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Willow, Birch, and Jack Pine… Oh My!: How the Boreal Forest Changes Over Time

Has the boreal forest always been a boreal forest? How do vegetation communities change with age? One thing for certain is that northern boreal forests are young. Compared to the redwood forests of California for example, Alberta’s boreal forest is a ‘baby’. That being said, it’s no baby in size. The boreal forest region in Alberta covers over 55% of the province and is a ‘hot spot’ for ecological diversity.

The forested parts of Alberta figured here are dominated by the boreal forest. The boreal region is renowned for its ecological diversity and is home to hundreds of plants and animals (created by Christina Poletto).

Why is Alberta’s boreal forest so young and how has it changed? Some 12,000 years ago, ice sheets that covered Alberta began to melt and the landscape opened. The Laurentide Ice Sheet retreated to the northeast so that the northwest corner of Alberta was the first region to become free of ice. The newly opened landscape was a productive steppe-tundra environment that lasted for a short period. Species like birch and alder were dominant while smaller shrubs of grasses and willow covered the remaining landscape. (more…)

Archaeological Survey in Numbers Part Two : Archaeological Permit Holders and Companies

This week’s post is part two of a series of infographics about the Archaeological Research Permit Management System at the Archaeological Survey of the Historic Resources Management Branch. This infographic discusses the professional archaeologists and archaeological consulting companies working in Alberta.

Previous posts:

THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL SURVEY IN NUMBERS 2016 – PART ONE: ARCHAEOLOGICAL PERMITS

ARCHAEOLOGY AND DEVELOPMENT: STATISTICS FROM THE HISTORIC RESOURCES MANAGEMENT BRANCH

Archaeological Survey in Numbers Part Two table

The Archaeological Survey in Numbers 2016 – Part One: Archaeological Permits

Today’s blog post is the first of a series of infographics exploring archaeological research permits and archaeological sites recorded in 2016 and all the way back to 1973 at the Archaeological Survey.

archaeological-survey-in-numbers-part-one-permits-hria

Happy Holidays 2016!

holiday-greeting-2016-01

The staff of the Historic Resources Management Branch wish you a safe and happy holiday season. If you missed it last week, our holiday post was about St. Nicholas Peak!

RETROactive hit a big milestone this year – 5 years of publication and over 250,000 views all time! Thanks to you, our amazing readers, for your support. We couldn’t have done it without you!

Our top 5 posts of 2016 were:

  1. Hollywood in the Canadian Rockies
  2. Changing Animals: Alberta’s Ice Age Megafauna and Wally’s Beach
  3. Blood Kettles and Buffalo Jumps: Communal Hunting on the Plains of Alberta
  4. Alberta on Fire: A History of Cultural Burning
  5. Power and Powder: Early Guns in Alberta

RETROactive will be taking a break over the holidays — we will resume publishing on January 4th, 2017. We look forward to seeing you all in the New Year!

Remembering Allan Pard

Allan Pard (right) and Blair First Rider (left) (Photo Credit: Jack Ives)

Allan Pard (right) and Blair First Rider (left) (Photo Credit: Jack Ives)

Alberta Culture and Tourism staff are heartbroken by the loss of our mentor, colleague and friend Allan Pard. Allan (Mi’kskimmiisoka’simii “Iron Shirt”) was a highly respected and beloved Piikani Nation Elder and ceremonialist, active in ceremony and numerous sacred Societies. Working for the Government of Alberta for more than 30 years, Allan was integral to a large number of Alberta Culture and Tourism initiatives and served as a senior adviser to the Ministry of Indigenous Relations. He constantly strived to bridge relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples by fostering environments of understanding and respect. He challenged us to do better, and led by example each step of the way. (more…)

Happy Holidays!

HRM - 2015 Holiday Card

The staff of the Historic Resources Management Branch wishes you a safe and happy holiday season.

We’ve worked hard to identify, protect and conserve Alberta’s historic resources this past year. We’d like to thank the countless people throughout Alberta for helping us to do that. Without your support, conserving our historic places would be impossible.

RETROactive will be taking a break over the holidays — we will resume publishing on January 6th, 2016. We look forward to seeing you all in the New Year!

Happy Canada Day!

Happy Canada Day from the staff of Alberta Culture and Tourism's Historic Resources Management Branch!

Happy Canada Day from the staff of Alberta Culture and Tourism’s Historic Resources Management Branch!