“The trappers respect me for putting in the time and effort to learn more about their lifestyle.”
- Roxanne Hodgson
Roxanne Hodgson understands a trapper’s way of life because she is one of them.
Part of Roxanne’s role as Shell’s Senior Surface Landman for the Athabasca region is to liaise with external stakeholders whose land may be affected by operations. Trappers are a key stakeholder group as many make their living on the trap lines which often cross paths with industry operations. “We have 14 trappers in that area and they really want to know what the heck is going on,” she said.
Landman or Trapper?
Contributing to her success in developing relationships with this group is Roxanne’s commitment to understanding the challenges they face. In fact, Roxanne took a course through Alberta’s Sustainable Resource Development to become a certified junior trapper. This experience put her face-to-face with 20 trappers in a classroom.
“Before the class started, the conversation was about bashing industry,” she said. When the class got underway with introductions, Roxanne was hesitant to admit she worked for industry, unsure of what the reaction would be.
“Finally, I just stood up and said I was a Surface Land Agent with Shell and that I was there to learn more about the trapping lifestyle and how we could work more effectively with trappers,” she recalled. “At that point, four or five of them stood up and applauded.”
That experience has opened some doors for Roxanne and Shell, enhancing their credibility amongst the trapper community. “I think the trappers respect me for putting in the time and effort to learn more about their lifestyle.”
Roxanne also consults with various other groups including landowners, First Nations, and Métis Settlement Committees. Her role includes ensuring Shell is compliant with Directive 56, an extensive list of regulations set out by the Energy Resources and Conservation Board.
She has seen a lot of positive changes in land management since starting as a landman in 1996. “There was no Directive 56 when I first started,” Roxanne says. “Now there is just so much more responsibility and accountability on surface land. My job has really evolved and I’m glad it did,” she says.
Roxanne has proven that creative relationship building, along with regulatory compliance, can go a long way in overcoming challenges in the industry but also makes for an exciting career. “I believe that we’re very transparent and I couldn’t do my job if I didn’t believe in the company,” she says. “I couldn’t have picked a better career for myself.”
The Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) Directive 56: Energy Development Applications and Schedules presents the requirements and procedures for filing a licence application to construct or operate any petroleum industry energy development that includes facilities, pipelines, or wells.
Read more about Directive 56
This article appears in the Novmber/December 2009 issue of CAPP's employee newsletter.