British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

Revegetation restoration for culvert replacement in a wetland Ashenhurst, Amber; Polzin, Mary Louise


Impacts from industrial activities in and near sensitive wetlands and streams receive considerable attention resulting in a wide variety of environmental protection techniques. This paper examines impact mitigation to a small stream (Palmer Bar Creek, East Kootenay) and surrounding wetlands during a train crossing culvert replacement and decommissioning. Prior to the placement of fill and construction of working platforms for heavy equipment, wetland soil was removed and temporarily stockpiled. Once work was complete, the temporary fill was removed and the native soil was replaced. Revegetation of the disturbed areas involved a combination of transplanting species from the immediate undisturbed wetland and planting nursery stock of native species identified in the area. Restoration of the temporary access road included placement of randomly spaced large boulders along the road and seeding with a mixture of agronomic grasses and legumes to reduce overland flow erosion during large rain events. Seeding also reduced the likelihood of noxious weed establishment from the undisturbed upland habitat. The replacement of the stockpiled wetland soil provided an excellent growth medium resulting in 99.5% survival and mean growth of 30 cm for woody species of nursery stock the following year.

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