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Appendix 3.8: Traditional land use environmental setting report update


Year: 2013

Abstract:
The purpose of this Traditional Land Use (TLU) Environmental Setting Report (ESR) is to summarize TLU information relating to Shell Canada Energy’s (Shell’s) Pierre River Mine (PRM) Project that has become available since the Jackpine Mine Expansion and Pierre River Mine Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was submitted in 2007. Information sources used to prepare the ESR are listed in Section 1.2. When preparing a concise review based on multiple, lengthy literature sources, it may be necessary to paraphrase, summarize and interpret TLU information from the source material. Due to this practical limitation, it is recommended that the Joint Review Panel, and other reviewers, further examine the referenced source material in its entirety to have a fulsome perspective of the TLU information provided in those documents.

Aquatic biophysical inventory of major tributaries in the AOSERP study area. Volume 1: Summary report


Year: 1980

Abstract:
This report summarizes and compares the physical charac- teristics of nine streams within five watersheds (Firebag, Muskeg, Steepbank, MacKay, and Ells) in the AOSERP study area. The distri- butions and relative abundances of fish in each stream and watershed are also described and related to the physical characteristics that tend to promote or limit sport fish production. The system of reach classification and biophysical measurements developed by Chamberlin and Humphries (1977) was used throughout the present study. The detailed results of this study are presented in the accompanying atlas that forms Volume II of this report (Walder et al. 1980). From 16 to 24 species of fish were found in each watershed. Forage fish (lake chub, pearl dace, longnose dace, trout-perch, brook stickleback, slimy sculpin) and white and longnose suckers were the most abundant fish in every stream or river studied. The most important and widespread sport fish present were (in order of decreasing abundance) arctic grayling, northern pike, and walleye. Other species of sport fish (burbot, lake whitefish, mountain whitefish, yellow perch, Dolly Varden, and goldeye) were found in small numbers, and were almost always confined to the lower reaches of the rivers in proximity to the Athabasca River. A good correlation was found between physical characteristics of streams and the distributions and abundances of fish. Present information suggests that the following general ratings for sport fish potential can be applied to the five water- sheds that were studied: Firebag River watershed, excellent; Muskeg River watershed, poor to moderate; Steepbank River, moderate; MacKay River watershed, poor to p.ossibly moderate; and Ells River, excellent. These ratings are based only-on comparisons among the studied watersheds; they do not consider productivity of other water-or beyond the boundaries of the AOSERP study area.

Aquatic biophysical inventory of major tributaries in the AOSERP study area. Volume I: Summary report


Year: 1980

Abstract:
This report summarizes and compares the physical characteristics of nine streams within five watersheds (Firebag, Muskeg, Steepbank, MacKay, and Ells) in the AOSERP study area. The distributions and relative abundances of fish in each stream and watershed are also described and related to the physical characteristics that tend to promote or limit sport fish production. The system of reach classification and biophysical measurements developed by Chamberlin and Humphries (1977) was used throughout the present study. The detailed results of this study are presented in the accompanying atlas that forms Volume II of this report (Walder et al. 1980). From 16 to 24 species of fish were found in each watershed. Forage fish (lake chub, pearl dace, longnose dace, trout-perch, brook stickleback, slimy sculpin) and white and longnose suckers were the most abundant fish in every stream or river studied. The most important and widespread sport fish present were (in order of decreasing abundance) arctic grayling, northern pike, and walleye. Other species of sport fish (burbot, lake whitefish, mountain whitefish, yellow perch, Dolly Varden, and goldeye) were found in small numbers, and were almost always confined to the lower reaches of the rivers in proximity to the Athabasca River. A good correlation was found between physical characteristics of streams and the distributions and abundances of fish. Present information suggests that the following general ratings for sport fish potential can be applied to the five watersheds that were studied: Firebag River watershed, excellent; Muskeg River watershed, poor to moderate; Steepbank River, moderate; MacKay River watershed, poor to possibly moderate; and Ells River, excellent. These ratings are based only-on comparisons among the studied watersheds; they do not consider productivity of other watersheds within or beyond the boundaries of the AOSERP study area.

As long as the rivers flow: Athabasca River knowledge, use and change


Author(s): Candler, C., Olson R., & Deroy S.

