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Introducing the Alberta Regional Caribou Knowledge Partnership

fRI Research is pleased to announce that the Alberta Regional Caribou Knowledge Partnership (ARCKP) has joined our organization as an independently-governed association.

By forming The Alberta Regional Caribou Knowledge Partnership, 12 companies from Alberta’s forest industry and the Government of Alberta have taken their commitment to the to the province’s woodland caribou to the next level. Earmarking an initial $5M of funds from the Forest Resource Improvement Association of Alberta (FRIAA), the government and industry led initiative finds and funds research to inform practical solutions for balancing the needs of Alberta’s working landscape with the  needs of woodland caribou. They also support and facilitate a variety of knowledge exchange initiatives to ensure research findings make it to operations.

Of all the pressing concerns on the western Alberta landscape, the plight our woodland caribou may be the most acute. For many years, the government, industry, and fRI Research have partnered to find practical solutions for managing this threatened species. As a result, the fRI Research Caribou Program has done seven years of world class research that industry uses as a guide to reducing their impact on threatened herds.

The Alberta Regional Caribou Knowledge Partnership is distinct from other caribou-focused groups associated with fRI Research, which each have their own focus:

  • The Caribou Program is an fRI Research run program that conducts scientific research on woodland caribou behaviour, habitat, and health.
  • The Caribou Patrol is an Indigenous run program that actively tries to reduce woodland caribou mortality on highways through education for drivers and herding techniques for woodland caribou near the road.
  • The newly formed ARCKP is government and industry run, and acts as a forum and funding source for knowledge generation and mobilization.

With our reputation as an independent, non-partisan scientific institute, fRI Research was a natural choice to host the Alberta Regional Caribou Knowledge Partnership, which becomes our fourth association alongside the Foothills Landscape Management Forum, the Foothills Stream Crossing Partnership, and the Forest Growth Organization of Western Canada. These four associations are governed entirely independently by their membership, but opt to leverage our efficient administration and experience as a trusted mediator between government, industry, and academia.

The membership of the Alberta Caribou Knowledge Partnership comprises Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Inc., Alberta Newsprint Company, Boucher Brothers Lumber Ltd., Canfor, Mercer International Inc., Foothills Forest Products Inc., Millar Western Forest Products Ltd., Northlands Forest Products Ltd., Vanderwell Contractors (1971) Ltd., West Fraser, Weyerhaeuser Company Ltd., and Tolko.

Kristy Burke of Fuse Consulting will serve as the coordinator for ARCKP. Her background in environmental science and communication is the right mix of skills for managing a research and knowledge mobilization organization. Activities will be posted arckp.friresearch.ca and broadcast by newsletters in the upcoming weeks.

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