TimberNorth Consulting has qualified professionals to conduct Wetland Assessments and Classifications, Water Applications and Watercourse Assessments. We have a professional trapper member of the Alberta Trapper's Association who conducts trapper notifications and problem wildlife removal. Our biologists have conducted migratory bird nesting surveys for energy sector companies as well as sand & gravel clients. Please see below for all the types of environmental planning TimberNorth can offer.
We offer many different services within the Environmental field including:
The initial collection of data serves as a basis for comparison with subsequently acquired data. Whether this is applied to establishing sample plots, conducting single-time surveys or long term monitoring, TimberNorth will ensure the initial process of baseline data gathering will set a high standard for future data collection.
BASELINE DATA GATHERING
Understanding how ecosystems are structured is a key to good management practices in the boreal forest and more broadly to biodiversity studies. Through the analysis of soil, vegetation, site and forest productivity, an ecological classification system exists. In Alberta, the edatopic grid enables ecosites to be classified by soil moisture and nutrient regimes. Our environmental team uses site analysis, soil pits, vegetation identification, topography and tree composition and age to determine a proper ecosite classification.
Most applications for surface dispositions on crown land are handled through the Public Lands Act. There are two main processes depending on the type of disposition being applied for - the Environmental Field Report (EFR) or the Enhanced Approval Process (EAP). EFRs provide details on location, environmental concerns such as wildlife and fisheries constraints, historical resource concerns, existing vegetation and timber cover and proposed soil and vegetation management during construction and operations. Land Standing Reports (LSAS/EDS) will be checked for conflicts and to identify any consultations or consents that are required before the disposition can be granted. FWMIS (Fish & Wildlife Management Information System) and ACIMS (Alberta Conservation Information Management System) databases will be reviewed for environmental concerns. The Listing of Historic Resources will be checked to determine the Historic Resource Value (HRV) of the lands under application.
The EAP process is a streamlined process that handles applications for certain energy sector related dispositions that are not covered by the EFR process. In addition to much of the same information queried for EFRs, the EAP process also requires the generation of a Landscape Analysis Tool (LAT) report.
TimberNorth has qualified professionals capable of carrying out the required on-site assessment and processing of crown applications for aggregate, forestry and energy sector activities. Professional and efficient assessments and applications has enabled the company to develop long term relationships with the government's environment and lands departments thus ensuring a timely and cost efficient application process for our clients.
ENVIRONMENTAL FIELD REPORTS (EFR) AND ENHANCED APPROVAL PROCESS (EAP)
Canadian forests integrate the roles of native pests and disease into their ecosystem functions if populations remain at healthy, balanced levels. Insects and pests are necessary for forest renewal, as they target susceptible trees and assist in decomposition, nutrient cycling and allow for new growth. However, both native and foreign species can display invasive, prolific behaviour resulting in an aggressive increase in population growth. This can potentially cause devastating damage to commercially viable forest products including those bound for export. TimberNorth provides a team of highly experienced professionals to assess the extent of damage an insect or disease has on an area. We do this by establishing sample plots and surveying stands to identify the pest/disease, the biology and ecology of the organism and its ecological and economic effects. Management of insects and disease is the responsibility of forest ownership; federal, provincial, territorial and municipal governments are responsible for pest management within their specific jurisdictions. Private forest owners are responsible for their own forest pest management, posing the need for this valuable service.
INSECT AND DISEASE ASSESSMENTS
MIGRATORY BIRD NESTING SURVEYS
Here in Alberta, we are fortunate to host a broad spectrum of ecosystems ranging from conifer and deciduous forests, to wetlands and open water, to grasslands and more. Accompanying the varying landscape is a plethora of bird species including species of concern and migratory bird species. Migratory birds and their nests are protected under the Migratory Birds Convention Act 1994, the Wildlife Act and Wildlife Regulation, Schedule 4. TimberNorth's team of professional biologists and ecosystem management technicians use their expertise to develop and conduct nest sweeps and nest surveys. From the surveys, the team can provide recommendations to the client to ensure legislation is followed and the projects move forward.
