British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

An adaptive approach to reclaiming the first coal corporation Central South Property Stokes, Debra; Duncan, Sara; Turner, Jennifer R.


The 4500 ha Central South Property in north-eastern British Columbia has been previously disturbed as a result of past coal mining exploration activities. In addition, a number of exploration and operational activities, including bulk sample extraction and the eventual operation of a small mine (<250,000 tonnes/year) are planned to occur in the near future. A key environmental concern that has been expressed by government, First Nations and other interested parties is the woodland caribou known to use the area and the habitat they use. To address this issue, the land use objective guiding the detailed reclamation plan was to take an ecosystem-based and adaptive approach to restoring disturbed areas back to woodland caribou summer and winter range habitat. Ecosystem-specific reclamation strategies were developed to meet land use objectives. Disturbance components were categorized by their location in one of three ecosystem types. In addition to the development of detailed reclamation strategies, ecosystem-specific habitat enhancement techniques, including active introduction of arboreal lichen species into lower elevation Engelmann Spruce Sub-Alpine Fir (ESSF) forests and "seeding" of terrestrial lichen in the alpine and sub-alpine parkland, were incorporated into the Central South Reclamation Plan. Given the relatively innovative nature of the habitat enhancement techniques that have and will continue to be implemented as part of the reclamation plan, trial plots will be established as reclamation strategies and habitat enhancement techniques are implemented to investigate their effectiveness.

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