British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

Henretta Creek and Lake : a decade of reclamation monitoring Polzin, Mary Louise


This paper presents the vegetation restoration results of a 10 year monitoring project along the reclaimed Henretta Channel and Lake at Teck Coal’s Fording River Operations in southeastern British Columbia. Vegetation monitoring utilized permanent vegetation plots and photo points to assess vegetation restoration success. Heavy metal uptake by vegetation utilized by wildlife was also analyzed for four species: Salix bebbiana, Populus trichocarpa, Medicago sativa, and Festuca spp. Results in 2010 indicated that vegetation was at early- to mid-seral stages on average and showed good growth, vigour, diversity, and natural regeneration since initial seeding and planting. The heavy metal analysis of vegetation tissue found no significant difference between the study site and the control site (no mine influence). A qualitative Proper Functioning Condition (PFC) analysis indicated lotic and lentic areas were functioning properly and showing steady improvement over time. Past aquatic habitat monitoring of water quality and benthic assemblages indicated a healthy aquatic system supporting a self-sustaining Westslope cutthroat trout population. Monitoring and PFC analysis allowed for a critical assessment of the restoration success. Findings will help inform various aspects of all future reclamation activities while recommendations specific to stream restoration projects include channel design and integration of riprapped banks.

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