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16 Protecting Caribou Dunng Hydroelectric Development in Newfoundland Single species are often judged to be the valued ecosystem components likely to be adversely affected by construction and operation of a devel- opment project. When that happens, ecological information and monitor- ing studies are oriented specifically toward the biology of the target species. Even if such a target species is well known, however, predicting the impact of the project on it can be difficult, and the project might have to proceed on a contingency basis, taking cautionary measures and altering them if effects on the target species are different from those anticipated. The effects of the Upper Salmon Hydroelectric Development on woodland caribou constitute an example of this type of problem. 205

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Case Stucly DAVID J. KIELL and EDWARD L. HILL, Environmental Services Department, Newfoundland & Labrador Hydro, St. John's, Newfoundland SHANK P. MAHONEY, Newfoundland Wildlife Division, Department of Tourism, Recreation and Youth, St. John's, Newfoundland INTRODUCTION An analysis completed in 1977 of projected power requirements for insular Newfoundland, compared with installed generating capacity, sug- gested that a shortfall would occur by about the end of 1982. A number of alternatives were available to meet this shortfall, but preliminary in- formation suggested that the Upper Salmon Hydroelectric Development (USD) was the most economical option. The USD is in south-central Newfoundland, approximately 170 km southwest of Gander and 50 km northwest of St. Albans, on Bay d'Espoir (Figure 11. It exploits a portion of the available head between Meelpaeg Reservoir and Round Pond, which are elements of the existing Bay d'Es- poir hydroelectric project. Before the USD, water flowed from Meelpaeg Reservoir through Crooked Lake and Great Burnt Lake down the North Salmon River to Round Pond (Figure 11. Water from Cold Spring Pond flowed down the West Salmon River to Godaleich Pond and then into Round Pond. A dam on the North Salmon River now diverts water from Great Burnt Lake through two diversion canals into Cold Spring Pond. A dam on the West Salmon River creates a reservoir at Cold Spring Pond. Water from this reservoir is transmitted to the intake structure via a power canal 3.6 km long. A penstock, approximately 455 m long, delivers water to the generating station on the shores of Godaleich Brook, a tributary of God- aleich Pond. The lower 1,000 m of Godaleich Brook has been excavated and serves as a tailrace to transport water to Godaleich Pond. A channel improvement was constructed to control water levels in Godaleich Pond. The powerhouse contains one Francis turbine, which generates 84 MW of powers using a hydraulic head of about 51 m. Access to the USD area was achieved by construction of a 50-km road from St. Albans. The 230-kV transmission line from the USD parallels the access road within a corridor 1 km wide for most of its length and terminates at the powerhouse at Bay d'Espoir. 206

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PROTECTING C~IBOU DURING HYDROELECTRIC DEVELOPMENT 207 {~S DER >1~ ~ <~S7~[~ NEWFOUNDLAND ~ RESERVOIRS V I CTOR IA _! R I V E41 G~/~ '~\ SALMON i~1 r RIVER 1 a5 - ~ ~9WEHATE ~ ~ ~: :-:6 RIVER LGREY RIVER _ POWER HOUSE O 30 1 1 km BAY D'ESPOIR WATERSHEDS _ CROOKED ~ ~ ~ F LOOD 1, DIVERSION CANALS I ~D 1 ,_~. , .. ..... . STATION POWER NORTH SALMON ~~^ - J ~ DA M {~) ~ I ~ ,,' GREAT f~:;J B URN T LAKE l "1! \~ NORTH SALMON R IVER - ACCESS ROAD I CHANNEL L / CIMPROVEMENTS~ CO LD S PR I NG ~/~ O 1 2 3 4 5 km . . . . l 17 r - ~m a },,,'< ;:~^LIVIVI ~\ / / DAM(, t \ / I WEST \ _J ~SALMON \ ~J RIVER \ \ ROUND I POND [? /: GODALE ICH \ {: POND FIGURE 1 The Upper Salmon Hydroelectric Development. A preliminary environmental analysis was undertaken in 1975 (Air- phototBeak, 19761. Detailed engineering and environmental analyses of the USD were not begun until the spring of 1978. A study designed to evaluate the possible impacts of the USD on wildlife was commissioned with other studies on fish, forest and land resources, and socioeconomics. In November 1978, discussion between Newfoundland and Labrador

