Alberta's landscape could change forever...
A series of coal mines are threatening the environment and way of life in Alberta’s Rockies. Despite reinstatement of Alberta’s Coal Policy in February, 2021, significant damage has already been done since the policy was cancelled without public consultation in June, 2020.
Coal exploration activities have been the main culprit, with hundreds of kilometres of new roads and test drill pits significantly disrupting wildlife habitat and scenic views.
Our EASTERN SLOPES
Too Important to Risk
They provide nearly 2 million Albertans with our drinking water.
They contain the iconic landscapes and wildlife that draw people from all over the world to Alberta.
They support Alberta’s diverse agriculture, ranching, tourism and recreation economies.
They provide Albertans with amazing areas to recreate, connect with nature, and nourish our mental and physical health.
They are important traditional lands where Indigenous peoples exercise their Treaty rights.
Why is coal mining a threat to our landscapes?
The proposed coal mines in Alberta’s Rockies are neither responsible nor sustainable. They will utilize open-pit and strip mining at a scale unprecedented in Alberta. These projects threaten water security across the Canadian prairies, impact fish and wildlife populations, and put some of Alberta’s last remaining wild places at risk. Coal, including that used for steel making, is the most polluting of all fossil fuels and is driving much of our current climate crisis. The companies promoting these mines are largely foreign-owned; Albertans will gain few benefits while bearing both the immediate and long-term social and environmental costs.
A new vision that helps better protect Alberta’s Eastern Slopes is needed
Cancellation of the Coal Policy resulted in almost 188,000 hectares of new coal leases across the Rockies, adding to the threat of several new coal mine proposals already underway. Exploration and mine development covering over 50,000 hectares are now at some stage of approval or execution. These activities are taking place in areas where coal mining would not previously have been considered and important areas that were not protected by the Coal Policy.
Coal companies have already constructed hundreds of kilometres of new roads and are in the process of developing hundreds of test drill pits across the landscapes to explore for coal deposits. Several mining projects are going forward with these environmentally devastating exploration activities, including six in areas previously protected by the Coal Policy that were specifically exempted when the Policy was reinstated.
"What can I do?"
Write a letter today to let the government know that you want a FULL STOP to any new exploration permits on the Eastern Slopes, a halt to all exploration activity for permits that have already been approved, and the CANCELLATION of all coal leases issued since June 1, 2020. The reinstatement of the 1976 Coal Policy does not eliminate the risks facing the region, nor does the rejection of the Grassy Mountain Coal Project. Ongoing coal exploration is still permitted and new coal mining leases continue to be held in the Eastern Slopes.
It is crucial we stand up now to make sure mining projects across the Eastern Slopes that easily passed through early stages of exploration approvals last year cannot continue with activities throughout 2021 and no new mines are approved in the Alberta Rockies.
Help Us Fight For A Coal Free Future In Alberta
Mining Threats To Alberta's Southwest
Alberta Coal Projects
Reclaim the Coal Exploration Footprint
When the Government of Alberta rescinded the 1976 Coal Policy in 2020, multiple coal companies were approved to construct over 700 drill-sites and more than 250 kilometers of new roads in the Rocky Mountains. These roads and drill-sites have not yet been reclaimed. While the government’s March 4, 2022 announcement paused coal development, these exploration scars remain on our landscape – a giant industrial footprint that continues to damage both lands and waters. The longer these features go unreclaimed, the more impact they will have. What’s more? There is currently no clear plan or direction to immediately reclaim this damage.