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Land Use

Natural gas fields are located in the southern part of the province which tend to consist of grass and crop land as well as in the west central part of the province which consists of forest belts and farmland. There is also gas exploration and production in some areas which are considered to be environmentally sensitive, such as the Great Sand Hills in southwest Saskatchewan.

Most drill sites and wellhead sites occupy an area of less than one hectare. Although the size of each site is small, these sites and the roads needed to access and service them can take prime farmland, ranchland, and native prairie out of production. It also breaks up the landscape into fragments, which make it difficult for some species to adapt.

Although pipelines, drilling sites and access roads are disruptions to the environment, the companies working in these areas are required to return the sites as close to their original condition as possible. Rules that are set out by the provincial government, which regulate the land use and operational activities at well sites, continue to be expanded.

An environmental review is often carried out prior to any construction. New construction techniques are always being evaluated to determine which methods cause the least amount of damage to the environment.

At SaskEnergy we believe in working with others such as...

Saskatchewan Environmental Society - SaskEnergy supports the SES's Destination Conservation program, which is a multi-disciplinary environmental program that promotes energy efficiency. The three-year program challenges fifth grade students to design and implement energy-saving practices in their schools. The students calculate the amount of money saved throughout the year as a result of their projects and the schools reinvest that amount back into the program so that students can sustain and expand their energy-saving ideas. In 2009, approximately 55 schools throughout Saskatchewan participated in this program.

Nature Saskatchewan - Over the years, SaskEnergy has supported Nature Saskatchewan on a number of environmental initiatives and educational programs. Currently, SaskEnergy sponsors two major programs through the provincial organization:

  • Last Mountain Lake Bird Observatory - At the Last Mountain Lake National Wildlife Area and Migratory Bird Sanctuary, visitors learn about the history of Canada's first wildlife sanctuary, as well as the science of migration and population trends of species in the area. The observatory itself contributes data to an international monitoring system for tracking songbird populations and migration.

    A new three-panel, made possible by SaskEnergy's annual sponsorship, will be a useful interpretive tool for visitors at the observatory.


    Visiting Brownies, Guides, Cubs and Scouts were the first young people to view the new interpretive sign.

  • Nature Quest - Developed in 2004, Nature Quest is a program that teaches students in grades five to twelve about the richness of wildlife habitats and species biodiversity within Saskatchewan's boreal forest.

    Led by John Murray, a silviculture consultant with over thirty years of experience in the Saskatchewan forestry industry, the program involves an engaging presentation and educational dialogue that teaches students about the importance of preserving the natural diversity of Saskatchewan's boreal region. While focused on educating youth residing in the boreal ecoregion, Nature Quest is a mobile program available to all areas of the province.

Centres of Excellence - Our Corporation carries out leading edge research through a number of Centres of Excellence.

  • Environment and Sustainability participates in environmental research studies and protection initiatives through the Canadian Energy Partnership for Environmental Innovation (CEPEI) which is affiliated with the Canadian Gas Association. The primary areas of study are methods to reduce air pollutant releases and the development of best environmental management practices.

  • Our focus with the University of Regina's Centre for Studies in Energy and Environment has been on soil and groundwater contamination risk management and the technical feasibility and economic & environmental value associated with the capture of solar thermal energy for the purposes of offsetting fuel gas usage.

  • Our partnership with the University of Saskatchewan's College of Engineering is focused on methods to improve microbial degradation of subsurface contaminants and the development of real-time strategies for monitoring the biodegradation of petroleum hydrocarbon contaminants.

Conservation Learning Centre - Located just south of Prince Albert, the Saskatchewan Conservation Learning Centre (CLC) educates youth about wildlife, agriculture, and environmental conservation. The Centre, which demonstrates soil and water conservation technology and serves as a field laboratory for evaluation of new research and technology, offers a well-developed school program for students and provides quality learning experiences through hands-on activities. Since 1994, more than 17,000 youth have participated in the CLC's school program.

SaskEnergy serves as the transportation sponsor to assist the schools that would otherwise not be able to attend the CLC for a full day of exciting learning experiences.

Golder Associates - We are also working on pipeline reclamation research on natural re-growth of disturbed areas in northwest Saskatchewan.