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Athabasca: A river changes; Fort Chipewyan's elders recall when water was pure


Author(s): Brooymans, H.

Year: 2010

Abstract:
[...] it affected flows in the Peace River. ***** The Journal's Hanneke Brooymans and Ryan Jackson went to Fort Chipewyan to learn more about water concerns in the shadow of industrial development. A 2009 Alberta Cancer Board report showed there are 30 per cent more cancers than expected in the community, but said the small population cast doubt on the statistical significance of the numbers.

Community-level response of birds to burned and salvage-logged forests


Author(s): Stambaugh, C. A.

Year: 2003

Abstract:
Wildfire is the largest natural disturbance agent within the boreal forest. Understanding how wildlife respond to natural disturbances is important for conservation and to forest companies committed to sustainable forest management. This study monitored the forest bird community the first 3-years (1999-2001) following a wildfire, near Chip Lake, in west-central Alberta. The design included study sites within burned/unharvested (Leaves), burned/salvage-logged (Salvages), and unburned (Controls), deciduous-dominated mixedwood forest. By the second and third year post-fire, measures of songbird abundance and species richness were significantly higher within Leave treatments. Measures of relative reproductive activity indicated no difference or significantly higher indices for several species within burned forests. Similarity indices identified moderate overlap in bird communities between Leave and Control treatments, and suggested increased similarity over time; whereas divergence in similarity was indicated for bird communities in Salvage and Control sites. Many cavity-nesting species used natural cavities created by the fire, however the condition of the forest before disturbance may be very important, as many individuals used broken-top snags and/or snags in an advanced state of decay. This study suggests older-aged, burned forests provide a unique and valuable habitat for many breeding bird species, the quality of which is significantly diminished through salvage-logging. Forest management should recognize the importance of early post-fire habitat by maintaining unsalvaged areas throughout the landscape, as part of a coarse-filter approach to biodiversity conservation.

Heavy metal warning for Fort Chip residents; Scientists present Athabasca River study


Author(s): Brooymans, H.

Year: Submitted

Abstract:
The oilsands industry is boosting the amount of toxic metals in the Athabasca River, as well as in the area surrounding the plant sites, University of Alberta aquatics ecologist David Schindler told Fort Chipewyan residents on Monday.