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Little Smoky Concerns

Little Smoky landscapes are subject to some of the most intensive demands by industry and agriculture expansion in Alberta.

  • Area dissected by numerous cut lines, cut blocks, pipelines, seismic corridors, well sites and industrial access roads.
  • No protected areas have been designated within the caribou ranges of the Little Smoky, A La Peche and Highway 40 herds.
  • Main threats from industrial activity:
    • Increased access via roads and corridors
    • Fragmentation of habitat from roads
    • Increased predation from natural and human predators and poachers
    • Road kills
    • Noise and general disturbance
    • Habitat avoidance
    • Loss of habitat
    • Increased footprint affects function of habitat


Oil and Gas

  • Active oil and gas developments including access roads, facilities, plants, wells, pipelines, seismic lines invade and encroach upon Little Smoky boundaries
  • Big oil and gas players in area: Petro Canada, Talisman, Devon, Suncor, and Chevron
  • Suncor/ConocoPhillips sour gas pipeline
    • In 2004, Suncor proposed to construct a 101km long sour gas pipeline through the home range of the Little Smoky/A La Peche caribou herd. Suncor’s current pipeline proposal crosses the remaining relatively intact portion of the range
    • Efforts have been made in the past to protect the Little Smoky caribou, however Suncor’s current pipeline proposal would jeopardize past and present efforts to maintain Little Smoky herd viability
    • The addition of this pipeline would lead to future activity of oil and gas and forestry in this area
    • November 2004 news release (pdf 56KB) and backgrounder (pdf 152)



  • Forestry operations impact the area with access roads, clear-cuts and habitat fragmentation and loss.
  • Big players are Weyerhaeuser, Weldwood, Canadian Forest Products (CANFOR), and Alberta Newsprint Company (ANC)
  • Weyerhaeuser has deferred their logging activities in the Little Smoky caribou range and ranges to the north until the Alberta Woodland Caribou Recovery Plan process is completed
  • ESAs completely allocated to FMAs held by ANC, Weyerhaeuser and CANFOR
  • Solomon Valley/ Wildhay River area:
    • Located between Hinton and Jasper National Park along the front ranges of the Rockies
    • Area roaded and logging began by Weldwood of Canada Ltd. in 2002
    • Area includes 2 environmentally significant areas which support critical moose, elk, bull trout and arctic grayling habitat
    • Contains some of the oldest spruce and fir in FMA
    • Offers abundant recreational opportunity
    • Need protection for these foothills in addition to the small quantity already protected with the Rock creek Solomon Wildland park
    • Long history of use by first nations



  • Increases in roads and corridors by oil and gas and forestry have lead to increased access by recreationists, particularly motorized vehicles
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