Reclaimed landscapes at open pit mines are often quite different than the landscape prior to mine development. Planned land use at mine closure is typically an important component of mine reclamation regulations, but how these land uses are distributed and their proportion on the reclaimed landscape may have changed from the previous condition. What must be critically assessed is how the proposed land uses of the reclaimed landscape will provide the resources required to meet the end user's values of the land. This requires both a thorough assessment of the cultural values of the people who will use the landscape (and may have used the landscape prior to mining) and an understanding of those ecological components of the landscape that provide the services to support these values. Using the example of Fort McKay First Nation's traditional lands that are situated in the centre of Canada's oil sands mining developments, this paper investigates the linkages between Fort McKay First Nation's values that are connected to cultural activities and the components of the reclaimed landscapes that will be necessary to provide the opportunity to conduct these activities. We examine, from a landscape ecology perspective, how mine reclamation plans can incorporate all of the necessary landscape elements and appropriate spatial heterogeneity that are related to the ecological processes required to achieve the land use objectives.
Jones, C. E. & MacLean, M. I. A. (2013). Reclaimed landscapes - incorporating cultural values. In AB Fourie & M Tibbett (Eds.), Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Mine Closure. Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Cornwall (pp. 441-446).