Land Capability Classification for Forest Ecosystems in the Oil Sands.
The goal of reclamation in Alberta is to achieve land capability equivalent to that which existed prior to disturbance. The Land Capability Classification System for Forest Ecosystems manual (LCCS) is a working document intended to facilitate evaluation of land capabilities for forest ecosystems on natural and reclaimed lands in the Athabasca oil sands region, as required by Alberta's Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act (EPEA) approvals, and by current Alberta Environment terms of reference for Environmental Impact Assessments.
The LCCS is based on an integration of numeric values assigned to soil and landscape characteristics that are known to be fundamental to ecosystem productivity. Parameters considered include soil moisture regime, soil nutrient regime and soil physical and chemical properties that are potentially limiting to plant growth.
The first edition of the LCCS was developed in 1996 by the Tailings Sand Reclamation Practices Working Group, and was revised in 1998 based on results from field testing. The Soil and Vegetation Subgroup (SVSG) of the Reclamation Working Group (RWG) of the Cumulative nvironmental Management Association (CEMA) is currently responsible for the continued refinement of the LCCS, and has developed this 3rd (2006) Edition.