The 2010 Reclamation Criteria for Wellsites and Associated Facilities for Native Grasslands was
released in June of 2011 to relieve then current backlog of processing Reclamation Certificate
applications, and to increase the quality of applications and public confidence in the oil and gas
The Record of Observations (RoO) Tool was used in this project to assess reclamation success
and to gain an understanding of how past practices such as seeding native species influences
reclamation success. An additional objective was to determine the time length after
reclamation required to gauge a reclamation certificate as a shorter time period could reduce
unwarranted extension of surface leases and costs to industry.
Fourteen sites comprised of five sites in the Central Parkland, six in the Northern Fescue and
three in the Dry Mixed Grass subregions were used for the study. Sites ranged from 2.5 years
since reclamation to 15 years post reclamation.
Of the fourteen sites assessed all failed the criteria for one or more reasons. Ten sites had
failures on invasive species; the young sites under 5 years after reclamation had issues with
litter quality and quantity and structural layers. Access roads had soil compaction problems and
needed additional vegetation assessments in order to obtain a better species composition.
Many of the sites that failed could be passed with a non-routine application using justifications
and professional judgment.