An official with Alberta Environment wants a science-based assessment system and long-term monitoring of oil and gas sites rather than the current certification system that relies heavily on professional judgment.  |  File photo

Alta. well site reclamation gets bad grade

Gov’t scientist says follow-up work doesn’t adequately ensure land is returned to equivalent state before development

BANFF, ALTA. — Alberta’s conservation and reclamation program on former energy sites is not working properly, said a government land scientist. Once a former well site is certified as reclaimed, nobody follows up to make sure the land was returned to an equivalent state before development, said Arnold Janz, a land scientist with Alberta Environment […] Read more

The SFM series is probably the most practical machine for converting bush into cropland, says GB rep Sylvain Benoit. The violent shredding action turns tree to mulch, thus eliminating the need to pile and burn.  |  Sylvain Benoit photo

Making more land from land you have

Farmland prices foster technology designed to grind stumps, trees and roots to help make land productive quickly

LANGHAM, Sask. — As North American farmland values continue climbing, farmers are eyeing areas where potentially productive soil remains covered by forest and scrub brush. In regions like the prairie parkland, some of the best land is also the stoniest land, which explains why it remains in the natural state. The old low-tech slash-and-burn method […] Read more

About 700 acres of willows have been densely planted in sandy soil prepared with biosolids from the City of Calgary’s waste water treatment system.
Willow chips are the final stage after the trees are harvested. They can be used for composting, livestock bedding or biofuel. 
Shawn Northwood of the bio-remediation company shows a willow sapling that will be planted directly into the fertilized soil. It will root within a few days.
|  Barbara Duckworth photo

Soil amendment project a win-win

Calgary project takes marginal land and treats it with biosolids, providing biomass for trees and crops to thrive

A 10-year project to rebuild sandy soil at the Mountainview Colony east of Calgary has turned out better than expected. The colony agreed to use bio-solids from the City of Calgary to fertilize some marginal land. The prepared material went on with a manure spreader and was incorporated into the top layer of soil, and […] Read more