Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program Habitat Restoration

Masse Environmental and White Bark Consulting developed detailed ecological restoration plans for two properties managed by the Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program (FWCP). Both properties are located in the very warm, dry variant of the interior cedar hemlock biogeoclimatic subzone (ICHxw), and where frequent low intensity fires maintained an open forest dominated by Douglas fir and Ponderosa pine. Both sites were cleared for agriculture, farmed for many years, and then abandoned. They are now dominated by invasive weeds and non-native grasses that inhibit the re-growth of native vegetation. Restoration plans for both sites took into account existing conditions, human and wildlife use, and long term ecological restoration goals. Both restoration plans were implemented in 2013.

Masse Environmental Habitat Enhancement & Restoration Photo

Yankee Girl Mine Tailings Revegetation

Historical mining activities at the Yankee Girl mine site left a deposit of mineral rich tailings along the banks of the Salmo River and Wildhorse Creek, immediately across from the town of Ymir, B.C. The ecological and human health risks that the site presented made it a high priority site for remediation by the Crown Contaminated Sites Program (CCSP). The Ministry of Agriculture and Lands commenced site remediation work in 2007 following a directive issued by Fisheries and Oceans Canada. A restoration prescription that facilitated human use of the site and protected the engineered tailings cover from erosion was developed and implemented in 2009 by Masse Environmental in partnership with the Salmo Watershed Streamkeepers Society. Local stewardship was promoted by involving residents in a community planting event where they planted native trees and shrubs within tree islands and in other disturbed areas. Final land use of the site includes a park-like setting in an amphitheatre setting, a disc golf course, and natural areas for wildlife. Maintenance, including invasive weed management, and monitoring of the remediated areas is ongoing.

Masse Environmental Consultants- Habitat Enhancement & Restoration photo

Howard Mine Rehabilitation

The Howard Mine was a silver and lead mine near Salmo, B.C. that operated from 1937-1938. During its short operating life, the mine left behind a large amount of mine tailings at the confluence of the Salmo River and Porcupine Creek that were being washed away by the river every freshet. The ecological and human health risks that the site presented made it a high priority site for remediation by the Crown Contaminated Sites Program (CCSP). In 2014, the site was remediated by a team that included Quantum Murray, SRK Consulting, and Masse Environmental. Habitat restoration was a key part of the overall remediation plan, and included vegetated riprap, fish habitat structures, riparian and upland planting, retention of coarse woody debris, and the construction of wildlife habitat structures. Tall rooted spike cuttings from Treebear Native plants were planted within the riprap to provide a rapid way of enhancing stream side vegetation at the site.

Masse Environmental Habitat Enhancement & Restoration Photo

Selkirk Resource District Ecosystem Restoration Plan

Masse Environmental Consultants partnered with Pandion Ecological Research and Veridian Ecological Consulting to develop a framework for ecosystem restoration in the Selkirk Resource District as part of their strategic planning. The goals of the project were to: 1) define ecosystems of concern through a threats assessment approach; 2) provide a detailed threat activity summary; 3) identify ecosystem restoration techniques; and 4) discuss climate change and restoration goals. In order to approach this in a systematic way for the diverse area that is the Selkirk Resource District, the district was seperated into terrestrial and aquatic realms, stratified by geographic sub-basin (Kettle/Granby, Lower Columbia/Kootenay, Upper Columbia) and ecological units based on the biogeoclimatic ecosystem classification (interior dry, interior moist/wet, montane/subalpine/alpine), and then identifying ecosytems of concern for each ecological unit.

Masse Envirnmental Consultants - Habitat Enhancement & Restoration

Indian Creek Riparian and Wetland Restoration

Indian Creek (Goat River South Channel) has significant cultural value to the Lower Kootenay Band for its historic fisheries and associated wetland habitats. The area has been heavily impacted by agriculture, grazing and flood control structures, which have resulted in significant modifications to the natural riparian and wetland ecosystems. Invasive weeds, bank instability, exposed soils, cattle browse of native species, and monotypic stands of reed canary grass are some of the management concerns in the area. A restoration plan was developed in partnership with the Lower Kootenay Band and the Canadian Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fisheries Commission that provides a phased adaptive management approach for project implementation. The project was funded by the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program. The installation of a wildlife-friendly fence to exclude cattle from the riparian zone was installed in 2014 with funding from the Columbia Basin Trust. Additional restoration activities will be implemented in 2015.

Masse Environmental Habitat Enhancement & Restoration Photo

Lardeau River Fish Habitat Compensation and Effectiveness Monitoring

Fish habitat restoration prescriptions were developed and implemented in conjunction with PSlaney Aquatic Science and Rheal Finnigan to meet DFO compensation requirements resulting from habitat losses that occurred due to Ministry of Transportation Highway 31 remedial works. The project included design and construction of 11 large woody debris habitat structures within a side channel, the re-watering of an 800 m long relict side channel, habitat complexing, rock armouring and revegetation. Ongoing effectiveness monitoring has documented kokanee spawning and juvenile rainbow trout use throughout the site.

Masse Environmental Habitat Enhancement & Restoration Photo

Redstone Golf Course Constructed Wetland

Planning and implementation of a wetland relocation project was undertaken for the Redstone Golfcourse, near Rossland, BC. The purpose of the project was to compensate for the loss of an existing wetland due to the golf course expansion. The new wetland was constructed using plants and sediment salvaged from the original location. An amphibian salvage was conducted prior to construction. The new wetland provides habitat for several species of amphibians, including the Columbia Spotted Frog and Western Toad.

Masse Environmental Habitat Enhancement & Restoration Photo