Approved documents related to the KNL Expansion Lands can be found below the status reports.
March 1st status report: Here is an update I received from Ottawa’s Environmental Planner on the work in KNL Phases 7 and 8, as well as related species at risk mitigation and compensation.
- Tree clearing has been completed in Phase 7 (south of the railway). Tree clearing is well underway in Phase 8 and should be completed within the next few days. Removal of stumps and trees will continue through the summer.
- The temporary turtle fencing is being installed on the boundary of the development area, beginning on the south boundary. I have walked the full length of the south boundary with KNL’s biologist, their engineering site supervisor, their contractor, and the contractor’s crew chief. The work is being done with high level of care and oversight.
- Construction of compensation wetlands in Phase 8, immediately adjacent to the intersection of Terry Fox Drive and the railway, will begin this week and may already be underway. Construction of the adjacent nesting areas will likely begin on Thursday, weather permitting (see below). I will be out again tomorrow to look at these sites.
- Installation of the off-site turtle protection fencing (part of the Overall Benefit Permit) will begin along Huntmar Drive on Monday, March 6th. KNL is coordinating this work with Luc Gagne, the area road manager. I will advise Councillor El-Chantiry.
- The early thaw will affect the timing of KNL’s habitat compensation work under the Overall Benefit Permit. In particular, the soft ground will prevent KNL’s contractor from accessing the new turtle nest site on the north side of the Kizell Wetland. They need to bring in approximately 150 truckloads of sand, which can only occur when the ground is frozen next winter. The delay will need to be approved by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry – but that shouldn’t be a problem. One of the other nesting areas might also be delayed, depending on ground conditions over the next week.
- There have been no wildlife issues.
February 3rd status report: On Friday Feb 3rd, the City Enviromental Planner visited the KNL site with the Site Supervisor and KNL’s Biologist. Tree-clearing continues smoothly. The contractor now has several large pieces of equipment on site: the feller buncher, a skidder, a chipper, and a claw-equipped shovel for feeding the chipper. They are now working in the roughest terrain along the south boundary of Phase 7. This has slowed progress slightly, but they still expect to finish the area in the next two days. Following completion of the south boundary, they will move to a small treed knoll north of Shirley’s Brook and south of the railway. The boundary of that area was checked during the visit to make sure that all the markers were in place and visible.
Work in Phase 8 is expected to begin as soon as next week, but not until City staff had double-checked the boundary markers. They will probably enter from Terry Fox Drive at the north end of the Goulbourn Forced Road re-alignment. The Site Supervisor is to confirm that they have the necessary access permit.
The contractor reports very little sign of wildlife, and no obvious injuries or deaths. Tracks observed today included a lot of mice, a porcupine leaving the area, and a coyote entering and then leaving the work area.
Installation of the turtle fencing still has not begun. The fence contractor is still confident of having at least the required temporary fencing in place by the spring deadline. City staff will follow up with KNL for more information.
January 27th status report: The City Forester visited the KNL site on Thurs Jan 26 and walked the site with KNL’s Biologist, and the Site Supervisor. They walked through the area that has been cut, checked in with the logger, and walked the limits of the portion that has not been cut to ensure that the stakes and flagging are still in place (they were).
Click here for a diagram from the Site Supervisor showing approximately how much has been cut so far.. Over half of the cutting for phase 7 has been done now. They anticipate that they will be done the Phase 7 cutting by the end of next week. Given the terrain they will have to go over moving forward (very rocky), it could be a little longer than that.
The logger has been moving from Goulbourn Forced Road towards the First Line Road Allowance. Over the next day or so, he plans to travel to the First Line Road Allowance and start cutting from there back to where he’s been cutting so far. He will be doing this because next week brings colder temperatures and he wants to get any low areas when the temperatures are colder.
There is a Grapple Skidder working alongside the Feller Buncher now. The skidder moves the trees cut by the Feller Buncher into piles along the main trail in and out of the site in preparation for being moved off site.
They did not see any wildlife issues. There were several more possible cavity/nesting trees retained within the cut area ( see photo) and at least one more flagged in the area still to be cut (see 2nd photo).
When the cutting at Phase 7 is finished, city staff will visit Phase 8 to check the tree cutting limits with the Biologist and the Site Supervisor – this will likely happen the week after next.
