Identifying opportunities for wetland restoration 2020–2021
This project, led by Chu Cho Environmental, will improve the understanding of historical distribution of wetlands in the Finlay Reach of Williston Reservoir, prior to inundation. This work will also document the cultural importance of wetlands to the Tsay Keh Dene (TKD) Nation, and quantitatively assess the current health of the wetlands. The results of this study will identify opportunities for wetland restoration that will enable TKD citizens to continue to utilize these wetlands for food and medicine in the future.
Update: Four wetlands assessed
Four wetlands in the Finlay Reach of the Williston Reservoir have been assessed to help understand the distribution of wetlands prior to inundation and identify potential restoration options. At three of the sites, a herpetofauna expert—that’s someone who specializes in amphibians—studied the potential for amphibian habitat use.
Final report: executive summary
Debris scour, wave action, and fluctuating water levels are negatively impacting nearshore vegetation and wetlands within the Finlay reach of the Williston Reservoir. During inundation of the river valleys, many wetlands were lost, along with the habitat they provided to wildlife and fish. Soil erosion continues to damage and puts nearshore wetlands at risk around the Williston Reservoir. Non-hydro-related impacts, such as roads, beetle kill, and climate change is adding to the scale and scope of degradation. The degradation of wetlands reduces and puts at risk Tsay Keh Dene Nation (TKDN) members’ access to food and medicine from these aquatic ecosystems. As Elders in Nation are aging, there is significant added risk that traditional knowledge of such ecosystems and their uses could be lost.
This project facilitated engagement with TKDN membership and wetland experts to identify opportunities for wetland restoration within the Finlay Reach of the Williston Reservoir. A total of 4 wetland sites were shortlisted through review of our 2019 rapid wetland health assessments, along with community input and were included in our August 2020 site investigations.
The primary component of the FWCP Peace Action Plan, that aligns most closely with this project, is the Riparian And Wetlands Action Plan, priority action (2b-1): “to leverage a WLR trial wetland program to create wetland habitat.”
The secondary Peace Action Plan that aligns most closely with this project is the Species of Interest Action Plan, priority action (4a-1) research and information acquisition: “to conduct a TEK study.”
Click the provincial database link below to read the full final report for this project.