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November 30, 2021

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

Click here for a pdf version of the article.

Alberta’s Oil Sands Region (OSR) spans 142,000 square kilometres across northern Alberta, encompassing more than one fifth of our province’s land area. Approximately 30% of this region is comprised of two types of wetland ecosystems – bogs and fens. These wetlands are productive landscapes dominated by the presence of sphagnum (aka. peat) mosses which play a crucial role in the maintenance of healthy watersheds and provide much needed habitat for a host of wildlife species such as migratory waterfowl. Over the past several decades, industrialization has increased pressure on Alberta’s wetlands resulting in the loss and degradation of these ecosystems. Continuous monitoring and mitigation of human impacts is a paramount precondition for maintaining healthy wetland ecosystems into the future.

A healthy relationship to the wilderness is not in the least incompatible with civilized living. Indeed, I believe it to be an indispensable condition thereof; that no man is truly civilized unless he is involved in and cares for the wilderness.
- Ashley Montagu, 1969
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