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Library Resource
Downloads, Books and Articles


"I'm not young enough to know everything." - Oscar Wilde

It is a paradox that we know so much yet understand so little.    We can fly to the moon yet cannot create a self-sustaining biosphere on earth. We can splice genes into plants and animals yet cannot restore a rough fescue grassland once it is destroyed. And we are particularly concerned that the Oil and Gas Industry may damage an important source of clean water for Albertans due to lack of knowledge.

For those who wish to learn more we present a list of interesting and informative books and articles.

Learn new interesting facts that might surprise you!

Why is grass important?

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The icon above indicates downloadable documents in Microsoft Word format.

The icon above indicates that the resource is known to be available in the Calgary Public Library.


CIRL Newsletters

The Canadian Institute of Resource Law newsletter, called Resources, has many excellent articles. Check it out here.

Pekisko Newsletter
March 2006
By Doug Nelson

A newsletter for Pekisko Members of current happenings and initiatives. Download and read it here.   [3.4 Mb]

Land Advocate
Edited by Andrew Nikiforuk

A newsletter for Canadians living with oil and gas production.
September 2004 Edition   [463 Kb]
March 2004 Edition   [375 Kb]
October 2003 Edition   [620 Kb]

Interesting Media Articles

US NAIS and the family farm
by Marti Oakley

Marti Oakley raises the question of whether the USDA is out to eradicate the family farm using the National Animal Identificatin System as a tool. Could this happen in Canada?
Read it here.   [pdf 15 Kb]

Prairie Conservatism
by Mike Robinson

There was an article in the Calgary Herald (Nov. 23, 2005) by Mike Robinson who is President and CEO of the Glenbow Museum. It uses fescue grass as a metaphor.
Read it here.   [pdf 27 Kb]


Roadmap For Reforming "The Public Interest" For the ERCB and NRCB
The Environmental Law Centre
February 2008

It is an opportune time to re-examine how "the public interest" fits into regulating the province’s natural resources. The public interest is the current test for deciding how and when natural resources are developed in Alberta.
Download the paper here.   [88 Kb]

Canada's Watersheds
Rural and Small Town Canada Analysis Bulletin
January 2006

A demographic basis for an urban-rural dialogue. Paper by Neil Rothwell of Statistics Canada. Urban people expect country people to provide clean wate for free.
Download it here.   [666 Kb]

Our Drinking Water at Risk
Prepared by OGAP, The Oil and Gas Accountability Project.

What EPA and Oil and Gas Industry Don't Want Us To Know About Hydraulic Fracturing. Dated April 2005. (Executive Summary only) This is especially relevent for people in Southwestern Alberta where Compton wants to drill into a formation that will require multiple frac's.
Download it here.   [121 Kb]

Fact Sheet on Compton and Gas Development
Prepared by LLG, The Livingstone Landowners Group.

Essential facts relevent to Compton Petroleum's pursuit of “tight gas,” dirty gas (sour) and coal bed methane (CBM) in Alberta.
Download it here.   [74 Kb]

Legal Issues and Papers

The 'Sleeping Giant' of Watershed Protection
April/May 2006

Article by Michael Wenig on a dormant law that may help to protect Alberta's watersheds.
Download a copy here.   [48 Kb]

Who's Minding the Water in Southern Alberta
January 2006

Article by Michael Wenig on the Alberta Government legal rights and duties with respect to water.
Download a copy here.   [45 Kb]

Making Sense of New Terms
October/November 2005

Article by Michael Wenig on the new terms used in relation to the Water for Life Strategy. The 'Strategic Systems' approach and 'Place-based' decision making.
Download a copy here.   [45 Kb]

Thinking Like a Watershed
June/July 2004

Feature on Water and Law by Michael Wenig, discussing water and water legislation in Alberta.
Download a copy here.   [118 Kb]

Legal Agreement Examples

Glenn Norman License to use his Agreements

Glenn Norman provides his example agreements under this license.
Download a copy here.   [106 Kb]

Survey Biosecurity Agreement
by Glenn Norman

Surveyors may come on your land but here is an agreement so they will protect its agricultural integrity.
Download here.   [880 Kb]

Pipeline Right-of-Way Discussion Agreement
by Glenn Norman

Example agreement for discussing a possible pipeline right-of-way.
Download here.   [567 Kb]

Surface Lease Discussion Agreement
by Glenn Norman

Example agreement for discussing a possible surface lease.
Download here.   [352 Kb]

Surface Facility Discussion Agreement
by Glenn Norman

Example agreement for discussing a possible surface facility lease.
Download here.   [364 Kb]

Pipeline Contract Discussion Agreement
by Glenn Norman

Example agreement for discussing a possible pipeline right-of-way lease.
Download here.   [565 Kb]

How to Object
by Glenn Norman

How to file an objection with the ERCB to a well, pipeline, or other facility.
Download here.   [439 Kb]

Surface Lease Agreement
by John Cross

Example agreement for a possible surface lease.
Download here.   [352 Kb]

Pekisko in Print

Grizzly Bear Decline
Alberta Game Warden
December, 2007

Article by Brian Horejsi on the decline in grizzly bear population and the need for intelligent land use planning. View here.

