Spring 2016 E-Newsletter
Natural Processes for the Restoration of Drastically Disturbed Sites
Presentation at the Prairie Conservation and Endangered Species Conference
Saskatoon, SK. February 16-18, 2016
David F. Polster, M.Sc. R.P.Bio.
Natural processes have been restoring natural disturbances for millions of years (Polster 2009). Understanding how these processes operate provides us with the opportunity to mimic these processes when we restore disturbances we create. Photographs 1 and 2 show the Frank Slide in the Crowsnest Pass area on the British Columbia – Alberta border. The slide came down in 1903, burying the town of Frank, Alberta, killing the 70 to 90 people who were in the town asleep. Since that time, natural processes have operated to restore over 82 million tonnes of rock that came down. By looking closely at how the vegetation (primarily Balsam Poplar in this case) is establishing on the slide debris (Polster and Bell 1980), techniques for restoration of mining wastes can be developed. Read more...
Photograph 1 & 2. The Frank Slide came down in 1903, burying the town of Frank, Alberta. The collection of organic materials in the interstitial spaces between the rocks creates a substrate that will support the growth of vegetation.
Glenbow Ranch Park Foundation
Grasslands Restoration Research Project
By: Ashley Easton, Grasslands Ecologist with the Glenbow Ranch Park Foundation
Rough fescue grasslands are among the most threatened ecosystems in North America. Anthropogenic impacts on grasslands have intensified to a point that only less than 5 to 16% of these grasslands remain intact throughout the Northern Fescue, Central Parkland and Foothills Fescue Natural Subregions (Kupsch et al., 2013; Adams, 2003). These remaining grasslands continue to be threatened by a combination of activities, including urban and industrial development, agriculture, and invasion of non-native species. The future of grassland ecosystems, and the many species that rely on them, is highly dependent on our ability to restore these natural vegetation communities affected by disturbance.
While there is a comprehensive understanding of how many of the individual species within grassland ecosystems function, there are numerous gaps in our understanding of how to restore the complexity and functionality of these ecosystems. Long-term data on successful restoration techniques and best management practices is also not widely available. For example, while rough fescue can germinate readily from seed, there is currently a poor understanding of how to manage high establishment failures that typically result within the first two years of direct seeding which have historically resulted in failure to re-establish this key species during restoration. Read more...
Education Resources and Opportunities
Two M.Sc. Opportunities in Soil Sciences at the University of Saskatchewan
Working in partnership with Kaminak Gold Corporation (KGC) we aim to develop site specific restoration materials and techniques for the Coffee Gold Project located 130 km south of Dawson City, Yukon. Our project will characterize the rhizosphere (i.e. soil that is influenced by roots and associated soil microorganisms) of northern native plants that are potential candidates for restoration. We will also develop site-specific materials for restoration, including examining the impact of stockpiling on a local peat soil amendment and the interactions of the peat amendment with above and below ground plant-soil systems.
1) M.Sc. Restoration of Northern Plant-Soil Systems
2) M.Sc. Boreal Rhizosphere Dynamics in Peat-Amended Soils
Public Conservation Assistance Fund
The PCAF provides small grants to organizations and individuals who have a conservation project in mind but need financial help to make it happen. These grants help implement on-the-ground conservation work, with a particular focus on hands-on, community based and public awareness initiatives. Deadline: May 16, 2016
TD Friends of the Environment
Founded by TD Bank Group in 1990, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation (TD FEF) is a national charity that funds environmental projects across Canada. The Foundation supports a wide range of environmental initiatives, with a primary funding focus on: Environmental education, urban greening and enhancing biodiversity, and energy conservation. Deadline: July 15, 2016
Environment Canada Eco-Action Community Funding Program
Since 1995, this program has provided financial support to community-based, non-profit organizations for projects that have measurable, positive impacts on the environment. The Program encourages action focused projects that will protect, rehabilitate or enhance the natural environment, and build the capacity of communities to sustain these activities into the future. Deadline: November 1, 2016
Kamloops This Week, April 10, 2016 - Channeling change on Tranquille Creek
Global News, April 7, 2016 - Cash grants for Okanagan water protection projects
National Post, April 5, 2016
- Oil companies create lakes 'from scratch' to try to replace destroyed fish habitat in north Alberta
The Crag & Canyon, April 2, 2016 - International Workshop on bison reintroduction coming to Banff
Oldman Watershed Council, April 2, 2016 - Get out into the backcountry and help restore trails!
University of Alberta, March 24, 2016 - Beaver Hills area named UNESCO biosphere reserve
Vauxhall Advance, March 24, 2016
- Federal dollars should target well reclamation
University of Alberta, March 21, 2016 - Forest ecologists win NSERC grant to study how fungi restore pine forests
Read more regional restoration news on our website.
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upcoming events, including opportunities to volunteer with local restoration projects