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Photographer's Note

The vegetation of Northern Alberta is dominated by boreal forest, composed of a mixture of coniferous (such as spruce and pine) and deciduous (birch and different types of poplar) trees. The waterlogged ground prevents the summer access, but during the winter roads are easily cut with the bulldozer and large companies such as ALPAC (Alberta Pacific Forest Industries) are busy with the deforestation of the mostly pristine landscape. ALPAC runs a few large pulp and paper mills in the area, which are fed with copious amounts of deciduous trees such as black poplar. My understanding is that the spruce is not supposed to be cut, with the exception of the "incidental spruce" that grows in areas dominated by poplar. A rough estimation in the field, west of the town of Athabasca, shows "incidental spruce" to constitute around 30% of the logged material. And so gorgeous landscapes like this are scarred by large clear-cut areas connected by dirt roads, but this is not a major issue because few people get deep enough into the forest in order to witness the destruction. And paper needs to be produced somehow...
Photographically, the boreal forest is not the most scenic place: it features mostly trees on a flat topography, and the points offering wide views are rare.

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Additional Photos by Roland Roesler (Roly) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 546 W: 9 N: 436] (2024)
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