Fighting off another invader
National Post
August 21, 2004

Article by Kate MacNamara on the threat of Coalbed Methane to the native grasses of the Pekisko Lands. View here.

High on Grass
Avenue Magazine
November 2003 edition

Article by Andrew Nikiforuk on how Alberta’s ancient grassy foothills are the oldest wealth producer in the province. Today, the grasslands and the way of life they sustain are faced with extinction. View here. You will need to scroll down at the Avenue site.

Holistic Cow
Alberta Views
July-August 2003 edition

Article by Wendy Dudley on how some ranchers in SW Alberta are using holistic ranching practices to improve the native grassland. Download pdf version here   [780 Kb]

Recommended Books and Pamphlets

Natural Capitalism
By Paul Hawken et al; © 1999
Back Bay Books, New York

An important read for true capitalists who believe that our biological capital is important, and that the market is part of the solution.

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man
By John Perkins; © 2004
Penguin Books, New York

Lessons in world politics, power and money. Read this and think about the Alberta Tar Sands and the push for Nuclear Power.

Last Child in the Woods
By Richard Louv; © 2005
Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, North Carolina

An extremely important and thought-provoking book. We are raising a generation of urban children who have little or no contact with the natural world. How will they make informed decisions about the ecosystems that give them life when they are adults. It make me think of the movie Silent Running (1972) with Bruce Dern.

An Illustrated Short History of Progress
By Ronald Wright; © 2004
House of Anansi Press, Toronto

Anyone who has wondered about Premier Ed Stelmach's statement about not taking the foot off the development accelerator needs to read this book, and especially the section on Rapa Nui. Ronald Wright puts our society and economic system in stark perspective.

When the Rivers Run Dry
By Fred Pearce; © 2006
Key Porter Books, Toronto

Fred Pearce describes in detail the use and abuse of water and rivers around the world. This is a must-read book for everyone interested in how we use water in Alberta.

Hell and High Water
By Joseph Romm; © 2007
Harper Collins, New York

If you think that the potential of climate change - read global warming - will simply be an inconvenience, this is a sit-up-and-take-notice book that reviews the science of climate change and rising sea levels.

The Upside of Down
By Thomas Homer-Dixon;
© 2006
Alfred A. Knopf, Toronto

We are not running out of energy, but the cost (in more ways than one) is increasing. The author introduces us to how complex societies can grow beyond their ability to support their energy requirements, and subsequently collapse. Here is a clear portrayal of the immense stresses that are simultaneously converging on our society today.

Unnatural Law: Rethinking Canadian Environmental Law and Policy
By David R. Boyd; © 2003
UBC Press, Vancouver

David Boyd presents a clear description of the state of environmental law in Canada. It a clear diagnosis and a compelling prescription to a sustainable future.

Report on Agriculture 2005
From Statistics Canada
June 2006

Canadian Agriculture in 2005: A Tough Year in Review.
Download it here.   [pdf: 253Kb]

Western Canada's Natural Capital: Toward a New Public Policy Framework
By Barry Worbets and Loleen Berdahl; © 2003, Canada West Foundation, Calgary.

A paper presenting an argument for recognizing the value of Natural Capital in public decision making. Go to the Canada West Foundation website (, then click on the publications button on the left and scroll to the appropriate listing. It is a free download.

The Art of the Commonplace
By Wendell Berry © 2002
Counterpoint Press

A book of agrarian essays that presents the author's ideas on the appropriate relationship between people, their community, and the land that feeds and sustains them.

Another Season's Promise
By Ingeborg Boyens © 2001
Penguin Books Canada, Toronto

A book on the current reality of farming in Canada and its uncertain future. Is this farming or a new feudalism?

By Andrew Nikiforuk © 2001
Macfarlane Walter & Ross, Toronto

A book on the conflict between a land owner, Wiebo Ludwig, and the Oil and Gas Industry in Northern Alberta.

Andrew's website is

Turning Away From Technology: A New Vision for the 21st Century
Edited by Stephanie Mills © 1997   Stephanie Mills
Sierra Club Books, San Francisco

Edited transcripts of the Megatechnology Conferences of 1993 and 1994. The participants confront the question of whether our technology is leading us to the promised land or into a technological catastrophe of utopian thinking. Is it leading to a life we would actually want to live?

The Whaleback
By Bob Blaxley © 1997
Rocky Mountain Books

Moving through a Sacred Place. A walking Guide to the Whaleback area of Southwestern Alberta, including maps, pictures, and a list of local plants.

South Saskatchewan RAC Submissions

Southern Alberta Land Trust Society

Download the submission.    

Alberta Wilderness Association

Download the submission.    

Please let us know using the contact page if there is a book or article you believe we should add to this list. Thank you.


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