‘This land feeds our souls’: the battle to save the Rockies from big coal

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Growing opposition to the lifting of mining protections in Alberta has forced the Canadian province to backtrack

To the east of the Bluebird Valley ranch, the grasslands of the Canadian prairies extend beyond the horizon. To the west, the fields rise, and then sharply erupt into the Rocky Mountains.

Cattle graze the 3,600 hectares (9,000 acres) of the Bluebird, an hour south-west of Calgary, and on hot summer days rancher Jolayne Gardner’s children jump into the chilly waters of a creek that threads the rolling hills.

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