British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

Fording River revisited : a review of environmental projects at Fording Coal Limited’s operations at Fording River over the last 25 years Wood, J. Alex; Berdusco, Roger Joseph


Over the last 25 years Fording Coal Limited has completed a number of environmental projects at their Fording River Operations located in the southeast coal block approximately 30 km north of Elkford, BC. These projects involved major river diversions, and water quality control settling ponds, stream enhancement projects for cutthroat trout including the development of an entire side channel for fisheries mitigation, fish passage structures and wildlife habitat restoration. Some of these projects date back to the late 1970's and have been in operation for over 20 years. Many of these projects have been presented at previous Mine Reclamation Symposiums, starting with the first symposium in 1976. Some of the questions that are often asked are: what will that river diversion or stream enhancement project look like 20 years from now? will the river and/or side channel still be natural and productive? Will the vegetation disturbed by construction return to its former abundance? And how did these projects survive the major June 1995 flood that did considerable damage in the Elk River Valley and tributary watersheds? This paper and pictorial overview will compare the projects that exist now to those that were constructed and presented at the Mine Reclamation Symposium over 20 years ago. Projects and design concepts that have worked well will be discussed, and where improvements could be made, these will be highlighted. Many of the above questions will be answered.

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