ARMS volunteers are helping replace vegetation along B.C. Hydro’s Interior Lower Mainland Transmission project, a 247-kilometre-long, 500-kilovolt line from Coquitlam to Merritt.
The twinning project is now complete, at a cost of approximately $743 million.
Part of this transmission line runs across the South Alouette River in Maple Ridge and close to a nutrient-bearing stream – Clayton Creek.
Greta Borick-Cunningham, ARMS executive director, said that the local environmental group had met with B.C. Hydro, the Ministry of Environment and Golder and Associates a number of times from 2013-2014 to discuss the environmental standard practice and impacts of tree removals in close proximity to watercourses and to ask for mitigation.
ARMS directors got involved and walked sections of the twinned transmission line near the South Alouette and through the UBC Malcolm Knapp Research Forest to see what environmental effects had occurred as a result of the line being expanded.
John Kelly, formerly with B.C. Hydro and now an ARMS board member, trekked along the area near the South Alouette and Golden Ears Provincial Park to assess the damage that had been done, then wrote a series of recommendations, including the immediate planting of deciduous species such as willow, maple, dogwood that are two to three metres tall and which will provide shade for Clayton Creek.
B.C. Hydro and ARMS are now replacing lost vegetation to keep small cool and fed with leaf-drop to help promote water quality and improve the downstream health of the South Alouette River for salmon and other aquatic species.
B.C. Hydro is providing professional expertise and funding of $5,000 to restore the area which lies between the Alouette Dam and the Alouette Correctional Centre for Women.