Fort Folly Habitat Recovery

Second Level Assessment – Current Impacts

published 26 Jan 2018 by FFHR in News category with 0 comments

Current Impacts

Forestry Practices

The Demoiselle basin covers 46.00 km² (Figure 1-2), of which private woodlots cover 36.14 km² (78.57%), Crown forests cover 2.33 km² (5.01%), Industrial freehold forestry leases cover 4.43 km² (9.63%).  Industrial freehold leases are exclusively held by JD Irving.

Figure 1-2: Forest Tenure and utilization within Demoiselle Creek watershed

Agricultural Practices

Nonforest Land Use data obtained from the New Brunswick Department of Natural Resources (Figure 1-3) shows 5.3% of the watershed is used or purposes other than forestry.  This activity mostly occurs along the Albert Mines Road which runs roughly parallel to Demoiselle Creek. Land use is classified as: Settlement (0.84 km² or 1.83% of the basin), Industry – In this case, small businesses such as machine shops and small garages (0.07 km² or 0.15% of basin), Crops & Grains – including hayfields ( 0.57km² or 1.24% of basin), Pasture (0.83 km² or 1.80% of basin), Blueberry production (0.15 km² or 0.33% of basin).

Figure 1-3: Agriculture and other non-forest usages of land in Demioselle Creek watershed

Urban Development

A database was developed to house property boundary and landowner information. The property boundary information is incorporated in to a GIS layer for the Demoiselle Creek watershed. Additionally, an excel database, Property Boundary and Landowner Information 2012-2013, contains information from Service New Brunswick on owner or business names, location addresses, place names, and associated PIDs and PANs.

Transportation Development

Discussions with New Brunswick’s Department of Transportation identified four culverts (AJ10-13) over 3 feet in diameter that cross Demoiselle Creek (1-4). There may be culverts less than 3 ft in diameter within the watershed that are the responsibility of the DoT, however, records were not available for these. If a problem culvert is identified and there is a question of whom is responsible for it (private landowner versus the DoT), GPS coordinates should be taken and responsibility confirmed through further discussions with the DoT.  Culvert inspection reports were provided by the DoT for the four aforementioned culverts. Selected information from these reports is provided below.

Figure 1-4: Locations of road / water crossings in the Demoiselle Creek watershed.

Culvert AJ10 (Figure 1-5) is located on Albert Mines Road and was last inspected on July 18, 2012. The overall structure condition is designated as FAIR. The following recommendations were made for this culvert:

  • The vegetation on both sides of the road should be removed
  • The debris and vegetation in the waterway and inside the pipe should be removed
  • The gabions of rocks at both ends of the culvert should be replaced
  • The wheel ruts, depressions, transversal cracks and pot holes should be repaired

Culvert AJ11 (Figure 1-6) is located on Albert Mines Road and was last inspected on July 18, 2012. The overall structure condition is designated as EXCELLENT. The following recommendations were made for this culvert:

  • The vegetation on both sides of the road should be removed
  • The debris and vegetation in the waterway should be removed
  • The scouring hole at the downstream end of the culvert should be eliminated

Figure 1-5: Culvert AJ10.

Figure 1-6: Culvert AJ11.

Culvert AJ13 (Figure 1-8) is located on Albert Mines Road and was last inspected on July 18, 2012. The overall structure condition is designated as FAIR. The following recommendations were made for this culvert:

  • The vegetation on both sides of the road should be removed
  • The debris and vegetation in the waterway should be removed
  • The scouring hole should be eliminated
  • The wheel ruts, depression, transversal cracks and cracks going in all directions should be repaired
  • The undermining at both ends should be stopped and repaired
  • The erosion at the upstream end of the culvert should be stopped and repaired

Figure 1-7: Culvert AJ12.

Figure 1-8 : Culvert AJ13.

There are also four bridges within the Demoiselle Creek watershed (D275, D270, D265, and D260). D260 is the bridge located on Hwy 114 and is the responsibility of the DoT. Bridges D265 and D270 located on Grub and Hawkes Roads, respectively, are located on public (not maintained) roads, which from our discussion with the DoT are not their responsibility. For the final bridge, D275, responsibility is difficult to discern based on the maps provided. If there are concerns with this bridge identified with this bridge, follow up will be necessary. Locations of these bridges and culverts have been incorporated in to a GIS layer.

Herbicide and Pesticide Use

Based on general information provided by Service New Brunswick, two forestry operators (JD Irving as Forest Patrol and Natural Resources) may have conducted work in the Demoiselle Creek watershed. While intended blocks of land to be treated were identified by operators that does not necessarily mean that they were treated with herbicides. Products used in these industries may contain the active ingredient glyphosate. Glyphosate is found in several formulations under the trade names Arsenal (PCP 23713), Forza (PCP 26401), Vantage (PCP 26884), Vision (PCP 19899) and Vision Max (PCP 27736). The active ingredient triclopyr has also been used in the past as Release (PCP 22093).

In addition, two industrial operators (Asplundh and NB Power Transmission) may have conducted work with respect to an industrial right-of-way perspective (rail, transmission lines, etc.) in the Demoiselle Creek and North River watersheds. These companies may have used triclopyr as Garlon 4 (PCP 21053), Karmax (PCP 21252) and any of the aforementioned glyphosate products. Private growers must be individually certified (hold a valid pesticide applicator certificate) but do not report their usage. Likewise, vendors must report total sales but do not provide a breakdown relevant to individual purchasers. It is difficult to find information of individual grower or vendor pesticide or herbicide use.

Mining Practices

Oil and Natural Gas lease rights within the Demoiselle Creek watershed are currently registered to Contact Exploration Inc. (Government of New Brunswick 2015).  Contact Exploration In. merged with Donnycreek Energy in December 2014 to form Kicking Horse Energy Inc (Kicking Horse Energy 2015). There are both shale gas and oil resources within the lease, though the observed gas and the two existing oil fields are outside (north and east) of Demoiselle Creek.  Given the historic hydrocarbon resources found within the watershed at Albert Mines, additional discoveries within the Demoiselle Creek watershed by the leaseholder would not be unprecedented.  The former Provincial government made a clear commitment to promoting shale gas development in New Brunswick (Alward 2014). However, shortly after coming into office, the new government enacted a moratorium on expansion (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation 2014). If wells are eventually drilled within the Demoiselle Creek watershed, impacts will include freshwater extraction from streams, habitat destruction and sedimentation during road building, and the potential for wastewater spills contaminating surface waters.

 


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