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In Conflict

Author(s): Cryderman, K.

Year: 2013

"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."


Risking rupture: Integral accidents and in/security in Canada's bitumen sands

Author(s): Greaves, W.

Year: 2013

The expansion of unconventional hydrocarbon development in Western Canada is one of the most contentious issues in contemporary Canadian politics. Although widely studied, little attention has been paid to the framing of Alberta's bitumen sands within distinct and incompatible discourses of energy and environmental security. This essay examines these discourses using the tools of securitization analysis, asking the basic questions of what each presents as needing to be secured, from what, and by what means. Presented with two sets of socially constructed in/ security claims related to the bitumen sands and proposed pipeline expansion, the author suggests the social theory of Paul Virilio provides a useful intervention into securitization analysis that allows the material implications of these discourses to be clarified and assessed. Drawing upon Virilio's critical account of technological progress and his theory of accidents, this essay proposes that conventional accounts of "energy security" in the bitumen sands cannot result in meaningful conditions of security because they remain premised upon continued and expanded hydrocarbon consumption in an era of anthropogenic climate change.

Soils of permanent sample plots in the Athabasca oil sands area

Author(s): Turchenek, L. W.

Year: 1982

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).

Traditional land use assessment

Year: 2007

While the Kirby project is located within the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, its footprint impacts on the traditional territories of a number of Aboriginal communities both within and beyond the boundaries of the municipality. At the time of writing, interviews had been held with Heart Lake First Nation, Chipewyan Prairie Dene First Nation, and the Métis holder of trapline #2361, resident at Winefred Lake. Interviews with other Aboriginal communities were in the process of being arranged. The scope of this report was framed by one central question: What effects could existing and approved developments, the project, and planned developments have on traditional land use? Data gathered for the report came from a literature review of previous community and industry-initiated traditional land use studies, as well as interviews with Heart Lake First Nation Elders and an interview with the Métis holder of RFMA #2361. Data was then analysed qualitatively and quantitatively, with an assessment of the extent of temporary and/or permanent loss of land. The study also contains a reclamation assessment in which the potential for the re-establishment of traditional plant and animal harvesting was determined using ecosite phases and habitat suitability indices for the closure landscape of the project. The baseline study includes summary information on historical and current traditional land use of the study area. A study of existing and approved development impacts includes a quantitative analysis of existing disturbances to RFMAs by listing type of disturbance and the number of hectares that disturbance occupies. Also provided is a linkage analysis, which highlights the key concerns of interviewed trappers and Heart Lake First Nation Elders, and then determines whether the linkage (or concern) is valid or invalid based on proposed project designs and operational plans. Valid linkages are then examined qualitatively, drawing on biophysical assessments for the project. Issues and concerns identified in the literature review and interviews are summarized for each community. Finally, changes to traditional land use are considered in the context of project-specific effects and cumulative effects.

Traditional resource use and traditional ecological knowledge: Jackfish 2 environmental impact assessment

Year: 2006

The traditional resource use and traditional ecological knowledge section of the Devon Jackfish 2 Environmental Impact Assessment is very similar to the same section of the environmental impact assessment for Devon's Jackfish Project in 2003. Like the previous study, this one aimed to outline data pertaining to actual and potential issues for traditional resources in the local study area, note other relevant traditional ecological knowledge for the project locality and regional study area, and outline potential issues and recommended approaches for further evaluation or mitigation. Because this section was based on a previous study, the majority of sources cited are identical with the previous study. This new traditional resource use and traditional ecological knowledge study incorporates the results from consultation that took place in 2004, 16 new traditional ecological knowledge interviews, including this time members of Fort McMurray First Nation, a meeting with Heart Lake First Nation, and information gathered during the new environmental impact assessment. As with the previous study, interviews were video-recorded and conducted in the participant's language of choice (Chipewyan, Cree, English, or a combination). Previous traditional ecological knowledge and traditional resource use research and baseline materials were reviewed, and interviewees were asked to sketch trails, camp areas, burials, and key landmarks on maps of the project area. This section follows the same format as the previous Jackfish report: first a discussion of the study area and study methodology, an outline of existing conditions of the study area (including traditional use sites as provided by NATA, summaries of the interviews, traditional plant use, traditional animal use, and residency and trapping). The traditional resource use and traditional ecological knowledge for the Jackfish 2 project, however, contain much more detailed information on traditional plants, including assessments of plant species capability (mean species richness and frequency). An impact assessment and review of possible mitigation measures, and a brief cumulative effects assessment are also provided. The report found that there would be no cumulative effects and impacts to traditional resource use and traditional ecological knowledge resources from the project would be low. Nonetheless, Devon's mitigation strategies include supporting traditional ways and values through potential sponsorship of traditional resource use and traditional ecological knowledge camps, training on traditional values and respect for the land, participating in the Cumulative Environmental Management Association, and maintaining ongoing communication with communities.