In 2016 DWB Consulting Services Ltd. (DWB) was retained by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) and BC Hydro to coordinate environmental aspects associated with the early works clearing and grubbing of crown land and land owned and leased by BC Hydro around Cache Creek. DWB would also provide services to aid in the planning stages to relocate Hwy 29 in preparation for the BC Hydro Site C Clean Energy project. The 3.2 km long section of Hwy 29 that was realigned is located between Cache Creek and Bear Flats, 30 km west of Fort St. John, BC. The early works also included sensitive archaeological stripping of known arch sites at which DWB performed all environmental services on behalf of BC Hydro. Following the clearing activities in 2018, DWB was retained as Environmental Manager by IDL Projects-Halfway River First Nation JV (IDL) through a First Nation set-aside agreement with BC Hydro to complete the paving and grading for the Cache Creek West portion of the project.
DWB prepared many Environmental Protection Plans (EPPs) for both the early works for BC Hydro and the later works for IDL. These were prepared to BC Hydro Site C standards and according to the BC Hydro Construction Environmental Management Plan. The EPPs included separate plans for many environmental aspects of the project including: site restoration and revegetation, vegetation and invasive plant management, wildlife management plans, mammal den plans, amphibian and snake management/salvage, bank swallow management and environmental monitoring.
As part of the overall environmental administration for these projects, DWB was responsible for a wide variety of field and desktop vegetation and wildlife tasks. Their professional environmental staff conducted terrestrial field assessments for: invasive species, rare and endangered plant communities and ecosystems, bat and snake hibernacula, bird stick nests, bank swallows, and potential species use. They also conducted stream and wetland assessments to classify all features as per the Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA) and the Water Sustainability Act (WSA).
Bear/mammal den surveys, and associated mitigation planning were also completed by DWB wildlife specialists throughout the project. Wildlife trail cameras and mud traps were implemented to confirm wildlife activity within the project footprint and wildlife buffers were recommended and installed by DWB crews. DWB was also tasked with recording all wildlife site encounters and providing wildlife observation reports. There were several amphibian and snake mortalities during the project and DWB prepared a comprehensive snake and amphibian protection plan to mitigate any further project mortality. For this work DWB provided Qualified Professionals (QPs) for wildlife, avian, amphibian, invasive plants, forestry and Species at Risk.
DWB also provided timber cruising and tree volume/species compilations, diamond willow and birch assessments (importance to First Nations) and harvesting prescriptions for the early works at the request of BC Hydro and the local First Nations. All information from the field surveys was mapped and included in the GIS modelling and displayed in the environmentally sensitive features map. DWB’s forestry personnel prepared harvest prescriptions for the clearing areas, including ribbon standards, reforestation, access management, treatment areas, and wood waste and timber management including consideration for First Nations and industrial use.
Extensive reporting was required throughout this project including daily reports, weekly reports, monthly reports, technical wildlife and vegetation memos, wildlife observation forms, addendums to the EPPs and a comprehensive post construction report.
DWB’s multi-disciplinary team of professional specialists provided essential services to make this project a success, which finished ahead of schedule and under budget.
- Environmental Protection Plans
- Amphibian and Snake Protection Plan
- Wildlife Surveys, Assessment, Mitigation Planning and Management
- Rare and Endangered Plant Community Surveys and Management
- Invasive Species Management
- Stream and Wetland Assessments
- Harvesting Prescriptions
- Reforestation Access Management
- Wood Waste and Timber Management
- Timber cruising and Tree Volumes