Reclamation and Wildlife Utilization Within the Highland Valley Copper Operating Area

CIM Edmonton 2008
Richard Howie,
Abstract Highland Valley Copper operates a copper and molybdenum mining complex southwest of Kamloops, British Columbia in the southern interior of the province. More than 2100 ha of disturbed land have been re-vegetated for more than one year in progress towards meeting end land use goals.

Initiatives aimed at targeted groups of wildlife have included the stocking of lakes with Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), seeding of lakes with a variety of invertebrates, the provision of rocky den sites for Yellow-bellied Marmots (Marmota flaviventris), and the planting of shrub islands within grass and forb reclamation sites to benefit Mule Deer (Odocoileus hemionus) and other unspecified wildlife. Tree and shrub planting around the margins of tailings ponds are designed to diversify habitats for future wildlife use.

This paper reports on the results of successful programs to establish viable fish populations as well as the incidental re-colonization of habitats by wildlife within the operating area. The results of benthic invertebrate monitoring programs as well as a 3 year study of bird populations and the distribution of American Pika (Ochotona princeps) will be presented in summary form, along with impressions and perspectives of other wildlife use of the property.
A perspective on the creation and maintenance of a range of habitat types including non-reclaimed areas will be provided.
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