tar sands

Canada’s woodland caribou: Industrial disturbances in their ranges and implications for their survival

(2012-01-10) This bulletin contains evidence of the extent to which industrial developments are threatening woodland caribou (boreal population) in Canada's jurisdictions, especially in Alberta's oil sands region. This bulletin is part of a series by Global Forest Watch Canada to address the geographic distribution and key environmental impacts of Canada's energy sectors.

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Shell Canada's environmental study for its Jackpine Mine expansion in Alberta's bitumen sands region is seriously deficient

/publications/20111206A(2011-12-06) Documents newly filed to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency by the Oil Sands Environmental Coalition say Shell Canada's environmental study of its proposed Jackpine Mine expansion is seriously deficient as it underestimates industrial impacts on the landscape by a factor of 12. The documents were prepared using maps and analysis by Global Forest Watch Canada.

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Conservation-type areas in the Draft Lower Athabasca Regional Plan, Alberta: Implications for whooping crane and woodland caribou

(2011-09-22) The Alberta Government's recently announced Draft Lower Athabasca Regional Plan 2011-2021 allocates much more area to oil sands leases than to conservation areas for whooping cranes and woodland caribou, according to this Global Forest Watch Canada report.

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Migration of whooping cranes (Grus americana) through Alberta’s bitumen sands region

(2011-07-11) This report maps historical records of whooping crane flight paths and landing points in relation to Alberta's bitumen (oil) sands region. Whooping cranes have regularly flown over and landed within Alberta's oil sands region. Their migration route intersects with areas leased to and developed by oil sands companies, including the surface mineable area and its associated facilities, mine pits and tailings ponds. Several factors present in the oil sands region, including exposure to tailings ponds, poses a threat to the survival and recovery of the Canadian wild whooping crane population.

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Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons Increase in Athabasca River Delta Sediment: Temporal Trends and Environmental Correlates

(2011-05-05) A new study, published in the prestigious scientific journal, Environmental Science and Technology, by scientist Dr. Kevin Timoney and GFWC's Executive Director, Peter Lee, documents that a group of toxic compounds known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), are increasing in the Athabasca River sediments and are linked to Alberta's bitumen industries.

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Environmental Impacts of the Tar Sands Industry in Northeastern Alberta: A Database

(2010-07-30) Greenpeace, Sierra Club Prairie, Keepers of the Athabasca and Global Forest Watch Canada together released databases compiled by prominent scientist Dr. Kevin Timoney, one with more than 6,500 incidents, regarding tar sands operations that raise serious concerns about how companies are allowed to operate in this province by the Alberta government.

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Does the Alberta Tar Sands Industry Pollute? The Scientific Evidence

(2009-10-22) This research paper determines whether physical and ecological changes that result from tar sands industrial activities are detectable. The findings conclude that: present levels of some contaminants pose an ecosystem or human health risk, the effects of which deserve immediate and systematic study; projected tripling of tar sands activities over the next decade may result in unacceptably large and unforeseen impacts to biodiversity, ecosystem function, and public health, and; the attention of the world's scientific community is urgently needed. As published in The Open Conservation Biology Journal, 2009, 3, 65-81.

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Bitumen and Biocarbon: Land Use Conversions and Loss of Biological Carbon Due to Bitumen Operations in the Boreal Forests of Alberta, Canada

(2009-09-27) A report that provides estimates of land use changes, biological carbon content and consequent potential greenhouse emissions due to existing and future surface mining and in situ extraction of bitumen in Alberta, Canada. The paper reveals that significant amounts of greenhouse gases are emitted through the disturbance and/or removal of biocarbon (trees, shrubs, peats), which overlay Alberta's oil sands. These emissions have not previously been measured nor reported by governments and industry.

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The Last Great Intact Forest Landscapes of Canada: Atlas of Alberta (Parts I & II)

(2009-04-02) This 2-part atlas was published in the hope that it will assist Albertans in their efforts to sustainably manage their important forest legacy; its production was triggered by the Alberta Government's release of Alberta's Land-use Framework in December 2008. The atlas reveals a dramatic reduction in large blocks of Alberta's natural boreal forest landscapes due to the expansion of industrial activities in recent decades. Part I of the atlas provides context and maps of Alberta's intact forest landscapes; Part II focuses on the threats to these forests.

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