Stretching from north central Alberta to the borders of Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories, The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo ranks, by area, among the largest municipalities in North America. It was established April 1, 1995, through amalgamation of the City of Fort McMurray and Improvement District No. 143. Within its 68,454 square kilometers, the municipality is a region of startling contrasts, encompassing both vast stretches of pristine wilderness and one of the fastest growing industrial communities in Canada.
Bolstered by the rich oil sands deposits which underlie the region, the dynamic economy of Wood Buffalo is slated for even more aggressive growth in the future. Expanding energy developments create exceptional opportunities for businesses and even broader lifestyle choices for the region’s 58,317 residents (2002 Municipal Census). Source: Municipal Web Site
Communities include Fort McMurray, Anzac, Conklin, Draper, Fort Chipewyan, Fort Fitzgerald, Fort MacKay, Gregiore Lake Estates, Janvier, Mariana Lake, Saprae Creek Estates.
As a thing to do you should try to see some of the smaller rural locations outside of the city. Happy day tripping!
I personally went to Fort MacKay one morning for a little trip. Located 55 kms north of Fort McMurray on the Athabasca River’s west bank with approximatly 200 residents.
Fort MacKay is completely surrounded by oil sands activity, an industry that serves as the community’s primary employment source, besides seasonal forestry work, hunting and trapping.
The Wood Bison Viewpoint and the Wood Bison Trails are located off Hwy 63, approximately 35 km (21 mi) north of the city at the entrance to Syncrude Self-guided trails on reclaimed land feature local plants, wildlife and a her of more than 300 wood bison, a species that was reintroduced to the area.
I beleive Syncrude committed to preserving a certain percentage of land. This is very close to the actual oil sand developments. I can't imagine any Bison in this area without this protection area.
The Wood Bison is the largest Canadian terrestrial mammal. It is dark brown, with a massive head, a high hump on its large shoulders, and long shaggy hair on its shoulders and front legs. The short legs end in rounded hooves. The short and black horns curve inward on the males, but are straight on the females. There are two moults every year, one in the spring and one in the fall. The males are larger than the females; an adult male measures 3.04 to 3.8 m in length and 1.67 to 1.82 m in height (at the shoulders), and weighs between 350 and 1000 kg. Wood Bison are generally taller and less stocky than plains bison. Both wood and plains bison are considered by some to be subspecies of the American bison, but their actual systematic status is unclear and controversial. Source: http://www.speciesatrisk.gc.ca
Most people are going to Fort McMurray to work so I thought I would put this tip up there.
Syncrude is one of the biggest and better employers. You can check out their web site for more information on all that fun stuff.
Working is definitely the thing to do if you are going to Fort McMurray!
Lots of places to canoe around Fort McMurray. Give the folks at Points North Adventures a call and they will set you up.