January 24th status report: The City’s Environmental Planner visited the KNL site the morning of Friday Jan 20.2016,
where he met up with KNL’s Biologist and Site Supervisor. They walked the full perimeter of the cut area in Phase 7, and he re-checked the work along the Goulbourn Forced Road realignment.
Work in Phase 7 was slower this week, because the tree cutter had a couple of machinery breakdowns. Nonetheless, 20 acres has been cut, and the tree cutter is estimating that he’ll be finished Phase 7 by the end of January. The work looks good. He’s left a buffer along Goulbourn Forced Road, protected a butternut identified for seed collection (after which it will be removed), and protected the south boundary along the Kizell Wetland. The work now moves up into the more rocky terrain on the west side of Phase 7, where the trees tend to be larger.
I didn’t see any obvious wildlife issues. The tree cutter is still retaining obvious cavity and nesting trees for 48 hours. There were some ruffed grouse sheltering under one of the woodpiles, raccoon tracks leaving the cutting area, and fisher tracks crossing in and out along the south boundary.
The Goulbourn Forced Road realignment has now been stumped.
Installation of the turtle fencing and upgrading of the access road has not yet begun. The site supervisor says that there’s still some negotiating going on about the price. However, he was given assurance that the essential work can be completed by the deadline.
They found some human & dog tracks along the south boundary suggesting that someone was checking out the work, as well as some “fat bike” tracks. But everything on the site has been quiet.
January 17th status report: City environmental and forestry staff visited the KNL worksite last Friday with KNL’s Biologist and Site Supervisor.
At the north end of the site, adjacent to Terry Fox Drive, the remaining portion of the Goulbourn Forced Road realignment was cut last week. The cutting only took one day, although the trees have yet to be removed from the site. No issues. The work was well done.
At the south end of the site, Ottawa Cedar has cut about 20 acres. They are leaving a buffer of approximately 50 m adjacent to Goulbourn Forced Road as a visual screen. Processing and removal of the cut trees has not yet begun, nor has installation of the turtle fencing. Both activities require the construction contractor, Coluatti, to upgrade the access road into the site, which will likely occur this week. We checked the boundary of the retained natural environment area. The tree cutters are doing a good job of respecting it.
The tree cutters continue to implement the wildlife protocol. There have been no issues to date. Staff will re-visit the site again later this week.
January 16: The following information has been provided by KNL to Greenspace Alliance on the work they are presently doing on their lands.
As discussed, below I’ve included a summary of our tree cutting mitigation procedures and other requirements related to the tree cutting work. Please feel free to circulate this to the Greenspace Alliance if you would like.
As you know, the requirements for KNL are dictated by several different regulations and associated permits. All of these requirements are existing considerations built into our permits and other documents. I have summarized these here:
Timing of Work:
-The City of Ottawa Tree Cutting by-law does not allow bulk tree clearing between April 15th to August 15th each year. This timing window is dictated primarily to avoid impacting the nests of migratory birds during their nesting season, although it also avoids the majority of the active and breeding season of most reptiles and amphibians. This timing also reflects guidance provided by Environment Canada, which requires tree clearing to mitigate impacts to migratory bird nests under the Migratory Birds Convention Act.
-The Overall Benefit Permit issued by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (OMNRF) under the Endangered Species Act for the Site also requires tree clearing in areas that have not been previously isolated by exclusion fencing to avoid the active season of Blanding’s Turtles, which is defined as April 15th to October 15th.
-In combination, these requirements preclude bulk tree clearing from April 15th to October 15th each year.
-As noted in the Overall Benefit Permit, the exception to this are the hibernacula pools located in the northern part of KNL 8. Trees in this area cannot be removed until the period between August 1st and 15th, 2017, due to special requirements to decommission these pools. This requirement is reflected in the Tree Cutting permit.
-Our designated tree clearing window (October 16th to April 15th) is therefore designated both to avoid the active season of Blanding’s Turtle and the nesting season of migratory birds. This timing would also avoid the majority of the active season of most other reptiles and amphibians, and would also avoid the majority of the breeding season of most mammals.
-It is worth noting that tree clearing in winter is generally regarded as the best management practice to minimize impacts to wildlife. This is the standard approach taken throughout the region. This approach limits the risk to wildlife to the greatest extent possible, and ensures a low risk of conflicts with reptiles, amphibians and most birds. Additional mitigation is implemented primarily to ensure that any mammals that may be active in the area and/or overwintering are addressed.
