and industrial minerals extraction activities will be permitted within the 10-kilometre zone. The plan will also support a community monitoring program to track environmental indicators important to the community.
“The government is taking action to provide more flexibility to industry operating within the 10-kilometre zone and improving the overall beauty and biodiversity of the landscape by leading the restoration of 570 kilometres of legacy seismic lines and planting half a million trees.
“Finally, Environment and Parks will establish a technical advisory committee that includes representatives from Indigenous groups including Fort McKay First Nation and Fort McKay Métis, as well as energy and forestry sectors to implement the plan.
“With the Moose Lake Access Management Plan in place, we hope to move forward in the spirit of reconciliation and collaboration with Fort McKay First Nation and all of our valued Indigenous partners, including the First Nations of Treaty 8.”