Wood Buffalo

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Wood Buffalo,

regional municipality (2011 pop. 65,565), 24,571 sq mi (63,637 sq km), NE Alta., Canada, inc. 1995. Formed by Fort McMurrayFort McMurray,
former city, now part of the regional municipality of Wood Buffalo, NE Alta., Canada. Originally a fur-trading post on the Athabasca and Clearwater rivers, Fort McMurray was a town of 1,200 when mining of Alberta's oil sands began in 1964.
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's amalgamation with Improvement District No. 143, Wood Buffalo is one of Canada's largest municipalities by area and one of its fastest growing industrial areas. Fort McMurray is the region's administrative and commercial center and largest community. Other communities include Fort MacKay and Fort Chipewyan, and there are indigenous and Métis reserves and traditional lands. The exploitation of the extensive Athabasca oil sands, c. 40,000 sq mi (104,000 sq km), dominates the local economy. Wood Buffalo National ParkWood Buffalo National Park,
17,300 sq mi (44,807 sq km), in NE Alta., Canada, extending into the Northwest Territories; est. 1922 to protect the only remaining herd of buffalo. It lies between Lake Athabasca and Great Slave Lake and is crossed by the Peace River.
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 borders the municipality on the northwest.