Currently, the project team is compiling and summarizing the environment, heritage and recreation risk assessments and recommended mitigations, as well as feedback from stakeholders, the public and First Nations. This information will be included in a decision package for the minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. The timeline of the project has been extended and a decision on whether to proceed with the construction of the road will be made in spring 2019.
Location, length and type of road proposed:
- The location of the proposed road will depend on the results from the impact and mitigation reviews, stakeholder engagement and First Nations engagement.
- The newly constructed road section would be approximately 17 to 20 kilometres long, depending on the final location.
- The road is being planned as an unpaved forest service road. If the ministry approves construction, the decision will include specifications for the road alignment, speed, width and surfacing type.
Decision on road being open during winter:
This and other mitigation options have been identified and will be included in the decision package.
Impacts and mitigations:
- Risk assessments and mitigation reports have been conducted for caribou, grizzly, moose and watershed health. The review was conducted by a team of professional biologists according to the guidelines set out in the Environmental Mitigation Policy for B.C.: http://ow.ly/279N30n49fl
- The moose, grizzly and watershed health, and caribou risk assessment and mitigation reports, are now available publicly and can be accessed here: http://ow.ly/FTqU30n4KM1
- A heritage and recreation review considers impacts to the heritage values of the Nuxalk/Carrier Grease (Alexander Mackenzie) Trail, as well as recreational opportunities.
- Archeological assessments are being conducted by a professional archeology firm and follow guidelines under the Heritage Conservation Act (HCA): http://ow.ly/UraP30n49lR
- First Nations rights, title and interests are being considered through engagement and consultation with First Nations.
Results of public feedback period and how will it be used:
The most common responses from stakeholders and the public included the need for a secondary emergency egress route, need for increased rural community well-being and livability, need for increased economic opportunity, concern for impacts to environmental values and concern for impacts to caribou populations. A summary of the results from the public feedback period can be accessed here: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/govtogetherbc/impact/anahim-connector-results/
Themes from stakeholder and public comments will be included in the minister’s decision package.
Project impact on caribou herds:
The caribou risk and mitigation report identified potential impacts to the nearby Itcha-Ilgachuz, Rainbow and Tweedsmuir caribou herds. The review indicates that a road will affect caribou. Mitigations, including seasonal road closures, road size and speeds, and frequency of use, may help to reduce direct and indirect impacts from the proposed road. For the caribou risk assessment and mitigation report, visit: http://ow.ly/FTqU30n4KM1
Risks and recommended mitigations will be included in the decision package to the minister.
Current population trends and habitat conditions of nearby caribou herds:
Population trends and habitat conditions are outlined in the caribou risk assessment and mitigation report (link above).
Population trends and habitat conditions of the Itcha-Ilgachuz and Rainbow caribou herds: http://a100.gov.bc.ca/pub/acat/public/viewReport.do?reportId=54951
Population trends and predation factors of the Tweedsmuir caribou herd: http://a100.gov.bc.ca/pub/acat/public/viewReport.do?reportId=55188
Locations of caribou in relation to the proposed Anahim connector road:
Locations of caribou from all herds near the Anahim connector road from GPS collar data and aerial survey observations: https://catalogue.data.gov.bc.ca/dataset/6d48657f-ab33-43c5-ad40-09bd56140845
To view the caribou location data:
- Scroll down to below the Google map and click on the blue button "View in iMap BC"
- In the menu, click on "Data Sources," then click "My Layers"
- Uncheck the boxes for every species except caribou to view only caribou
- Zoom in so the scale bar displays a scale of 0-10 km to load the points. The data may take a couple minutes to load.
- To view caribou data near the proposed Anahim connector route, pan to the area between Itcha-Ilgachuz and Tweedsmuir provincial parks.