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208 SELECTED CASE STUDIES Hydro (Hydro), the proponent of the project, and the Newfoundland Wild- life Division (NWD) revealed that the potential impact of the USD on woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandusJ, particularly the large Grey River herd, was of great concern. It was agreed that the wildlife study in the area would not be sufficiently rigorous to permit adequate decisions related to caribou. The USD received approval in principle from the provincial government in 1979, before the preparation of the environmental impact statement (EIS). At that time, it was generally recognized that the construction and operation of the USD would affect caribou, but the type and magnitude of impact were open to debate. Therefore, Hydro and NWD were faced with the problem of how to measure the impact of the USD on caribou. THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS Caribou and the Upper Salmon' Development The USD is within the range of the Grey River caribou herd, one of the largest herds in Newfoundland (approximately 5,000 animals). The calving ranges of two smaller herds, the Sandy Lake (approximately 250 caribou) and the Pot Hill (approximately 500), are about 30 and 50 km, respectively, northeast of Godaleich Pond. Although the two smaller herds were included in the impact study, this case study deals exclusively with the Grey River herd. The Grey River herd winters between the USD and the southern coast of the island. Its migration route to and from its summer range north of Great Burnt Lake is through and around the USD area (Figure 21. However, caribou can be found within or near the USD area throughout the year. The Grey River caribou usually calve in the Wolf Lake-Dolland Pond area in late May to early June, but some have been known to calve near the southern end of Cold Spring Pond. Traditionally, these caribou have used the Cold Spring Pond area as part of their postcalving range during the last half of June and early July. This is where the animals strengthen the cow-calf bond and take advantage of emerging vegetation to regain the energy they have lost during the winter, pregnancy, and parturition. The cows require a highly nutritious diet at this season, because of the demands of lactation. After calving, the caribou gradually move north along both sides of Cold Spring Pond. By the middle of July, most have moved away from the upper Salmon area and onto their summer range. The USD area is not merely a migration corridor through which caribou move as quickly as possible from calving grounds to summer range. It also contains essential grazing range and terrain used to minimize

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PROTECTING CARIBOU DURING HYDROELECTRIC DEVELOPMENT 209 (~ cow _ Fit A? S\ \ _ 111 ~ IS ~ ~ t t ~of fir ~ oo ~ O ~o BY, .h .> s o Cal o .- Ct Ct .c cn Ct Be, o t t t o o of in CD it J - .. 1 -~ S

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210 SELECTED CASE STUDIES harassment by predators and insects. The apparently erratic movements with reversals of direction and stationary periods (other than those caused by construction activity) are normal in early summer. It is also normal for some animals to spend the summer in the USD area. In this brief discussion of the movement patterns of the Grey River caribou, specific locations such as point "x" where they winter and point "y" through which they migrate have been avoided. The purpose of the avoidance was to indicate the inherent variability in caribou move- ments. A general range and general migration routes can be described for a herd, but its precise location at any time is very difficult to predict. An exception to this broad generalization is that caribou are usually faithful to a calving area. A number of factors can account for these relatively unpredictable movements: snow; other weather conditions; vegetation; harassment by predators, insects, or hunters; disturbance by developments, such as roads, pipelines, or hydroelectric projects; and caribou wandering. During the last decade, much information has been accumulated about the effects of developments on wildlife. Some species, such as moose (Alces aloes), benefit when clearing operations result in the growth of their preferred food items. Others, such as caribou, might be adversely affected. It has been shown that linear developments such as roads, pipelines, and transmission lines can block, delay, or deflect caribou movements (Banfield, 1974; Child, 1974; Klein, 1971~. The amounts and types of traffic and human activity associated with such developments can affect the reactions of caribou to them (Horejsi, 1981; McCourt et al., 19741. Their responses also vary with group size, sex, and age. Females accompanied by young exhibit the strongest reactions (Cameron et al., 19791. The effect of blocking, delaying, or deflecting caribou movements might be to reduce or eliminate the use of part of their range. These effects might not become apparent for years. In addition to the physical barrier effect, harassment can result in de- creased rates of growth, development, and reproduction (Geist, 19751. Injuries and death from accidents could occur, as could avoidance of areas, which would lead to loss of important resources and ultimately a population decline. Increases in human access itself can also have an impact (Ber- gerud, 1979), for example, in the form of increased hunting pressure. The sensitivity of caribou to development is debatable. Bergerud (1974) stated that caribou " seem to be both highly adapted and highly adaptable. " He observed that caribou in Newfoundland do not have an aversion to roads or railroads themselves, but that traffic is a stimulus for flight. Banfield (1974) noted that caribou "are quick" to use cleared seismic lines for travel routes.

