Syncrude progressively reclaims land disturbed by its operations, and was the first oil sands operator to receive government certification for a reclaimed area.
At year-end 2011, Syncrude had approximately 3200 hectares of permanently reclaimed land, including 104 hectares of certified reclaimed land; 690 hectares of temporary reclamation additional 1200 hectares of soils placed, controued and ready for revegetation. Syncrude has planted almost 6 million trees and schurbs and is targeting an additional 1 million in 2012.
In 1993, Syncrude introduced a herd of wood bison into a reclaimed area to assess the capability of the landscape to support large mammals such as ungulates. Today, approximately 300 wood bison graze on over 300 hectares of land. The herd is managed cooperatively with Fort McKay First Nation and has been recognized with several livestock awards at national competitions.
New reclamation efforts include the East and West Mine areas. The East Mine reclamation includes the construction of a 52-hectare watershed, which includes the world's first large-scale research project on fen restoration. The West Mine area, also undergoing reclamation, includes the first commercial-scale demonstration of water capping as a reclamation technology.