Rare Plant Recovery for Mine Operations
Community: Elk Valley, BC
Dates: 2012 – Present
Description: The evolution of mining industry practices over time has resulted in a greater focus on ecological considerations in reclamation, and tying in to what was present prior to land disturbance. Through this, observations of rare species have highlighted the impacts of development to plants at risk and brought these species into the fold for reclamation planning.
In 2012, KES conducted field research and identified a number of provincially red and blue-listed plant species for select mine operations in the East Kootenay. In addition to mapping associated plant communities, recording site characteristics and predicting suitable habitat for these species, where possible seed was collected for future propagation and planting trials. Working together with mining operations staff, KES will be revisiting these sites to collect seed where possible, and translocate species from future development areas. KES’s sister nursery, Tipi Mountain Native Plants, Ltd. will be propagating seed collected in 2012 to produce planting stock. Seedlings will be planted in select reclamation sites to assess their success in post-mine environments. By incorporating these valuable and threatened species, KES and their industrial partners are supporting new management and enhancement techniques for rare species, adding to the body of research available on these rare species, and helping conserve biodiversity on the landscape.