The Lower Columbia Ecosystem Management Program

The Lower Columbia Ecosystem Management Program (LCEMP) is a collaborative approach to assess, rehabilitate, monitor, conserve and enhance wildland ecosystems in the Lower Columbia area of British Columbia. The purpose of LCEMP is to address ecological impacts associated with historical aerial emissions from Teck Trail Operations.

The LCEMP is overseen by a Working Group. The purpose of the Working Group is to provide input and recommendations regarding LCEMP through the development, implementation and subsequent performance monitoring phases of the program. 

The guiding principles developed for LCEMP are:

  • The program will focus on ecological values and associated impacts.
  • The program will consider impacts of habitat management on the socio-economic and cultural well-being of surrounding areas.
  • The program will strive for consensus among stakeholders while recognizing landowner and statutory rights and responsibilities.
  • Management actions will cause “no net harm”, and are intended to yield a net benefit, as confirmed through effectiveness monitoring and adaptive management

Realistic remediation and risk management options to address ecological risks include:

  • Ecosystem rehabilitation through soil amendments and/or silviculture treatments (e.g., prescribed fire, selective tree thinning).
  • Natural attenuation/regeneration and monitoring.
  • Habitat or habitat element inventory, protection, enhancement or creation (in upland, wetland and riparian settings).
  • Weed inventory and control of species not designated as noxious.
  • Forest health and disease management, research and monitoring.
  • Access control and use restrictions and monitoring.
  • Listed animal or plant species inventories, research and monitoring.
  • Interpretive signage or public education/awareness initiatives.
  • Establishment of conservation covenants, stewardship agreements or other conservation approaches.

Terrestrial Ecological Risk Assessment

From 2000 through 2008, Teck conducted an ecological risk assessment in the Trail area. The purpose of the study was to identify where there are past or ongoing impacts on the environment due to historical smelter emissions.  The terrestrial portion of the study concluded that there is very little risk of harmful effects to animals from smelter-related metals in the environment, but that there are residual impacts on wildlife habitat due to past damage to plant communities. It is these impacts that are being addressed by LCEMP as described above.

The summary and detailed reports are available at the following links:

Full Terrestrial ERA

Summary Terrestrial ERA

For the aquatic portion of the ERA, refer to the Aquatic Effects Monitoring Program (AEMP).