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PROTECTING CARIBOU DURING HYDROELECTRIC DEVELOPMENT 211 Ecological Questions and Issues Ecological questions needed to be answered before the impact of the USD on caribou could be determined, including the following: Will the migration and distribution patterns of the herd change? Will calf production and mortality change? Will the age and sex ratios of the herd change? Will there be a measurable behavioral reaction to the USD? What will be the effects of increased human access to the previously isolated caribou range? It was also recognized that measurement of changes was not sufficient. The reasons for changes and the long-term implications for the herd also needed to be known, particularly if corrective or preventive measures were to be undertaken. Both Hydro and NWD agreed that the key issue was whether statistically significant changes in population characteristics, such as herd size and age and sex ratios, could be attributed to the USD. There were points of agreement and disagreement about the makeup of an adequate study. It was agreed that the measurement of changes in population characteristics (productivity and age and sex ratios) over time would be the ultimate indicator of the impact of the USD on caribou. Recognized wildlife techniques were available to obtain these measure- ments. The most likely magnitude of impacts was debated early in the con- ceptualization of the study. The design of the study depended on such predictions. If many small impacts were expected, the study would have to be designed to measure them. However, if one or two major events were expected, a study of a different kind would be in order. The methods to be used, the area and duration of the study, and the analytical techniques to be used depended on the decisions reached. NWD was concerned that construction of the USD would have a det- rimental impact on the size of the herds. It argued that the main elements of the USD (the West Salmon dam, the power canal, the intake, and the penstock complex) were perpendicular to the general direction of move- ment of the Grey River herd from the postcalving area to the summer range. As a result, the USD could act as a barrier to normal migration and distribution. In the worst scenario, the postcalving migration would be blocked, and the herd would not migrate past the USD. If the blockage occurred for several consecutive years, it was feared, the caribou would lose their migratory tradition, and their range would in effect be halved.

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212 SELECTED CASE STUDIES Presumably, the population would eventually decrease to the carrying capacity of the new range. It was considered more likely, however, that the animals would move through the area and that the stress of confronting the barriers to migration would cause an energy deficit sufficient to reduce survivorship, reproductive success, and ultimately herd size. It was also hypothesized that caribou might migrate around the USD on the west side of Cold Spring Pond and so not use habitat within the USD area. Loss of this habitat might have a major impact on the annual energy budget of at least part of the herd. Hydro's environmental staff shared Bergerud's (1974) opinion that car- ibou are relatively adaptable animals. Although there was reason for con- cern over the possible impacts of the USD on caribou, it was thought that any alterations in migration and distribution would be localized and brief. This opinion was supported by Bergerud (personal communication) when he was given the details of the proposed development. Hydro's position was that any project-related impacts would not have a significant effect on herd productivity. Hydro's biologists continued to argue that, to eval- uate the impacts of a hydroelectric project on caribou, a study should emphasize individuals and groups of animals near the development. This approach would permit the identification of interactions that could be used to clarify the causes of impacts, if any, at the population level. It would also facilitate the development of effective mitigation measures for this and future projects. OBTAINING RELEVANT ECOLOGICAL KNOWLEDGE Population Characteristics, Migration, and Distribution A study was developed during the winter of 1978-1979 to document the productivity and other population characteristics of the herds. It was not clear whether impacts would be severe enough to manifest themselves at this level, but the ultimate indicator of impact would be a significant decrease in productivity. Therefore, these important characteristics had to be measured. NWD anticipated a large impact as a result of the physical and behavioral barriers presented by the USD. It suggested that this impact would be reflected in changes in herd migration and distribution patterns. Therefore, NWD proposed a study to document caribou movement and distribution on their range (8,000 km2) with radiotelemetry. It also proposed an eval- uation of the range aimed at understanding and predicting the implications of major changes in migration and distribution patterns.

