Block 40-3 in the Bramwest Secondary Plan Area was identified for a 465 hectare new Block Plan, which would include low-high density residential, commercial, parks, and schools. The study site contains two Provincially Significant Wetland Complexes, dozens of vegetation types from deciduous and coniferous swamps, marshes, upland forests and meadows, with numerous creek crossings as a result of the proposed site plan.
An Environmental Impact Study (EIS) was to identify the existing conditions, identifying the presence/absence of Species at Risk (SAR) and potential impacts to the natural environment and greenlands system. This report would become part of the Environmental Implementation Review for the Block Plan. Species at Risk Surveys were conducted throughout the project indentifying Butternut, fish and birds for which mitigation measures were developed including habitat compensation. In addition an analysis of the Ecosystem Services provided by the trees to be removed was used as the basis for recommending compensation.
The Species at Risk goal was to identify locations and habitat, potentially to create an impact and identification of appropriate mitigation and management plans. Over the course of the project, further updates to the SAR lists were upgraded which required further surveys to be undertaken including; Bobolink, Eastern Meadowlark, and Chimney Swift. All headwater drainage features and associated wetlands were evaluated and delineated limits of regulated habitat for endangered Redside Dace were established. A unique approach to developing a Comprehensive Fish Compensation Plan was undertaken in order to address the protection and creation of Redside Dace habitat within the Block Plan.
SLR undertook the following works:
- SLR was responsible for the design of the study, review of terrestrial inventory, analysis, evaluation and mitigation
- Conducted SAR surveys for breeding bird species
- Developed and created the Comprehensive Fish Compensation Plan
- Developed field protocols for aquatic surveys and prepared mitigation reports for the protection and enhancement of Species at Risk Redside including Butternut, Bobolink, Eastern Meadowlake and Chimney Swift
- Carried out individual health assessments of tableland trees within the Block Plan study area
- Created the Vegetation Health Assessment document for the EIR
Through applying an ecosystem services approach and analysis, which is relatively new in Canada, for the removal of over 1200 trees; the result from which will be planting of over 5000 trees within Block 40-3.