LAND 255 - Land Reclamation

Land reclamation is the application of a broad understanding of environmental factors including ecology, forestry, soils, agriculture, botany, native, water, contamination, and invasive plant species. Disturbed sites often have undesirable characteristics that need to be mitigated. Negative effects occur because disturbances initiate a period of instability and disruption of ecological processes. Disturbed sites may be experiencing soil erosion with consequent pollution of watercourses, slope failure, degraded riparian zones, and toxic substances, thus taking land out of a productive state. With an understanding of the nature of disturbance and how to mitigate or restore disturbed sites in an agriculture, forested, native plant, muskeg, and setting, students will be able to effectively restore sites to a productive state through the application of knowledge and skills acquired in this course.


Credits: 4


Hours: 75 (Lecture Hours: 45; Laboratory Hours: 30)


Total Weeks: 15


LAND 245, SOIL 230, and WATR 250, or permission of the instructor


Non-Course Prerequisites:





Course Content:
Soil and Ecosystem Properties and Processes
- Soil definition and describe soil components
- Soil processes
- Ecosystem components
- Ecosystem processes of matter cycling and energy flow
Types and Characteristic of Disturbances
- Disturbances caused by wellsite, pad construction, pipeline and establishment in frozen and non-frozen conditions
- Disturbances caused by road and landing establishment
- Disturbances caused by construction of borrow pit and pond containment (from a surface and groundwater perspective)
- Disturbances caused by landslides, slope failure, and surface erosion
- Characteristics of degraded watercourses
- Characteristics of contaminated sites and the impacts on revegetation during reclamation
- Mitigation measures to minimize impacts during planned disturbances and development
Soil Stabilization and Reclamation
- Processes of soil erosion
- Characteristics of subsoil and overburden
- Methods for reducing soil erosion
- Methods for controlling slope failure
- Methods of channel and stream bank stabilization
- Methods of mitigating soil contamination
- Methods of mitigating subsoil compaction in forested and agricultural lands
- Methods of mitigating soil admixing in forested and agricultural lands
- Methods to increase fertility, tilth and productivity of inactive soils
- Methods to remove aggregate from soils
- Methods to reclaim highly disturbed sites when replacing slopes
- Considerations for frozen condition reclamation vs. non frozen
- Managing wood debris and mulch on forested sites
Water Management During Construction & Reclamation
- Surface and groundwater considerations during reclamation
- Positive and negative impacts of surface water retention
- Managing groundwater on reclamation sites: strategies and techniques
- Heavy duty equipment: capabilities, costs and safety
Revegetation Species and Techniques
- Selecting suitable revegetation species and mixes using available databases
- Significance of native plant species on traditional First Nation land
- Problems associated with plant establishment on disturbed lands
- Methods of ameliorating the microclimatic and chemical environment
- Seed and propagate establishment methods
- Tree and shrub planting
- Invasive weed species integrated management strategies (organic, traditional agriculture and natural landscapes)
- Strategies for reducing impact from livestock and wildlife on establishing vegetation
- Types of equipment used for revegetation in forested and agricultural sites
Wildlife Habitat and Reclamation
- Considerations for large and small mammal habitat restoration
- Considerations for target species in habitat restoration
Government Reclamation/Restoration Standards and Guidelines
- Relevant acts and regulations in BC (major) and Alberta (minor)
- Reclamation/restoration standards and guidelines in BC (major) and Alberta (minor)
- IOGC considerations and differences
Lab Content:
Multi Stakeholder Considerations
- Identify possible stakeholders for each lab project
- Consider factors of importance to each stakeholder
Soil analysis study (field/lab component)
- Set-up study design
- Importance of sample location and selecting representative samples
- Collect soil and analyze soil samples including low pH soils, low organic matter soils, compacted soils and sandy soils
- Present results in a report
Equipment for Reclamation:
- Identify major and minor heavy duty equipment for reclamation
- Understand the costs associated with equipment
- Understand the positive and negative of using various pieces of equipment
Bioengineering Project and Perform Tasks to Carry Out a Project (field/lab component)
- Plan approach to bioengineering project
- Assess site conditions and decide on project objectives
- Sample and analyze soil characteristics
- Organize and collect necessary plant material
- Bioengineering tasks to meet objectives of project
Post Construction Site assessment on a well site OR pipeline and document the results in a report (field/lab component)
- Regulations governing pre-site assessments
- Assemble tools to performs pre-site assessments
- Proper soil sampling and packaging techniques
- Compile results and present in a report


Learning Outcomes:
- Use critical thinking to solve post construction/disturbance problems
- Manage information using documentation and organizational skills
- Communicate information using written, oral and email methods appropriate to the workplace
- Access pertinent information to apply to various reclamation and environmental problems
- Demonstrate an understanding of professional ethics to the workplace when working with multiple stakeholders including companies, landowners and government officials
- Identify plant communities and create specific reclamation strategies to ensure establishment
- Manage watersheds and water quality
- Identify various soil landscapes and soil types
- Establish construction/development recommendations in order to ensure reclamation is successful once the development is complete
- Demonstrate knowledge on capabilities of various machinery in land construction/development and reclamation
- Identify invasive weed species and create adaptive management approaches
- Correlate plant and soil deficiencies with contaminants of concern
- Create and Apply Reclamation plans in theory and practice
- Utilize skills to collaborate with a project team of diverse stakeholders
- Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the different approaches taken in forested, agricultural, muskeg and natural settings for land reclamation
- Prepare land reclamation strategies for similar sites under both frozen and non-frozen conditions
- Establish mitigation measures for erosion and sediment control problems
- Create specific wildlife habitat reclamation plans


Grading System: Letters


Passing Grade: D (50%)


Percentage of Individual Work: 75


Percentage of Group Work: 25


Textbooks are subject to change.  Please contact the bookstore at your local campus for current book lists.