BY MARTY KLINKENBERG, EDMONTON JOURNAL SEPTEMBER 10, 2012 6:01 PM
FORT McMURRAY - Ken Foster and Christine Godwin begin work at 1:30 in the morning, driving a half-hour north from Fort McMurray to Syncrude’s sprawling property off Highway 63 in the oilsands.
Armed with bug spray, a compass, an air horn to scare away the odd bear and the tiny tools of their trade, they set off into the bush on the site of the petroleum producer’s former West Mine.
They flail at mosquitoes and push branches away from their faces as they hike into a forest of aspen, jack pine, poplar and spruce planted in the late 1980s on the reclaimed land. Keeping an eye out for wood bison and coyotes and foxes and deer, by sunrise they are in position and waiting for migrating songbirds to fly into their wispy nets.