Associated Environmental was retained by CEMA's Terrestrial Subgroup (TSG) to assist with revisions to their Guidelines for Reclamation to Forest Vegetation in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region, referred to as the Revegetation Manual (2nd Edition). Associated engaged oil sands mine reclamation planners, practitioners, contractors, and other stakeholders for their input to the planned revisions. We planned, hosted, facilitated, and summarized two stakeholder work sessions and an on-line survey to identify information gaps in the manual.
The work sessions engaged industrial stakeholders, Aboriginal groups, regulatory agencies, and consultants working in the oil sands region to understand how these groups use the manual and to receive input regarding possible enhancements to the manual. Associated partnered with a reclamation and oil sands expert to provide a focussed dialogue and deliver a well-informed product.
The next steps were to develop, refine, and integrate an approved conceptual flow diagram into the manual, with a re-focus of developing revegetation techniques to establish upland forest ecosystems with multiple end land uses (i.e., commercial forest, wildlife habitat, traditional use, and recreation). This diagram was fundamental in guiding users of the manual in initial reclamation planning and application of vegetation establishment guidelines.
Associated developed checklists as a reclamation planning tool at the site level, which could be used at the landform and landscape level to identify design elements that would achieve end land-use goals. With the TSG as the final decision maker, the project was an iterative process at every step.