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Tuesday August 25 2015 11 ENVIRONMENT WILDLIFE INTERIOR HEAVY EQUIPMENT Operator School Call Now 1-866-399-3853 Housing Transportation Packages Available NO SIMULATORS JOB ASSISTANCE FOR LIFE NEVER SHARE MACHINES START ANY MONDAY GET TRAINED. GET WORKING. By MEAGAN WOHLBERG A NuVista Energy pipeline spilled roughly 100000 litres of wastewater oil and sand mixture last week in the northwestern cor- ner of Alberta near Chateh on the Hay Lake First Nation located 100 km northwest of High Level. TheleakwasspottedonFridayAug.14after a helicopter doing daily inspection and main- tenance work saw a small area of stressed vegetation along the 5-km pipeline route ac- cording to the Calgary-based company. Thecompanyrespondedwithinminutesof theleakbeingreportedandiscooperatingwith the AER Alberta Energy Regulator and the local First Nations representatives NuVista CEO Jonathan Wright said in a statement. NuVista is investigating what caused the leak from the six-inch diameter pipeline along with AER ofcials. An initial survey shows an area approximately 110 metres by 120 metres has been affected. So far there have been no reports of im- pacts on wildlife. A two-metre-high fence has been installed to prevent animals from accessing the spill area. This is the second major pipeline spill in the province over the last two months. In late June a pipeline at Nexens Long Lake oil- sands facility south of Fort McMurray spilled around ve million litres of emulsion over a 16000 square-metre area of muskeg along the pipeline corridor. The High Level area has been subject to numerous pipeline leaks over the last four years the largest one erupting from an Apache pipeline near Zama City in 2013 which spilled 60000 barrels of toxic wastewater. In 2011 a Plains Midstream pipeline break spilled 28000 barrels of oil near Rainbow Lake. Pipeline spills 100000 litres of oily wastewater near High Level ENVIRONMENT PIPELINE SPILL By MEAGAN WOHLBERG An update on barren ground caribou pop- ulations holds more bad news for herd man- agement and harvesters in the NWT. The initial results of the most recent calv- ing ground survey conducted by territorial ofcials with Environment and Natural Re- sources ENR in June shows a decrease in the number of cows. The preliminary ndings suggest further decreases in both herds compared to the 2012 Bathurst and 2013 Bluenose-East calving ground photo surveys states a letter sent out to renewable resource boards and ENR of- ces across the territory on July 9. Thisisconsistentwithotherrecentsources of information and highlights the need for us to continue to work together on conser- vation measures for these herds. Though the final results of the survey are not yet available the preliminary es- timates indicate the proportion of breed- ing cows in relation to the rest of the herd dropped to 59 per cent this survey com- pared to 68 per cent in 2009 and 2012 and 87 per cent in 2006. The tally suggests lower pregnancy rates and calving rates in 2015 according to the document and is an indicator consistent with a declining natural trend. Calf survival also continues to be low with fewer than 30 calves per 100 cows a num- ber thats remained consistent since 2011. The most recent data for adult cow survival puts the Bathurst herd at 79 per cent 2009-2012. Though thats up slightly from 73 per cent in 2007-2008 the rate needed to maintain a healthy herd according to ENR should be between 82 and 85 per cent. The new estimates on breeding females will be available in the early fall with numbers for the Bathurst expected in late September and the Bluenose-East in early November following a composition survey in October. According to ENR the surveys were done at the peak of calving with good weather and visibility ensuring a high level of con- dence in the coming survey results. The eld survey teams included represen- tatives from the government of Nunavut the Tlicho Government Wekeezhii Renewable Resources Board Yellowknives Dene First Nation NWT Mtis Nation and numerous community representatives. Harvesting restrictions to continue Both herds have been the subject of man- agement actions since 2009. Last year a total harvest ban was placed on the Bathurst out- side of a mobile management zone except for a small allowable harvest for First Nations ceremonial use. Aboriginal harvesters of the Bluenose-East herd are currently bound by a limit of 1800 divided among groups. Both herds are off-limits to non-Aborig- inal hunters. Based on the preliminary results those limits will stay in place during the upcom- ing hunting season. Management actions for both herds will need to be continued the report notes. ENR communitiesAboriginalgovernmentsandco- management boards need to work together. Bathurst Bluenose-East caribou still in decline report PhotocourtesyofENRGNWT A 100000-litre pipeline leak near Chateh is the latest to hit the spill-prone region of Alberta. Preliminary calving ground survey results indicate further decline in the number of breeding females and a continued low rate of calf survival among the Bathurst and Bluenose-East barren ground herds.