August 8, 2002
The Bodo Hills are marked by lush fescue grassland, aspen woodlands and a variety of wetlands, such as alkali springs. The government of Alberta has designated this area as environmentally significant.
The Bodo Hills are marked by lush fescue grassland, aspen woodlands and a variety of wetlands, such as alkali springs. The government of Alberta has designated this area as environmentally significant for these qualities, which give the Bodo Hills international significance.
The area is 348.5 km2 and the terrain is strongly hummocky with knob and kettle landforms that make good habitat for rare terrestrial birds and grassland plant species. Most of the land that once had these qualities has been cultivated or cleared from Alberta’s landscape.
Several letters are written to the Minister of Energy Murray Smith by AWA Conservation Specialist Tamaini Snaith and Conservation Biologist Lara Smandych on behalf of the association opposing the sale of land leases in the Bodo Hills area of concern. The letters are to ensure that the leases currently located within the Bodo Hills Environmentally Significant Area (ESA) are not explored and the area will be protected. The letters from the AWA illustrate to the Energy Minister that more of Alberta’s diverse natural regions and sub-regions need to be protected.
A letter by conservation Specialist Tamaini Snaith is sent to the Minister of Energy Murray Smith regarding the fate of several leases up for sale in the Bodo Hills area of concern. The letter indicates the intent of AWA to work with the AER, industry and government to secure the land for conservation. Arguments for the opposition of the lease sales state only 4.1% of Alberta is currently protected under provincial legislation, with only a fraction of the number effectively protected by industrial development.
Bill 15, the Natural Heritage Act, passes the second reading. However, the spring sitting of the Alberta legislature does not pass Bill 15 due to public opposition.
March 1, 1999
The introduction of Bill 15, Natural Heritage Act, is presented to the government of Alberta. The Bill will replace three existing pieces of legislation: The Willmore Wilderness Park Act, the Wilderness Areas Ecological Reserves and Natural Areas Act, and the Provincial Parks Act, and consolidate them into one piece of legislation. In the Act, the government intends to honor existing industrial depositions that existed at the time of an areas protection designation. This would allow the continued exploitation of protected areas. The Act could give the Minister or the Environmental Department the option to override the protected status of an area to allow development of industry, thus negating fair legislative process.
February 24, 1999
Bodo Hills has been declined as a Special Place by the Alberta government and ranchers and environmentalists clash over the site. One side wants the area to be protected and the other is uncertain of their fate if the area is protected. The problems stem from confusion about the definition of “protected” whether it will allow grazing.
A meeting with representatives of the Premier leave environmentalists and conservationists in want. No commitments were made by representatives of the government on recommendations to establish the ten most doable candidate parks in the province.
Environment Minister Ty Lund proposes Bill 15 called the Natural Heritage Act, which will effectively open protected areas to off-road vehicles and industry development.
January 12, 1999
AWA, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, and World Wildlife Fund join together and a letter is sent to Ralph Klein, the Premier of Alberta, asking that the shortcomings of Special Places 2000 be corrected. The three groups have identified a top ten list of areas in Alberta that should be protected, one of which is Bodo Hills. Six others would contribute significantly to the Yellowstone to Yukon Initiative.
An archeologist by the name of Terry Gibson Ph.D. examined the area before a well site was to be established and discovered a great archeological site, altering his career and Bodo Hills forever. A stretch of unassuming grassland with a high water table is now the site of archeological artifacts and remains including metal arrow heads, pottery, bison bones, hearths and teepee rings. Dr. Gibson determined that the area was used thousands of years ago by First Nations to trap and kill bison, who took advantage of the high water table and sand dunes in the area. Years after the discovery, students from the University of Alberta who are enrolled in anthropology courses use the area each summer and continue uncovering exceptionally preserved artifacts and remains.
December 18, 1995
An application for a well license is sent to the AWA from the AER for a well that will be located inside the Bodo hills area of concern.
The AER sends the AWA a list of well locations, owners and well parameters located around Alberta, one of which falls within the Bodo Hills area.
December 13th, a well license is issued to Renaissance Energy Ltd. for a well that will fall within the Bodo Hills area of concern. The license was issued by the Well Licensing Section of the Drilling and Production Department for the well site 100/01-06-036-02W4/00.
Three new well licenses were issued on February 4th, September 14th, and September 30th, to Renaissance Energy Ltd., Triumvirate Energy Corp., and Sirious Energy Corporation, respectively. The well licenses are for wells located within the Bodo Hills area of concern.
March 6th, a well license is issued to Thompson-Jensen Petroleums Ltd. for a well that will fall within the Bodo Hills area of concern. The license was issued by the Well Licensing Section of the Drilling and Production Department for the well site LSD 12-21-35-2W4M.