Following construction, Trans Mountain’s goal was to return the land to the way it was or better without compromising operations or maintenance requirements. Recognizing the unique setting of Anchor Loop, several restoration measures were undertaken — during and after construction — that went beyond normal practice. These included:
- Constructing on-site greenhouses to make sure plant material propagated for the project was maintained in optimum quality during the restoration period
- Vegetation management of non-native invasive species that began in the season prior to construction and continued after restoration
- Where unique habitat or vegetation were discovered, narrowing the right-of-way to avoid such areas
- Salvaging native sod during construction and re-placing following construction
- Maintaining local genotypes of project plant material through collections made on or adjacent to the construction right-of-way (ROW) within Jasper National Park or, purchased from collections made in the same natural sub-regions crossed by the project in Jasper National Park
- Fencing riparian and special restoration areas to protect plantings from wildlife browsing
- Designing and implementing an irrigation program at riparian and special restoration areas to help minimize plant moisture stress
- Erecting wildlife habitat trees and creating wildlife visual barriers to reduce the line of sight along the pipeline’s right-of-way
An extensive planting program was conducted. At the same time, irrigation and protection of plantings were also undertaken to maximize their survival. Vegetation management, put into place before, during and after construction was an important consideration and key to successful restoration of the ROW.
Once the new Anchor Loop line was activated, attention turned to continuing the pipeline right-of-way restoration program. In 2009, several major restoration activities (in addition to ongoing monitoring work) helped ensure a positive project legacy in both Jasper National Park and Mount Robson Provincial Park.
Among the post-project restoration efforts:
- Seeding — Most of the pipeline right-of-way was seeded immediately following the project’s completion, except for a six-kilometre section near Hargreaves, BC, completed in 2009. Dozens of different native seed species were applied to disturbed areas along the right-of-way. Most seeding was done using a method known as boomseeding, where seed is spread using tractor-pulled equipment. For hard-to-reach areas, such as slopes and steep banks, hydroseeding (hydro mulching using a slurry of seed and mulch) was used. In smaller, more inaccessible areas such as river and stream banks, broadcast seeding was done by hand. In BC, a large portion of seeding was completed by air.
- Weed Treatments — A weed management strategy was undertaken to eliminate weeds and non-native plant species using methods including spraying, mowing and removal by hand.
- Using locally collected plant material, more than 220,000 native plants were propagated for restoration of riparian areas and sensitive ecosites. Examples of the unique approaches to restore lands in this sensitive project setting included: seeding with reclamation unit-specific native species; seeding with supplementary native seed mixes for special situations within reclamation units (calcareous soils, non-attractant areas); and establishing forb plant islands along the ROW to aid seed dispersion and support biodiversity.
Intensive post-planting irrigation and plant protection programs were set up to promote survival and preserve the quality of plants from desiccation and wildlife grazing and browsing.