For a multi-year program to improve highway, avalanche-mitigation, water-flow, and erosion-control structures in six national parks in Alberta and British Columbia, Parks Canada Agency (PCA) retained Barr to conduct environmental impact assessments. We provided complete environmental assessment services. Our tasks included desktop review of background information; field reconnaissance to identify data gaps; flora, fauna, fish, and wetland inventories and assessments; soil, water, and air assessments; cultural heritage assessments; ecosystem mapping; plant collection and salvage; impact assessment reporting and development of mitigation measures; and quality assurance and quality control. We also consulted with PCA engineers, biologists, archeologists, and regulatory agencies; completed permitting; and met and communicated regularly with the client and its engineering consultant.
Many of the projects required complex ecological considerations. As an example, the clear span Haffner Bridge in Kootenay National Park provided nesting and roosting habitat for Species at Risk Act-listed barn swallows and little brown bats. Haffner Creek is also a permanently flowing river with a variety of fish species, including the British Columbia blue-listed bull trout. Barr recommended mitigation measures, including engineered controls such as exclusion netting and temporary alternate habitat (bat-roosting structures).
Projects frequently triggered federal and provincial guidelines, protocols, and legislation by Environment and Climate Change Canada, the Resources Information Standards Committee, the Species at Risk Act, the Migratory Birds Convention Act, the Fisheries Act, and the National Parks Act.
Barr completed the projects on time and within budget.