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PROTECTING C~BOUDUMNGHYDROELECT~CDEVELOPME~ 213 Hydro was critical of some aspects of the proposed studies. There was agreement that productivity and other population characteristics had to be monitored. However, Hydro's biologists argued that impacts would prob- ably be more subtle than major shifts in movement patterns and habitat uses. They suggested that remote sensing techniques, such as radiotele- metry, were too coarse to detect and document impacts and that field work near the USD area was more appropriate. With some reluctance, Hydro agreed to cofund part of the studies pro- posed by NWD. The study was undertaken by NWD personnel and con- tinued for 6 years (1979-1985) through planning, construction, and 2 years of operation of the USD. Behavior In 1981, Hydro initiated a study to observe systematically the activities of caribou near the USD (the experimental area) and in control areas. The time devoted by caribou to distinct activities such as feeding, lying, standing, and running would be used to prepare activity budgets for animals in the experimental and control areas. Disturbance or harassment would alter activity budgets by increasing the incidence and duration of unproductive activities. It was hypothesized that disturbance of caribou by construction activities would be reflected in their activity budgets, even if major shifts in migration and distribution could not be detected. A similar study design was used to examine the reaction of caribou to the trans-Alaska pipeline and haul road (Roby, 19781. Observations were made through the summer of 1984, but most intensively in 1981 and 1982, when construction was going on. Sensit~vi~ Criteria The environmental impact statement for the USD identified a number of mitigating measures that would facilitate caribou movement nearby. Among these measures was a restriction of blasting to times when fewer than 100 caribou were within 1.6 km of the blast site. The 1.6-km distance was based on a comment by Bergerud (1974) that one Newfoundland herd overwintered about 1 mile (1.6 km) from the trans-Canada highway. The sensitivity criterion of 100 animals was chosen arbitrarily. As the USD proceeded, it was decided that similar protection was required for other construction activities, such as vehicular traffic on access roads and construction at various civil works areas and at borrow pits and quarries. The criteria varied with the sensitivity of caribou at the time of

