The Elk Valley Fish and Fish Habitat Committee : a multi-agency consensus based approach to managing fisheries impacts in the Elk River Valley of British Columbia Bisset, J.; Tepper, H.; Hussey, D.; Watson, L.; Franklin, W.
The Elk Valley Fish and Fish Habitat Committee (EVFFHC) is a multi-agency group that works in a collaborative manner to discuss technical information related to Teck Coal Limited’s (Teck) fisheries obligations in the Elk Valley. The EVFFHC includes membership from the Ktunaxa Nation Council, British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Teck. In 2015, the EVFFHC developed a regional offsetting strategy for prioritizing habitat rehabilitation. Seven offsetting projects were identified, prioritized, ranked and matched to support Teck’s Fisheries Act authorizations. These test cases focused on Westslope Cutthroat Trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii lewisi) habitat rehabilitation in the upper Fording River watershed. This species is of high conservation value and rehabilitation areas were identified from a long-term population study. The process was collaborative resulting in full endorsement from the EVFFHC to move forward with this critical rehabilitation work. The test cases were constructed from 2016 to 2018. Success is being monitored according to the robust effectiveness monitoring programs also developed by the EVFFHC. The EVFFHC is an outstanding example of a multi-agency approach that works in an inclusive manner to advance mitigation planning for fish habitat throughout the Elk Valley.
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