Year: 2010

Abstract:
"The Study confirms that, for members of both ACFN and MCFN, the Athabasca River continues to be central to their lives, their ability to access their territories, and their conception of themselves as aboriginal peoples, despite historical change. Use of the river by the participants is still strong and diverse, and while use has generally declined, it has declined in some areas more than others. Use for drinking water, trapping and teaching have declined more than use for hunting, transportation, and cultural/spiritual and wellness practices. The Study suggests that reduced quantity and quality of water in the Athabasca is having adverse effects on the ability of ACFN and MCFN members to access territories, and to practice their aboriginal and Treaty rights, including hunting, trapping, fishing and related activities.

Background air and precipitation chemistry


Year: 1978

Abstract:
In March 1976, the first in a series of intensive field studies was carried out in the Alberta Oil Sands Environmental Research Program study area in northeastern Alberta to examine the fine structure of the atmosphere and dispersion characteristics under winter conditions. The study comprised several co-ordinated sets of measurements over a two week period. These included: minisonde flights, tethersonde vertical profiles, acoustic sounder and delta-T sonde profiles, correlation spectrometer and ground level sulphur dioxide measurements, plume rise photography and background air and precipitation chemistry. Plume dispersion measurements made by aircraft were co-ordinated with the study and are reported in a separate publication. All measurements, except those for background air chemistry, were made within 20 km of Mildred Lake taking in the present oil sands processing facility of Great Canadian Oil Sands Ltd. and the future production site of Syncrude Canada Ltd. The study was successful in identifying unique features of the winter environment of the area such as diurnal formation and breakup of inversion layers, the effects of the river valley on circulation patterns, plume characteristics, pollutant deposition patterns in the snowpack and background levels of gases and particulates.

In Conflict


Author(s): Cryderman, K.

Year: 2013

Abstract:
"Any time that we have differences with somebody like [Jim Boucher], it's a cause for concern," he said. "I think he's been a very balanced First Nation leader with respect to the oil sands industry," Mr. [David Collyer] said. "What I would encourage is for all the parties concerned to try to find a constructive way through it."

Citation:

Soils of permanent sample plots in the Athabasca oil sands area


Author(s): Turchenek, L. W.

Year: 1982

Abstract:
Soils of permanent sample plots were investigated to provide baseline data for research related to monitoring of terrestrial ecosystems. More specifically, the objective of this project was to provide information on the kinds, characteristics, and distribution of soils in 16 permanent sample plots, each of about 5 ha area, established during 1981. The background and general purpose of the project are outlined in the Terms of Reference appended to this report. General information about distribution and characteristics of soils in the oil sands area is provided in a report on the soils inventory of the Alberta Oil Sands Environmental Research Program study area (Turchenek and Lindsay 1982). Emphasis in 1981 was placed on selecting permanent sample plots with jack pine vegetation communities on Eluviated Dystric Brunisols. These soils are members of the Mildred and Heart soil groups which are described in the report of Turchenek and Lindsay (1982). Both of these soils groups are composed predominantly of Eluviated Dystric Brunisols. The Heart soils have developed in eolian sands while Mildred soils have formed in sandy glaciofluvial materials. Both soil groups are very sandy and usually contain less than 5% fine materials (clays and silt). The Mildred soils normally have a variable content of coarse fragments (larger than 2 mm) while Heart soils have no coarse materials. Two permanent sample plots were established in the Richardson Hills Upland. Soils in this area belong to the Firebag soil group; they have developed on sandy, gravelly and stony glaciofluvial ice-contact deposits, but are otherwise similar to the Mildred and Heart soil groups. In this project, samples for laboratory analysis were taken from one or two sites within each permanent sample plot. For additional data and for making comparisons, analytical data for Heart, Mildred, and Firebag soils can be found in Volume 2 of the report by Turchenek and Lindsay (1982). Other soil surveys conducted in the general area are those of Hardy Associates Ltd. (1980) for the Alsands lease, and Twardy (1978) for portions of the Syncrude lease. Information about general properties, moisture movement and retention, and nutrient cycling in soils near the AOSERP Mildred Lake research facility can be found in the report of McGill et al. (1980).