Awareness and Training:
-A comprehensive Training and Awareness Package for construction staff has been prepared and provided to all contractors for their review. Representatives from each contractor are required to attend a training session, during which the wildlife, tree preservation, and endangered species mitigation requirements are reviewed in detail
-Contractors who have received this training are designated as ‘Qualified Members’. We require at least one (1) Qualified Member to be present on Site at all times.
-All of the Tree Clearing Staff working on Site have received the training.
-KNL has provided a Site Supervisor who inspects the work area daily. The Site Supervisor has also received the Awareness Training and has been briefed on the wildlife, tree clearing, and Endangered Species requirements in detail. The Site Supervisor has provided daily updates to the project team, including the project Biologist.
-The Project Biologist is required to visit the Site a minimum of once per week to conduct inspections. In practice, inspections have been occurring at least twice a week since the beginning of work.
-The City Biologist and Arborist have also inspected the Site regularly (more than once per week) since the commencement of work.
-During these inspections, all staff are sweeping areas that have been cleared to look for any signs of stranded or injured wildlife.
-During these inspections, we are also inspecting the marking of the limits of tree clearing, to ensure the tree clearing area has been properly marked. We are also ensuring that any retained Butternuts are properly marked and that the Tree Clearers are aware of these. We also search the area ahead of the tree clearers to look for wildlife, to identify any significant dens or cavity trees, and to make the tree clearers aware of anything that they need to watch out for.
Tree Clearing Procedure:
-The Tree Clearing procedures have been designated according to the requirements of the City’s Protocol for Wildlife Protection During Construction. These requirements are referenced in the drawings for the Tree Cutting Permit.
-As noted above, prior to any area being cleared, the limit of tree clearing has been determined and marked by a qualified land surveyor. This marking has been inspected by the Site Supervisor, the Project Biologist, and City staff prior to the beginning of tree clearing.
-Tree clearers have been made aware of this boundary.
-At the start of each work day, tree clearing staff are required to sweep their work area to look for wildlife.
-After they have completed their sweep, they pre-stress the area by sounding the horn on their equipment. Once their equipment is running, the noise generated by the equipment provides continuous pre-stressing.
-Tree clearing is proceeding from adjacent roads (e.g. Goulbourn Forced Road) in the direction of permanently retained areas. This encourages wildlife leaving the work area to move in the direction of permanently retained habitat.
-The tree clearers have been instructed to leave any trees that are suspected to provide dens/cavities for 48 hours, and to cut around these features. They have already avoided several such trees. This allows wildlife that are potentially found in the trees to have time to vacate the area
-If the tree clearers encounter wildlife in the work area, we have instructed them to stop work and to allow the animal time to leave the area. In cases where an animal is not leaving on its own, the tree clearers have been instructed to contact the project biologist to discuss how to proceed. Depending on the animal and situation, we may stop work in the vicinity or relocate the animal.
-The tree clearers are using equipment which has the capability to pick up trees and place them on the ground gently. In cases where they see an animal in a tree that is not coming down on its own (for example porcupines), the tree clearers will gently place the tree on the ground and allow the animal time to leave the area. This usually works for porcupines, and they will usually walk away across the ground once the tree is down. Again, if the animal does not leave on its own, the tree clearers have been instructed to avoid the area and to contact the project Biologist.
-The Awareness and Training provided to the contractors includes instructions for emergency procedures, in the event that an injured animal is found within the Site. These procedures also provide instructions for emergency relocation of Blanding’s Turtle, as specified by the Overall Benefit Permit
-If injured wildlife are found on Site, the contractor will immediately contact the Project Biologist.
-If injured wildlife are found on Site, they will be transported for veterinary care.
January 9th status report: Below is the map that forms part of the Tree Permit issued to KNL by the City of Ottawa. Except as noted on the map, all of the area within the development limits will be cleared of trees over the next several months. This land is private property and has been identified for urban development by the City of Ottawa and the former City of Kanata for more than twenty years.
Tree cutting began last week south of the railway, west of Goulbourn Forced Road. The tree cutting has already reach the southern development limit, just north of the Kizell Pond. In doing so, it has already severed the snowshoeing trail leading west from Goulbourn Forced Road toward the First Line road allowance (the powerlines). Within the next several weeks, KNL’s contractors will be installing chain link fencing along the development limit, as required by the Province to prevent Blanding’s turtles (an endangered species) from entering the work area in the Spring.
