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Issue 1 | July 2016

New wetland crossing resource

FPInnovations and Ducks Unlimited Canada are pleased to announce the release of a new publication “Resource Roads and Wetlands: A guide for planning, construction, and maintenance”. This guide was developed for people involved or interested in mitigating the potential impacts of resource road construction on Canadian boreal wetlands. Avoiding wetlands when extracting natural resources is the best way to ensure habitat quality and quantity is maintained. However, given that much of boreal Canada is made up wetlands, avoidance is not always a viable option. Wetlands pose a unique challenge for resource road planners and builders. The saturated and poor bearing capacity of wetland soils mean that resource roads built over wetlands are often subject to settlement, which reduces road performance and safety and increases construction and maintenance costs. These roads may impact wetland hydrology by disrupting wetland surface and subsurface flow. “Resource Roads and Wetlands: A guide for planning, construction, and maintenance” was developed to help address these problems.

More information about this publication can read here or viewed here. Click here to download a free copy.

Working together to develop and demonstrate BMPs

Are you looking for a place to learn, share, and see BMPs in action? The Evergreen Centre for Resource Excellence and Innovation (the Centre) was developed in 2009 as a collaborative effort between industry, community and government to develop and show case Best in Class technologies and practices. The Centre is now operated by the Evergreen Learning and Innovation Society, a not-for-profit organization, and it continues to provide a safe environment for resource partners to exchange new ideas, communicate expectations, learn from others and inspire innovative resource solutions. The Centre is 10 minutes south of Grande Prairie, Alberta and is located on 8.9 hectares of boreal forest (approximately 30% upland and 70% wetland) with additional access to 32 hectares of property (10% upland and 90% wetland) located nearby. The Centre currently has 40+ on-site innovative practice demonstrations, and receives approximately 2,000 visitors annually from industry, community and government. In 2012, the Alberta Emerald Foundation recognized the Centre with an Emerald Award in the Community category. More information about the Centre can be read here and viewed here.

If you would like to learn more, visit, or become involved with the Centre please contact: Doug Kulba by email or phone 780-876-6818.

iFROG peatland research inventory

The industrial Footprint Reduction Options Group (iFROG) consists of in situ oil sands operators collaborating in boreal reclamation research. iFROG has produced a literature review and gap analysis on industry construction and reclamation practices in peatlands and has completed three research studies on two sites (pad reclamation, road reclamation and offsite responses). The projects produced two MSc. theses and three published articles. Working with COSIA, we are presently compiling an “inventory” of peatland related studies to guide the next five years of our work. We are interested in knowing what research projects have been completed, are underway, or are planned so that we can avoid redundancy and explore opportunities for collaboration. Our guiding principle is to add to great work others are already doing and to leverage funds rather than compete for them. Of specific interest are projects relating to the effects of, construction of, and reclamation or restoration of disturbances such as roads and oil well pads in various hydrogeologic settings in boreal peatlands.

Please contact Terry Osko for more information or to share information about your project.

About the Knowledge Exchange
This is a venue for sharing boreal wetland best management practices information with the goal of raising awareness, increasing information transfer, and fostering collaboration amongst industry, government, academic, consulting, and other interested stakeholders.

For more information, visit our website.

Join the conversation

Please contact us if you have upcoming events, new and ongoing research, opportunities for collaboration, new publications, or any other wetlands BMP related work that you are interested in sharing.

Upcoming events

Alberta Peatland Criteria - Field Training School 2016
Peatland education and hands on training on the application of the 2015 Peatland Criteria
NAIT Boreal Research Institute
Peace River, Alberta
September 21-23, 2016

Demo International 2016
Live showcase of forestry equipment and practices including road construction and environmental practices
Canadian Woodlands Forum 
Maple Ridge, British Columbia
September 22-24, 2016

In the news

Did you know

85% of Canada's wetlands are located in the boreal forest!

Wetlands are defined as having
  • Poorly drained soils
  • Hydrophytic vegetation
  • Various kinds of biological activity which are adapted to a wet environment 
Boreal wetlands
  • are seasonally or permanently waterlogged, up to 2 m in depth
  • may be covered with trees, shrubs, grass, sedge, moss & lichen
  • are often highly connected aquatic systems moving water and nutrients over long distances
These diverse wetlands provide a range of environmental and social benefits. Learn more about Canada's boreal wetlands here.

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