Southern Alberta tour - Part 2
During the committee’s tour of communities in southern Alberta, it was a privilege to be able to hold in person meetings after the lifting of certain restrictions due to COVID. In this second installment, we will provide a brief overview of what the committee learned during various site visits.
We were pleased to be able to see several sites firsthand and to better understand the issues associated with past and proposed future coal developments in Alberta.
Three coal development companies – Atrum Coal, Cabin Ridge Coal and Montem Resources – welcomed the committee to their proposed project sites. During these visits, the committee members witnessed examples of how the companies work to minimize certain impacts associated with mining, such as removal, reclamation and recontouring of landscapes. The companies explained proposals to re-enter existing sites and then progressively reclaim affected areas. The site visits offered the committee members the opportunity to speak with employees and hear their perspectives about economic and employment opportunities as well.
The committee was also invited to the Rocking-P Ranch, where they were joined by the owners of the Plateau Cattle Company. The ranchers shared their history on the land, the importance of cattle and proper range management, and discussed the economic benefit of agriculture as a whole. They shared their perspectives that ranching and coal development cannot coexist, and discussed the impact of uncertainty surrounding coal development that is affecting their lives and their businesses.
Lastly, the committee met with local Alberta Environment and Parks staff who explained and demonstrated the different coal land categories in the region and the land-use plans currently in place for the landscape.
We are grateful to our hosts for taking the time to show us the area and share their expertise, thoughts and concerns.