Five retired provincial fish and wildlife biologists provided a submission to the Coal Policy Committee earlier this year called Insights On Coal Development. Members say the submission was grounded in their experience as provincial biologists and in ecological arguments. The Coal Policy Committee was granted more time until December 31st to release their final submissions to Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage. Lorne Fitch, a Professional Biologist, and retired provincial fish and wildlife biologist, says there are no longer places in the Eastern Slopes where coal development can be safely, effectively and environmentally accommodated.
Fitch says the submission was based on the members’ experiences, observations, and research of open-pit coal mining in the Eastern slopes over a nearly 50-year time frame. This includes research references on the ecological effects of coal mining on the environment, and fish and wildlife populations.