The fish and fisheries of the Athabasca River basin: Status and environmental requirements


Year: 1984

Abstract:
The information presented here reviews what is currently known of fish ecology and production of the Athabasca Basin, and includes discussions of fish production, sport and commercial use of fish populations, and alternative opportunities for recreational fishing in the rivers of the Athabasca Basin. Fisheries management objectives for the basin rivers and data gaps in existing knowledge of fish and fisheries are also discussed. In addition, water quality criteria for the protection of fish and aquatic life have been referenced, and, where possible, stream flows which affect fish populations have been included. The Athabasca Basin accounts for 23% of the land area of Alberta. For the purposes of this report, the basin has been divided into 10 sub-basins: four mainstem sub-basins, and six tributary sub-basins. The mainstems of the principal rivers of the 10 sub-basins provide approximately 4,390 km of fish habitat which can be roughly divided as providing 1,500 km (34%) coldwater habitat (supporting mainly trout and whitefish), 2,250 km (51%) warmwater habitat (supporting mainly pike, walleye, and goldeye), and 640 km (15%) transition zone intermediate between the two. Both commercial and recreational fisheries occur within the Athabasca Basin. The commercial fish catch represents a substantial proportion of the overall harvest and total market value of the Alberta commercial fishery. The recreational fishery occurs mainly in rivers and streams, though some lakes and reservoirs provide alternate opportunities. In 1980/81, approximately 9% (26,346) of Alberta's licensed anglers resided and fished within the Athabasca Basin. The opportunities provided to sport fishermen by the basin rivers have local, regional and in some cases, national significance. The Athabasca River rises high in the Rocky Mountains, and terminates at the delta created by the Peace and Athabasca rivers at the western extreme of Lake Athabasca. Over its length, the Athabasca River grows from a torrential high-mountain stream to a silt-laden major river at its delta, and its basin encompasses virtually every temperate stream type. In its upstream reaches, the Athabasca River flows generally northeast, steadily increasing in volume as it receives flows from the Berland, McLeod, Pembina, Lesser Slave, Lac La Biche, and Calling rivers. Further downstream, in the vicinity of a series of rapids, the river receives flows from the Pelican and Horse rivers. Near Fort McMurray, the Athabasca forms a confluence with the Clearwater River, and turns to flow north through the Athabasca Oi1 Sands region. Within the oil sands, the Athabasca River receives flows from many rivers and streams, including the Steepbank, Muskeg, Mackay, Ells, Firebag, and Richardson rivers. Reaching the Peace-Athabasca Delta near Embarras Portage, the Athabasca River subsequently forms part of the Mackenzie drainage, which empties into the Beaufort Sea. Flowing through diverse and widely differing terrain, including remote alpine areas, populated urban settings, and the 1argest open-pit oil sands mining sites in the world, the Athabasca Basin is made up of a corresponding variety of waterbodies. Within the basin, each sub-basin has characteristic fish-producing capabilities, which are largely determined by the conditions which contribute to its environment. The primary features of each sub-basin and the characteristics of its lakes and rivers are summarized.

Traditional fisheries of the Fort McKay First Nation


Author(s): Stanislawski, S.

Year: 1998

Abstract:
This study documents traditional fisheries and their uses within the aboriginal community of Fort McKay, located about 50 km north of Fort McMurray in north-eastern Alberta. Fourteen current and past fishermen in the community of Fort MacKay were interviewed between March 22, 1997 to March 22, 1998 for this study. The purpose of this study was to identify and describe the distribution of traditional fishing locations of the Fort McKay First Nation; to determine the relative importance and use of these fisheries; to determine all uses for the fisheries resource in the community; and to initiate a way of monitoring the Namur/Gardiner lakes system in particular, since this system is still relatively undisturbed and relied upon to provide quality fish to the Fort McKay community.Eighty-eight sites in forty-one different locations were identified as traditional fishing grounds for the Fort McKay First Nation, which concentrate on the Athabasca River corridor, Namur/Gardiner Lakes system and the Firebag River drainage. The author describes how fishing camps were set up along these traditional locations to smoke and dry fish for human consumption, provide stores of dog food and bait for trapping fur bearers. This study goes on to document some particulars regarding traditional fishing such as the various species caught, number of lines set, fishing methods, type of bait, and the angling gear used.