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Monitoring Efforts to Recover Athabasca Rainbows in Apetowun Creek: Year Two

November 27, 2021

Wild Lands Advocate article by: Phillip Meintzer, AWA Conservation Specialist

Click here for a pdf version of the article.

The day started before dawn, waking to the sound of my alarm at 5:30 AM in a hotel bed in Hinton Alberta on a dark September morning. I was in Hinton to visit the site of the Obed Mountain coal mine disaster – a tailings pond failure which saw 670,000 cubic metres of coal wastewater tear down the mountainside on October 31st, 2013. It destroyed much of Apetowun Creek and its neighbouring vegetation in the process. I was visiting as a follow-up trip for Alberta Wilderness Association (AWA), as we had visited the site during the summer of 2020, just over a year prior to monitor the rehabilitation efforts at Apetowun Creek following the legal settlement against Prairie Mines and Royalty who pleaded guilty in 2017. The restoration efforts are being led by a team from Hatfield Consultants and I met with two of their team members in the hotel lobby at 6:00 AM.

When citizens and their representatives in government fail to place a high value on wilderness as a resource in itself, then its disappearance – especially in reasonably accessible locations – is swift and certain.
- Bruce M. Litteljohn and Douglas H. Pimlott, “Why Wilderness?”, 1971
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