In addition to the severing of this trail link, a number of trails further west, off First Line road allowance, will also be cut by the work and become unavailable.
The trail running north from Goulbourn Forced Road along the Second Line road allowance beside Trillium Woods (opposite the Monk Environmental Area), will not be cut this winter, but may be closed for several weeks when KNL begins to clear the area north of the railway.
The City will be re-instating trails along the Kizell Wetland, but probably not until 2018. Although a draft trail plan already exists, it pre-dates the identification of Blanding’s turtle habitat in the Kizell Wetland. The plan will need to be updated, and any necessary permits obtained from the Province, before trail construction can begin.
In the short-term, there are other potential locations for snowshoeing. The South March Highlands Conservation Forest has a very good trails system, and is well-used. You can access it at Second Line Road and Klondike Road. If you are looking for a quieter walk, the Crazy Horse Trail is accessible from March Road and Huntmar Drive. It is City-owned, but maintained by the Friends of the Carp Hills. See the Google Earth image that shows both locations. Under the 40% Open Space agreement cross country skiing is permitted on the Kanata Golf Club fairways and they have also permitted snowshoeing there.
January 6th status report: The site was visited inspect the tree cutting, especially in relation to the boundary of the Kizell Natural Environment Area. Tree cutting is proceeding quickly in Phase 7, although very little of it is yet visible from the road. It has reached the south boundary and the contractor is also still enlarging the staging area at the edge of the field. The photo shows the cutting adjacent to the boundary (South Line 2) and clearly shows the boundary and that the cutters are respecting it.
An important part of the wildlife protocol is the identification of potential “wildlife trees”: i.e. trees with visible nests or cavities that may harbour wildlife. The wildlife protocol recommends cutting around these trees, then leaving them overnight to allow wildlife to vacate them. Two large burr oaks, where the tree cutters observed potential wildlife cavities, have been left.
The tree cutters have not reported any public interest in the on-going work. However, the cutting has now severed the only ski/snowshoe trail between Goulbourn Forced Road and the First Line Road Allowance across KNL Phase 7 (the trail is actually visible in the photograph of the south boundary). This is a popular route with the local community. That trail includes the clearcut area.
Trail access between Goulbourn Forced Road and the First Line Road Allowance will remain severed until the new trail network can be constructed on the City-owned, natural environment lands. Unfortunately, the existing trail plan, which is more than five years old, did not take into account habitat for species at risk. Several of the planned trails run through recently-identified or planned turtle nesting areas and basking areas. Natural Systems and Parks will work with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry over the next few months to revise the trail plan to ensure compliance with the Endangered Species Act. However, I it is unlikely that a trail connection will be re-established between Goulbourn Forced Road and the First Line Road Allowance until 2018.
January 5th status report: Tree cutting began at 10 AM Jan 4 in KNL Phase 7. Below is a photograph of the machine being used by Ottawa Cedar to cut the trees: a 40 ton “buncher feller.”
Cutting started with the access road west from Goulbourn Forced Road into Phase 7 (south of Shirley’s Brook) where a staging area will be located at the edge of the field and then turned south to the development boundary. Cutting will then follow the perimeter of the development area with clearing proceeding very quickly.
Over the next few days, skidders and trucks will be on site to begin trucking trees to a sawmill as they are cut. The construction contractor will upgrade the access road to the staging area for some construction trailers and equipment for the perimeter fencing. Required turtle fencing will be installed as the perimeter is cleared.
A second logging contractor assigned to the realignment of Goulbourn Forced Road is now in the process of getting a permit for access off Terry Fox Drive to clear the remainder of the new Goulbourn Forced Road alignment, work that will only take a day or two.
I met this morning on site with the City’s environmental planner, KNL’s Biologist and IBI’s Site Supervisor, before work got underway to discuss the process. Later those individuals also met with the those undertaking the tree removals and found that the loggers had the tree conservation plan in hand and were clearly familiar with it and had received training from KNL’s Biologist on the wildlife protection measures. The site was entered on foot to review the boundary marking. Observation of the first cuttings showed that appropriate care was being taken.
The Site Supervisor has instructed surveyors to inspect the development boundary marking every day.
I was pleased to hear that the company doing the cutting is a locally owned business that operates their own sawmill, and let no part of the tree go to waste. Good quality logs are processed as timber at the mill. Small and low quality logs are processed as firewood. Everything else is chipped and processed as biomass fuel for power generation. The only part of the tree not currently used is the stump.
