Aquatic and Fish Assessments
Ghostpine has qualified fisheries specialists that provide innovative aquatic solutions to help companies locate, design, permit, construct and monitor projects in and around water. We plan environmentally sensitive watercourse crossing strategies, conduct fish habitat assessments/monitoring programs as well as develop habitat No-Net-Loss strategies/habitat compensation plans to preserve fish habitat.
Our expertise and comprehensive methods provide our client’s an efficient and cost-effective approach while ensuring compliance with legislation, guidelines and conditions of approval for pre- and post-construction activities of watercourse crossings, pipeline crossings, bank protection works and small hydro projects. The outcome is superior environmental performance, reduced costs, expedited schedules and greater efficiency. Our aquatic team works closely with the project proponents, federal and provincial regulators, First Nations, stakeholders, and other project teams, to deliver integrated solutions.
Historical / Heritage Assessments
Ghostpine provides a comprehensive range of archaeological, historical, palaeontological and Aboriginal consultation services. Our mandate is to protect heritage resources while obtaining regulatory clearance as fast and as efficiently as possible for our clients. The Heritage Resources, GIS, and Documentation team work together to quickly complete all projects in order to facilitate clearance.
Ghostpine has the in-house expertise required to obtain Historical Resources Act clearance in Alberta, Heritage Property Act clearance in Saskatchewan and Heritage Conservation Act clearance in British Columbia.
Rare Plant Surveys
Alberta is situated along the edges of several natural regions (e.g. grasslands, foothills, boreal forest), providing habitat for many species restricted to specific environmental conditions unique to each ecosystem (e.g. climate, soil, etc.). Due to the high amount of development in Alberta, these species are at risk of losing valuable habitat, potentially reducing the extent of their natural range. Rare plant surveys are designed to identify specific habitats with high likelihood for supporting rare plant species and communities, determine their presence, and note the potential risks due to local development.
Soil Surveys / Inventories
Ghostpine's experienced soils personnel have completed numerous projects at various survey intensity levels throughout western Canada (specifically British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and the Northwest Territories). Ghostpine is able to provide baseline soil resource inventories for a variety of interpretive uses that meet regulatory standards.
Vegetation assessments document and identify unique plant communities within the affected project area using the most respected industry standards. This information can be particularly useful for planning in both pre- and post-construction phases, providing routing options that reduce loss of native ecosystems, and minimize reclamation costs.
Southern Alberta’s natural areas are composed of over 150 community types, over 100 of which are from the grasslands. Well planned disturbance patterns minimize effects on these communities, preserving Alberta’s enriched biodiversity for generations to come.
From water quality to biodiversity, and from drought relief to recreation, wetlands play an integral role in the Alberta landscape. Increasingly, legislation and policies are adapting to the need to recognize and protect wetlands within Alberta. Under current provincial legislation, any activity that may impact a waterbody or watercourse requires prior approval. This may include a notification under the Alberta Code Of Practice For Pipelines And Telecommunications Lines Crossing A Water Body (as in the case of watercourse crossings), or an application under the Alberta Water Act. Detailed field assessments should be carried out by a Qualified Wetland Aquatic Environmental Specialist (QWAES). Ghostpine can provide qualified environmental professionals to assist proponents with any stage of wetland/watercourse assessment, from project planning, and QWAES assessments, to submission of notifications and/or applications.
Wildlife surveys may be required by the provincial (Alberta Environment and Parks) and federal (Environment Canada) governments prior to the development of projects. When development projects are proposed in areas where sensitive wildlife species may exist, surveys are required for federally and provincially designated endangered species, unlisted wildlife and sensitive habitats. Ghostpine personnel are able to identify wildlife species, habitats, and migration and hibernation patterns, diet and breeding requirements of endangered and other wildlife species. In addition to addressing species-specific concerns, Ghostpine has experience with broad-based conservation issues; conservation biology and sustainability. Strategies to maintain the integrity of important/sensitive wildlife habitats in the vicinity of development projects are employed during all phases of the environmental planning process, especially during initial routing and siting of developments.
Weed surveys conducted prior to development are an important component of the environmental planning process. These surveys identify the presence and density of weeds and/or invasive species prior to disturbance, and assist in the development of cost-effective weed control strategies. Pre-development weed surveys can also help minimize proponent liability by identifying existing weed infestations prior to construction. Cost effective solutions can then be developed to minimize the spread of weeds and invasive species and the expense required for weed control. Post-development weed surveys can monitor the effectiveness of the weed control methods that are utilized and identify additional areas of concern that may have arisen from construction activities.