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We’re doing our part to keep Sage-grouse alive

Jul 24, 2015, 13:33 PM

As a Company, we continually seek to improve our environmental performance and manage environmental risk. We recognize that construction, operation and maintenance of distribution power lines and rights-of-way may adversely affect the environment. This is why we partnered with Environment Canada and Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (ESRD) to relocate 118 poles and 15.4 kilometres of power lines to protect a critical Greater Sage-grouse habitat southeast of the hamlet of Manyberries.

“By burying the power lines and removing the power poles, FortisAlberta has enhanced the habitat in that area,” says Carter Haydu, Journalist, Daily Oil Bulletin and New Technology Magazine.
Instead of replacing individual poles that were identified for replacement, we rebuilt and relocated the power lines out of the sage-grouse critical habitat. Power lines have a negative impact on Greater Sage-grouse habitat, as they create an area that birds avoid, therefore, limiting the available habitat. They also provide perches for raptors that prey upon these birds. Moving the line out of this critical habitat to the roadside not only supports the Greater Sage-grouse conservation and recovery efforts in this area, but also allows us to be more efficient when we need to access and maintain our lines.
According to an Ecojustice news release, in 2014, there were thought to be only 14 male Greater Sage-grouse remaining in Alberta, with the total provincial population estimated at approximately 30 birds. This year, provincial biologists counted 35 males in Alberta, accounting for a 150 per cent increase in the sage-grouse population.
As a result of our environmental efforts to protect the Greater Sage-grouse, FortisAlberta was mentioned in the Daily Oil Bulletin for work done in the sage-grouse area in the south. Click here to read the entire article.

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