January 4th status report: The following information has been provided on activities on KNL lands rescheduled to begin at 8 AM, Wednesday January 4, 2016, at the entrance to KNL’s property on the Goulbourn Forced Road.
The main tree contractor will be cutting an access road on the west side of Goulbourn Forced Road into the field on the south side of Shirley’s Brook. They will then stage all of their equipment in that field. Cutting will begin along the south boundary of the property and work clockwise around the perimeter of the development area.
A second contractor will start tree cutting later in the month along the new alignment of the Goulbourn Forced Road.
The City’s Environmental planner was be on site on the 4th to meet with the contractor and confirm that they have a copy of the tree permit, the tree conservation plan, and that they are familiar with the wildlife mitigation measures.
On January 3rd, prior to any cutting taking place, the Environmental Planner accompanied by KNL’s Biologist, the City’s Construction Inspector, an Ottawa Forestry Inspector, and IBI’s Site Supervisor (KNL’s consultant) made an inspection of the development area boundary. At the same time, KNL also had a team of surveyors inspecting the development area boundary. They found the boundary to be very well marked with everyone very conscious of the need to avoid any cutting errors. Nick Stow also assisted KNL’s Biologist in locating and flagging several butternut trees.
Several cross-country ski trails presently cross the development area. Once tree cutting starts these ski trails will become inaccessible to the community for safety reasons.
Further updates will be posted as they become available. The scope of work being undertaken will be provided at my Town Hall Meeting on Monday January 16th along with an update on development of Phase 9, North of the Beaver Pond.
Approved documents related to the KNL Expansion Lands:
[KNL – Ph 7 – Registered Subdivision Agreement – 20161206] KNL – Ph 7 – Registered Subdivision Agreement – 20161206; (2 M)<http://webcast.ottawa.ca/plan/All_Image%20Referencing_OP%20Amendment%20Application_Image%20Reference_KNL%20-%20Ph%207%20-%20Registered%20Subdivision%20Agreement%20-%2020161206.PDF>
[KNL – Ph 7 and 8 – Overall Benefit Permit – 20161110] KNL – Ph 7 and 8 – Overall Benefit Permit – 20161110; (10 M)<http://webcast.ottawa.ca/plan/All_Image%20Referencing_OP%20Amendment%20Application_Image%20Reference_KNL%20-%20Ph%207%20and%208%20-%20Overall%20Benefit%20Permit%20-%2020161110.PDF>
[KNL – Ph 7 and 8 – Tree Permit as signed by JM – 20161206] KNL – Ph 7 and 8 – Tree Permit as signed by JM – 20161206; (1 M)<http://webcast.ottawa.ca/plan/All_Image%20Referencing_OP%20Amendment%20Application_Image%20Reference_KNL%20-%20Ph%207%20and%208%20-%20Tree%20Permit%20as%20signed%20by%20JM%20-%2020161206.PDF>
[KNL – Ph 7 and 8 – Tree Preservation Plan – 20161205] KNL – Ph 7 and 8 – Tree Preservation Plan – 20161205; (6 M)<http://webcast.ottawa.ca/plan/All_Image%20Referencing_OP%20Amendment%20Application_Image%20Reference_KNL%20-%20Ph%207%20and%208%20-%20Tree%20Preservation%20Plan%20-%2020161205.PDF>
[KNL – Ph 7 and 8 – Tree Preservation Requirements – 20161205] KNL – Ph 7 and 8 – Tree Preservation Requirements – 20161205; (2 M)<http://webcast.ottawa.ca/plan/All_Image%20Referencing_OP%20Amendment%20Application_Image%20Reference_KNL%20-%20Ph%207%20and%208%20-%20Tree%20Preservation%20Requirements%20-%2020161205.PDF>
[KNL – Ph 8 – Registered Subdivision Agreement – 20161206] KNL – Ph 8 – Registered Subdivision Agreement – 20161206; (2 M)<http://webcast.ottawa.ca/plan/All_Image%20Referencing_OP%20Amendment%20Application_Image%20Reference_KNL%20-%20Ph%208%20-%20Registered%20Subdivision%20Agreement%20-%2020161206.PDF>
[KNL – Ph 9 – Registered Subdivision Agreement – 20161206] KNL – Ph 9 – Registered Subdivision Agreement – 20161206 ; (2 M)
KNL – Ph 9 – Registered Subdivision Agreement – 20170111; (2 M)