Mine reclamation in British Columbia : accolades and issues Howe, Diane Joan; Polster, D. F. (David Franklin), 1952-
British Columbia leads the world in mined land reclamation. Effective programs for re-integration of the disturbed lands with the surrounding terrain have been developed. Strategies for replacement of substrates that provide suitable characteristics for plant growth as well as protection and isolation of underlying mine wastes from the environment have been applied at a number of mines in British Columbia. Effective systems for the establishment of an appropriate vegetation cover on the reclamation sites are as varied as the biogeoclimatic zones in which they are applied. Similarly, diverse systems for reclamation monitoring and maintenance have been developed at some mines. However, there are mines and sites on some mining properties where large waste rock dumps stand in stark contrast to the surrounding landscape. At some mines or on some sites within a particular mine, waste rock and/or tailings have not been adequately covered with a suitable growth medium and the growth of vegetation is patchy or non-existent. Similarly, although effective revegetation strategies have been applied at some properties, there are sites where dense stands of agronomic grasses and legumes all but preclude the reestablishment of appropriate successional trajectories on the disturbed lands on these sites and the prospects of a self-sustaining vegetation cover are a distant dream. This paper explores the accomplishments and pit-falls in mined land reclamation in British Columbia.
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