Explore the unique area of Saskatchewan where Grasslands meet Badlands
WE'LL TAKE YOU PLACES YOU'VE NEVER BEEN
The Big Muddy Badlands form a geographically unique and wildly scenic part of southern Saskatchewan. Explore the history of the earth; from the Cretaceous period, through the Paleocene era, the last Ice Age and modern time as revealed in the sedimentary layers exposed in the region. Here, you will discover the weathered buttes, cone-shaped hills, steep cliffs, eroded clay formations and sandstone concretions that resemble petrified tree trunks. Here, you will find an area dotted with caves carved from the landscape over hundreds of years as a result of erosion.
WE'LL SHOW YOU THINGS YOU'VE NEVER SEEN
The Buffalo Jump in Coronach played an integral role in the survival of early indigenous peoples living in the area.
SO MUCH TO SEE
Whether you are here for a day or here for a lifestyle, you're sure to find plenty to do in the town of Coronach and surrounding areas.
The area of Montana directly south of the Big Beaver-Coronach area was one of the last counties in the U.S west to have regular full-time law enforcement. In fact Valley County was one of the most lawless areas in the U.S. Once the law moved into Valley County the outlaws moved north a few miles into Canada.
In the 1890’s the population on the Canadian side of the border was very sparse and the nearest Royal North West Mounted Police (RNWMP) post was at Wood Mountain about 90 miles to the west. (2-3 days by horse?) Patrols were infrequent due to the distance and scarcity of population. This was the ideal situation for the outlaws. Threats and intimidation made sure that the law abiding citizens of the area turned a blind eye to the activities of the outlaws and in some cases the locals were directly involved.
Poplar River Coal Mine
The Poplar River Mine is owned and operated by Westmoreland Coal and boasts some of the largest earth moving equipment in North America, including 2 draglines which remove 90 cubic yards of earth with each bucketful. The local coal mine supplies the fuel to the Poplar River Power Station which takes the total lignite coal production from the mine.
Two of the largest drag-lines in Canada, which are powered entirely by electricity, are used to remove the overburden and expose the coal seams. The coal is dug up by huge machines and loaded on 150 ton capacity coal haulers. The coal has a preliminary crushing and then is loaded into rail cars to be hauled to the plant where, after further crushing, it is burned as a fine powder. The coal mine has been located in three different areas surrounding Coronach. With the last move to a location 20 km. north of the community in 1994, the mine incorporated a conveyor belt which is two kilometres in length.
With a construction force of more than 500, and a combined permanent work force of approximately 300 jobs, the entire Poplar River project has certainly affected the lives of people living in the area. Many local young people have been able to find employment and many new personnel have moved into the area to live.
Land reclamation has been an important on-going effort between SaskPower and Westmoreland Coal Ltd. This reclamation involves leveling the spoil piles and saved topsoil. This land can be utilized by the farming community the very next season.
Poplar River Power Plant
Due to Liability Issues this Tour is no longer offered.
Our apologies for any inconvenience.
The second stop on the tour is at the Poplar River Power Station, Saskatchewan's most environmentally advanced generating station. See first hand how coal from the Mine is transformed into 30% of the electricity used by the residents of Saskatchewan.
The Poplar River Power Station is a coal-fired (thermal) generating station located 10 km. south east of Coronach and is owned by SaskPower Corporation. The construction of the Power Plant began in 1975. Unit #1 was officially commissioned in 1981 and Unit #2 was operational in 1983. The units have a combined capacity of 615 megawatts. The integral part of the total plant is the earth filled Morrison Dam and the Cookson Reservoir, on the east fork of the Poplar River, which are named after two pioneers of the district. The reservoir supplies water for cooling the turbines and producing the steam which drives them. Each of the units will consume about 2 million tons of lignite coal per year. The two units combined consume 538 tons of lignite coal per hour at peak productions.
The Power Plant features a 122 metre high smoke stack which can be seen for miles around. The building, which is 75 metres in height and covers 6,750 square metres, houses the two 300+ MW turbines as well as the offices and maintenance area. An important feature of the plant is the electrostatic precipitator, costing $6 million, which will reduce the amount of fly-ash entering the air by 99.6%.