Cascadia Restoration Management and News

Cascadia Restoration Management and News is the SER Northwest Chapter’s quarterly e-newsletter. The content of the newsletter focuses on the practice of restoration within the Cascadia bioregion and includes feature articles, short news briefs, product announcements, notices of events, job openings, and citations/abstracts of recently published research. Join SERNW to start receiving your copy of Cascadia Restoration Management and News.

Excerpt from the Current Issue:

Restoration in Alaska’s North Slope Oilfields

Sue Bishop

Oil and gas exploration in northern Alaska began in the 1960’s, and the first discovery of oil in the Prudhoe Bay field was announced in March 1968. The Trans-Alaska Pipeline System was constructed during 1975-1977, to bring the oil to the tidewater port at Valdez, 800 miles south on the coast of Alaska. The first oil flowed through the pipeline in June 1977, and took about 30 days to reach Valdez.

ABR, Inc.—Environmental Research and Services has been involved in research, planning, and implementation for land rehabilitation in Prudhoe Bay and other North Slope oilfields since the early 1980s. For most of the sites we’ve worked at, complete restoration to pre-disturbance conditions is not a realistic goal, due to the nature of the disturbances and the harsh environmental conditions. We tend to focus more on rehabilitation; i.e., promoting the development of a stable, self-sustaining community of indigenous plants, although typically not the same community that existed before the disturbance.

Disturbance types within the oilfields that may require rehabilitation include gravel roads and pads (intact, partially, or completely removed), excavations (intact or backfilled), spills (petroleum, seawater, chemicals), off-road vehicle traffic (intentional or accidental), and tundra affected by the removal of ice roads and pads. In some cases (e.g., intact gravel pads), the original tundra vegetation has been completely lost, and the new substrate provides very different conditions. In other cases (e.g., disturbance by off-road traffic), the surviving tundra vegetation may be capable of recovery.

Read more here


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