Many wildlife species co-exist with humans successfully, however when individuals and populations of wildlife species become habituated to human presence, it can cause property damage and risks the transfer of disease from wildlife to humans and their pets. Our team is composed of professional biologists, certified trappers and Fish and Wildlife technicians who ensure privacy and professionalism throughout the entire process from identifying the troublesome species, to implementing the control method, followed by continuous site monitoring if necessary. With knowledge of the Pest and Nuisance Control Regulation and Wildlife Regulation, our team will ensure a secure and mandated removal of the pests in question.
NUISANCE WILDLIFE REMOVAL
The natural resource extraction industry can be intensive and in the event of a spill, breach or other accident, a remediation plan must be in place to reduce, reverse or prevent harsh damage to the land. Our team of experts can work within and beyond your operational plans to assist in foreseeing any problems regarding the impact of your activity on the land. Having a competent approach to containing and maintaining hazardous waste is vital to responsible practice, however, in the event of an unforeseen incident, a transparent and comprehensive remediation plan can prove essential for stopping and reversing environmental damage.
Here at TimberNorth, we take pride in the relationships we establish with our stakeholders and partners and value the importance of communication with regards to how public land is collectively managed. We consider ourselves stewards in responsible natural resource management services and public involvement. A variety of traditional activities being practiced in areas of industry operations drives the need for liaising with local residents and Aboriginal communities. We assist organizations in keeping an open dialogue with hunters and trappers by providing resources for trappers to access information about operational plans. We understand the historical and cultural importance of these traditional activities and strive to provide early trapper notification and ongoing practices to minimally impact trapping activity.
WATER ACT APPLICATIONS AND APPROVALS
The Water Act exists partially to allow Albertans to develop water management plans on a regional level with complete transparency. However, these rigorous applications can sometimes pose difficulty when figuring out what is needed and when, with regards to legislation surrounding water. TimberNorth has experts in the Water Act application and approval process, sure to assist you in your operations whether it is from the use or transportation of water, to watercourse crossings, to water diversion.
Being leading professionals in the natural resource industry means being accountable and responsible for the impacts these operations can have on the land. Properly identifying watercourses and waterbodies is an essential skill for planning and executing a field based operation. Not only are watercourses invaluable to a functioning ecosystem but they are strictly protected under legislation, posing a need for the proper treatment of such natural assets. Our team of qualified professionals are well versed in the regulations defined under the Alberta Wetlands Policy and Water Act. Our wetland services include assessment and delineation, classification, air photo interpretation, soil classification, vegetation surveys, restoration, monitoring and regulatory application assistance. We also provide assistance in developing plans to properly avoid, buffer, restore or mitigate damage to these sensitive land features.
WETLAND CLASSIFICATIONS AND ASSESSMENTS
In June of 2015, the Alberta Wetland Classification System (AWCS) was released. The purpose of instituting this system is to have a consistent system in which to classify wetlands across Alberta. The five classes of wetlands are directly aligned with those in the Canadian Wetland Classification System. Qualified Wetland Science Practitioner (QWSP) will require extensive knoweledge to obtain this criteria and codes for determining wetland classes to consistently provide a definitive class of wetland based on water permanence, salinity, acidity and site vegetation form. Knowledge of the AWCS policy, Wetland Assessment and Impact Reports (WAIR) and Alberta Wetland Rapid Evaluation Tool - Actual (ABWRET-A) will ensure complete and detailed submission of the assessments. With new legislation surrounding wetlands being implemented in spring 2016 throughout the green zone in Alberta, operations affecting wetlands will require a Qualified Wetland Science Practitioner (QWSP) for planning, assessment and application submission. We are currently working with the government to qualify our staff for performing these mandatory assessments.
WILDLIFE SURVEYS (TRACK COUNTS)
TimberNorth assists engineers, developers, builders and planners in complying with and exceeding provincial and federal regulations surrounding wildlife by providing professional experience monitoring wildlife populations and habitat assessments. Industries like forestry and oil & gas often operate in sensitive wildlife areas posing the need for wildlife disturbance mitigation. Conducting surveys both alone and in conjunction with some of the other services we offer (like environmental impact assessments) are ways of sustainably practicing these operations whilst preserving species protected under the Species at Risk Act (SARA).