CEMA Releases New Revegetation Manual for Oil Sands

FORT MCMURRAY, AB, Feb. 3 /CNW/ - The Cumulative Environmental Management Association (CEMA) has released its updated Guidelines for Reclamation to Forest Vegetation in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region (Revegetation Manual). The Revegetation Manual should provide guidance on re-establishing the forest vegetation component of ecosystems and on evaluating the success of this process on reclaimed oil sands leases. The first edition of the Revegetation Manual was prepared in 1998 and was recognized as a 'living' document that would require periodic updates as new information became available to improve reclamation practices in the oil sands region. This updated Manual is the second edition and the next version of the Manual is expected in another five years.

The Revegetation Manual provides guidance for establishment of reclaimed plant communities that have species characteristic of native plant communities in the oil sands region. It also works within the expectations that trends of vegetation community and structure development on reclaimed ecosystems be similar to local native plant communities, that reclaimed ecosystems have developmental trajectories that satisfy end land-use objectives, and that they be resilient to natural disturbance events.

These goals are achieved in the Revegetation Manual by providing:

    - Flexibility in revegetation treatments,
    - Methods to evaluate the success of revegetation measures,
    - More direct linkage between soil salvage, soil placement and
      revegetation activities,
    - An explicit list of knowledge gaps encountered during the update of
      this Manual.

"The new and improved Manual will help provide additional support to those re-developing their ecosystems in the oil sands region," stated Justin Straker, Revegetation Manual Task Group Chair. "The recommendations have been forwarded to the Alberta Government for their consideration, in keeping with rules regulating the reclamation of land."

CEMA's work plan and area of study are independently produced and developed by CEMA members, management committee and working groups. Since its inception CEMA has produced hundreds of reports and 9 Management Frameworks which are available on its website.

SOURCE Cumulative Environmental Management Association

For further information: For further information: For a complete copy of the Revegetation Manual or more information please visit www.cemaonline.ca or contact: Corey Hobbs, Communications Director, Cumulative Environmental Management Association, (780) 881-4943, Corey.hobbs@cemaonline.ca

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