Impact Mitigation in Mining

Resource Development and Subsistence Harvesting: Impact Mitigation and Best Practices

Project Leader: Harvey Lemelin, Professor at the School of Outdoor Recreation, Parks and Tourism at Lakehead University (Harvey.lemelin@lakeheadu.ca)

Research Team:
Rebecca Rooke, Masters Student in the MES program. School of Outdoor Recreation (rrooke@lakeheadu.ca)

Project Completed. (August 2015) Masters of Environmental Science Thesis, Investigating relationships: How mining companies and Aboriginal communities can improve impact mitigation for terrestrial wildlife and traditional harvesting practices in the Canadian Arctic, is available here.

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Rebecca - Research Reports-1

Update: July 2015

A case study of a specific mining project or northern community was originally planned as a data collection method. This case study was not completed due to time and budgetary restrictions. Researchers conducted telephone interviews instead. The project is nearing completion.

Summary

This proposed research has three principal objectives.

  1. Drawing from case studies across Canada and Alaska, we will identify the various strategies and practices used by major resource developers to mitigate the effects of their activities on the wildlife harvesting activities of Aboriginal communities.
  2. We will identify the means by which industry supports the wildlife harvesting activities of employees, whether through direct financial or capital means or through scheduling or other ‘indirect’ forms of support.
  3. Together these sources of information will lend to the development of a Best Practices Guide for mitigation and harvesting support that can inform future developments.

The significance of this sub-project is that it documents the ways industry is attempting to mitigate the negative impacts of resource development on wildlife harvesting and offers concrete solutions based on ‘best practices’ that can be used to enhance the opportunities for sustainable mixed-economies in northern regions.

Purpose

To arrive at a set of best practices to support the northern mixed economy in Northern Canada and Alaska, USA. Rather than being something that threatens their vitality, the development of natural resources can be done in ways that ensure the long-term sustainability of northern communities and the surrounding environment. It is expected that this will stimulate the development of a new knowledge transfer techniques that will allow research results to be more readily utilized by actors in the region. Finding a balance that ensures that industrial resource development and associated wage earning opportunities do not displace subsistence economies will be the challenge that lies for most Northern communities. This study will examine the balance between collaborative management strategies featuring resource development projects and harvesting practices.

Methodology

Literature review and inventory of existing practices.
Telephone and onsite interviews with employees and industry representatives.

Anticipated outcomes
A Best Practices Guide for mitigation and harvesting will be prepared in conjunction with the stakeholders and community partners. These findings will be presented to the partners.

Timeline

January 2014 – September 2015

For more information contact:
Harvey Lemelin
School of Outdoor Recreation, Parks and Tourism
Lakehead University
Thunder Bay, ON
Email: Harvey.lemelin@lakeheadu.ca

David Natcher
Supervisor/Principle Investigator
Associate Professor
College of Agriculture and Bioresources
University of Saskatchewan
Tel. (306) 966-4045