Should Climate Change be Taken into Account in Reclamation Planning?

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Chris Powter
John Hogenbirk
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When planning for reclamation, climate is often taken for granted as being fixed, or at least variable within a known range. This range, coupled with the soils and final landforms, sets the limits for land use and revegetation species. It has been suggested that our climate is going to vary, or shift, outside of these expected ranges. If this occurs, there could be a change in the ecological region where a particular mine site is located. This change could, in turn, render current reclamation plans for the site obsolete. Since mines are often operating within the time frame suggested by some for climate change, there is ample opportunity to plan for change. The paper will challenge the reader to answer the question "should reclamationists plan for climate change?"