Prairie Conservation and Endangered Species Conference
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
February 16, 17 & 18, 2016

Restoration Training Workshop

"Natural Processes for the Restoration of Drastically Disturbed Sites"

This full-day workshop will take place on Tuesday, February 16 preceeding the main conference. If you register in the workshop, you will not miss any conference activities. Lunch will be provided for workshop participants.

Click here for a poster of the workshop and here for a description of the workshop.



$100 for conference registrants, $150 for non-conference registrants (plus GST).


Description of Workshop:

Natural processes have been restoring natural disturbances since the beginning of time.  This full day workshop will explore how these natural processes can be applied to the restoration of sites that humans have disturbed.  It is clear that traditional reclamation treatments are failing to generate the ecological goods and services that were lost during the disturbance of the site.  This workshop will look at how disturbed sites can be re-integrated with the natural successional processes that operate to create productive, self-sustaining ecosystems.  We will look at common filters or constraints to recovery – erosion, compaction, low nutrients, lack of propagules, herbivory, etc. and how natural systems solve these problems.  We will explore methods of applying these solutions to anthropogenic disturbances often at a fraction of the cost of traditional reclamation treatments.  Soil bioengineering techniques for the treatment of steep and/or unstable sites as well as riparian areas will be presented.  The course will include a brief overview of monitoring and maintenance strategies.  A course manual is provided.


Workshop Outline:

1.0       Introduction

2.0       Traditional Reclamation

3.0       Introduction to Ecosystem Recovery Processes

4.0       Successional Restoration Model

5.0       Filters to Recovery and Solutions

5.1       Lack of Nutrients

5.2       Erosion

5.3       Others

6.0       Restoration of Difficult Sites

7.0       Implementation, Monitoring and Questions


About the Workshop Instructor:

David F. Polster, R.P. Bio. #148 is a plant ecologist with over 35 years of experience in vegetation studies, reclamation and invasive species management.  He graduated from the University of Victoria with an Honours Bachelor of Science degree in 1975 and a Master of Science degree in 1977.  He has developed a wide variety of reclamation techniques for mines, industrial developments and steep/unstable slopes as well as techniques for the re-establishment of riparian and aquatic habitats.  He is the past-president (third term) of the Canadian Land Reclamation Association.  He is the treasurer for the B.C. Chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration and serves as the alternate mining representative on the board of the Invasive Species Council of B.C.

For questions about the content of the workshop, contact Dave Polster at

To register for the workshop, go to