Environmental Impact Assessment
Fort Langley National Historic Site of Canada Management Plan
The Fort Langley National Historic Site of Canada Management Plan underwent an environmental assessment review in accordance with the 1999 Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals. Screening was conducted early in the review to ensure the environmental effects of plan initiatives were considered before irrevocable decisions were made. This provided an opportunity to adjust the draft plan if required. The potential for management plan proposals generating adverse environmental effects was assessed. Implementation of management plan initiatives will increase the level of cultural resource protection and commemorative integrity at Fort Langley National Historic Site of Canada. Proposed key actions are consistent with Parks Canada Policy and the Fort Langley National Historic Site of Canada Commemorative Integrity Statement.
Human use has highly modified the natural ecosystem in the southern land parcel at Fort Langley NHSC. The palisade, historic buildings and open viewscapes are important elements of the site’s designated place. Despite a lengthy history of human use limited development is present on the northern property adjacent to the Fraser River. Other than an informal walking path the majority of the site is undeveloped. Natural floodplain features with significant habitat value (riparian ecosystems) are present. The undeveloped character of this property will be maintained as the management plan proposes key actions to protect and manage these resources. A species at risk assessment conducted at the site found no species listed by the Committee on Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) or the Conservation Data Centre (CDC). The assessment report recommended that a detailed species inventory be conducted on this land parcel to determine if rare species or communities are present. If rare species are discovered, efforts should be undertaken to manage these species consistent with Parks Canada Policy and the provisions of theSpecies at Risk Act.
Vegetation management and other activities at the historic site have the potential to introduce new exotic species or expand existing populations. Possible sources include transport of plant seeds or vegetative material from use of contaminated building materials, items of personal clothing (boots) or equipment. Viewscape maintenance will trigger theCEAA. Parks Canada will consider the findings of a CEAA screening prior to deciding on a course of action to approve, modify or abandon these activities. The key challenge at Fort Langley NHS will be to maintain historically accurate open viewscapes without encouraging weed growth near the north side of the palisade or along the northern perimeter of the north property parcel.
The potential for cumulative environmental effects is low. Implementation of proposed key actions will not result in alienation of currently undeveloped lands. Levels of visitation are not expected to increase significantly in response to marketing and outreach initiatives. Key actions proposed in the revised management plan are expected to result in a positive cumulative benefit for commemorative integrity, a neutral cumulative benefit for ecological integrity, and a positive net socio-economic benefit. All actions proposed in the management plan are consistent with Parks Canada Policy and federal legislation. Adequate public participation occurred during the management planning review process.
Many proposals described in the management plan are strategic. It is not possible to fully evaluate the environmental effect of these initiatives at this point in time. Individual development projects will undergo environmental assessment screening pursuant to theCanadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA) once project planning and design are sufficiently well advanced. The Parks Canada Agency is a Responsible Authority under the CEAA. The Agency will not undertake any project prior to preparing an environmental assessment pursuant to the CEAA and deciding on a course of action based on the results of the assessment.
The overall intent of theFort Langley National Historic Site of Canada Management Plan is to ensure commemorative integrity. Key focus areas include cultural landscape management, and increased First Nations and stakeholder engagement in all aspects of site management. Some actions may generate employment and economic benefits for local and regional businesses. Positive social impacts are expected for local First Nations from increased involvement with the site, and interpretive materials that more accurately portray their past and present role in the area.