Linear Restoration Equipment Modernization and Deployment

Cenovus Energy Inc.

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Conklin, AB

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Legacy oil and gas exploration sites commonly exhibit arrested succession and require restoration treatment to return to forest cover (Caners and Liefffers 2014; Iqbal et al. 2014, others). Linear restoration (or linear deactivation) is a topic of focused investigation with the objective of alleviating successional stagnation, restoring habitat and lessening forest fragmentation. Tree removal and surface flattening on peatlands results in methane release, which cumulatively is predicted to be more than 4.4 kt of methane per year (Strack et al. 2019). Restoration treatments that recreate microtopography have been documented to stimulate successional recovery including hummock forming bryophytes and tree regeneration (Lieffers et al. 2017). In addition, restoration treatments, specifically mounding and planting have been documented to ameliorate GHG emission from stagnated peatlands (Murray et al. in review). Innovation in linear restoration has been minimal where equipment companies are unable to invest in fit for purpose restoration equipment. Similarly, industry and government are unable to contract fit for purpose restoration equipment, as it doesn’t exist in the local market and clearly demonstrated effectiveness trails have not been completed. As part of the ER Food Farming and Forestry Challenge, Cenovus proposes a 15 day linear restoration (non-frozen ground) trial to explore various agriculture and forestry based attachments and implements. The trial would also include amphibious excavators and their potential for enhanced remote control operations. In addition, Cenovus would also trial a new restoration technique of live hummock transplants. Results of these trials will allow for the development of fit for purpose restoration equipment along with improved forest restoration prescriptions.