BC Hydro looking to clear part of Peace River Valley for reservoir

Site clearing equipment leaving the site on the north bank of the Site C dam site, with log stock pile in the background.

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – BC Hydro is trying to apply for an application to start clearing of over 1,230 hectares for the Site C reservoir, according to a report sent to the PRRD.

The area for the reservoir has been previously excluded from the ALR by the BC government.

In an email sent to the PRRD, the reasoning for the clearing of the land was explained.

“BC Hydro is requesting a Land Act Licence of Occupation for 1,230 ha of Crown land in preparation for reservoir filling for the Site C Clean Energy Project. This requested land tenure covers what will become the eastern portion of the reservoir, upstream of the dam site, reaching as far as Cache Creek.

Activities for the requested licence area include clearing vegetation above the current level of the Peace River, and for an area above 461.8 MASL within which erosion is predicted to occur over the first five years of reservoir operation (Note: clearing is nearing completion in the dam site area, including the area where the dam and generating station will be constructed1; additional clearing is to take place for all remaining terrestrial areas to be inundated by the reservoir). Other activities in the requested land tenure area include construction and maintenance of temporary access roads to facilitate vegetation clearing, removal of merchantable timber, and debris management.”

The application shows that the work could take 5-10 years to complete. The application also says that it is unknown if they will be working in or around water. It also unknown if BC Hydro wants to transport heavy equipments or materials on an existing forest road. Also unknown was the fact if BC Hydro is planning on burning open fire to burn wood or other materials. More permits would be required if they are to do those activities.

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