Footprints: The Evolution of Land Conservation and Reclamation in Alberta

Kingsley Publishing Services February 2016

In 1963, Alberta became the first Canadian province to enact legislation requiring reclamation of lands disturbed by industrial activities such as oil & gas, mining, quarrying, forestry, pipelines, and roads. The book was originally conceived to celebrate its 50th anniversary and initiated by several dozen retired or still-active land reclamation practitioners whose careers, in some instances, reach as far back as the 1960s. Some are still employed in public or private life, conserving and reclaiming Alberta’s rich natural heritage.

With book co-authors Robert Bott and Peter McKenzie-Brown, we crisscrossed the province visiting and photographing pre-legislation era sites, sites currently under reclamation or application, and those with completed reclamation certificates. We spent hundreds of hours interviewing former and current government regulators, researchers, academics, and former to current industry reclamation managers and hands-on practitioners. Their precious contributions ranged from text, memories and observations, photographs and documents, to simply fragmented memoirs. Further enhancing the effort, we spent many more hours poring through libraries and archives to help piece together this history.

The result has been Footprints: The Evolution of Land Conservation and Reclamation in Alberta, a lively, full and valuable record for current and future generations. It describes the programs, regulatory approaches, scientific advances, and innovations that arose over five decades. It’s a comprehensive history book that runs the entire gamut from First Nations early use of the land to reclamation challenges facing the province in future.

The well-illustrated volume is of interest and indispensable to practitioners actively engaged in the numerous conservation and reclamation components, to landowners whose land is being disturbed, to industrial users responsible for the disturbances, to elected and appointed officials having a moral duty to see to the land’s conservation and reclamation, and to college or university students for research or career pursuits.

Co-authored with Robert Bott and Peter McKenzie-Brown.


Abstract or entire e-book may be downloaded from the University of Alberta Education & Research Archives:

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