August 12th, 2015
BC Hydro and its contractors will monitor and take great care to avoid or mitigate effects on active Bald Eagle nests during Site C construction. No active Bald Eagle nests will be disturbed, and BC Hydro will only remove or relocate Bald Eagle nests when they are inactive, as confirmed by a qualified professional — and in accordance with our permits under the Wildlife Act.
Active Bald Eagle nests within construction areas will be retained until they become inactive. A “noclearing buffer” will be implemented around each active nest. This buffer will be maintained for as long as necessary to avoid disturbance to the nesting birds.
BC Hydro also will install up to 38 artificial nesting platforms during the construction period. Platforms will be designed to be attractive to nesting Bald Eagles. Where feasible and safe, nests will be removed intact and relocated and installed on nest platforms.
BC Hydro will monitor Bald Eagle nests annually during construction. Once construction is complete, monitoring will continue for the first 10 years of project operations.
These plans are consistent with the project’s Wildlife Act permits, which include conditions to protect active Bald Eagle nests. Under these permits, BC Hydro must avoid disturbance of active eagle nests during construction, and make up for the removal of Bald Eagle nests by installing artificial nesting platforms. The permit does not authorize the destruction of active Bald Eagle nests.
The permit also requires that the removal of Bald Eagle nests be done outside the critical nesting period for raptors. As such, BC Hydro or its agents will remove or relocate these Bald Eagle nests between September 1 and March 31.
BC Hydro has been studying wildlife, including Bald Eagles, in the Site C project area for years as part of a cooperative federal-provincial environmental assessment process. These studies were undertaken to understand how the project may affect wildlife during construction, and to plan measures to avoid or minimize impacts where possible. BC Hydro’s wildlife studies are documented in the Site C Environmental Impact Statement.