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214 SELECTED CASE STUDIES the activity calving (May-June 15), postcalving aggregation (June 15- July b, and migration (July). More protection was afforded caribou during calving than after calving and during migration, because they are more sensitive to disturbance at that time. The criteria also provided for an early warning system, so that project managers could be alerted if a large number of caribou were moving into an area and construction activities might have to be temporarily curtailed. When caribou were moving through the area, daily counts were taken from a helicopter (whenever weather per- mitted), to locate animals in reference to USD activities and to determine whether some elements should be shut down to minimize adverse impacts on caribou. NWD approved the criteria before implementation. Brazil (1983) and Northcott (1984) have described how the criteria were devel- oped. The main purpose of these mitigating measures was to facilitate deci- sion-making with regard to caribou. They were not envisioned as integral parts of the caribou studies. However, as the caribou locations were mapped and data began to accumulate, a valuable picture of caribou movements in and around the USD emerged. Conclusions Although the data from the component studies have not all been com- pletely analyzed, some conclusions have been reached. The productivity and the size and age structure of the herds studied have not changed significantly. o The migration and distribution patterns of the Grey [liver herd appear to have been somewhat affected by construction of the USD. Calving activity was not observed near Cold Spring Pond during construction and by 1984 had not returned to the level reported in 1979. Rutting activity has not been observed in the USD area since 1979. Large numbers of migrating caribou have not been observed during the fall near Godaleich Pond since 1980. The major fall movement appears to occur west of Cold Spring Pond. The postcalving aggregation was concentrated west of the West Salmon dam during construction. Use of the area between the West Salmon dam and Godaleich Pond increased in 1983 and 1984 to form a pattern similar to that observed before construction. Dispersal from the postcalving aggregation appeared to change during construction as animals avoided crossing the North Salmon road. The maximal number of caribou observed in the USD area during the postcalving aggregation decreased from 2,100 in 1979 and 1980 (before construction) to 1,307 in 1981 and 821 in 1982 (during construction).

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PROTECTING C~BOU DURING HYDROELECTRIC DEVELOPMEV 215 Numbers increased after completion of construction to 1,777 in 1983 and 2,039 in 1984 (Northcott, in press). Caribou appear to have become sensitized to construction activities in 1982. The proportion of behavior associated with energy expenditure or a state of disturbance increased significantly from 1981 to 1982, but then decreased in 1983 and 1984. This suggests that the major cause of disturbance was construction activity, rather than the structures (Hill, in press). The effectiveness of the sensitivity criteria as a mitigating measure has been questioned (Brazil, 1983; Northcott, 19841. Much of the criticism is related to problems associated with determining when the criteria were met and with stopping work. Although it cannot be proved, it can be argued that these measures helped some caribou to cross the USD area. These mitigation techniques require further refinement, if they are to have generic applications. USES OF ECOLOGICAL KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING Valued Ecosystem Components A preliminary environmental analysis of the USD was undertaken in 1975- 1976 (Airphoto/Beak, 1976) . Only two of the 16 recommendations pertaining to the predesign, design, and construction phases of the USD were related to wildlife: "Undertake field surveys of wildlife population, habitat, movement, and breeding characteristics. Place special emphasis on the ecology of the Godaleich delta and North Cold Spring Pond region" (Figure 1~. "Recognize caribou migration requirements in design and construc- tion of the access road, transmission lines, diversion canals and during reservoir filling, especially between Cold Spring Pond and Great Burnt Lake. " Caribou were not recognized as an ecosystem component of greater importance than many others, even though the study was managed by a government committee that included a representative of NWD. However, in November 1978, NWD voiced its concern that a general wildlife in- ventory was insufficient. It suggested that studies at the USD concentrate on caribou, for the following ecological and socioeconomic reasons: Caribou were a species of recreational and commercial importance. Caribou represented the wilderness experience to Newfoundlanders and therefore had aesthetic value.

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216 SELECTED CASE STUDIES Caribou had historically been hunted by local Indians and were im- portant to the Indians' heritage. Known range preferences and patterns of migration and distribution conflicted directly with proposed construction activities. Caribou had been perceived to be very sensitive to human disturbance. Caribou populations had been steadily recovering from serious overhunting in the early 1900s, and it was feared that this trend could be halted or reversed if the USD substantially reduced the Grey River herd. Therefore, during the fall of 1978, woodland caribou populations came to be seen as a valued ecosystem component. Monitoring studies and mitigating measures were adopted in response to this new concern. Significance of Impacts The Newfoundland government approved construction of the USD in the spring of 1979, in spite of possible environmental impacts. Approval was based on the need to prevent the energy shortfall that was projected to occur in 1982. The government, however, required that all reasonable mitigation to reduce possible impacts on caribou be undertaken and that the cooperative study be undertaken. These requirements were stipulated in the Order-in-Council that authorized Hydro to proceed with the USD. Thus, the political decision regarding the relative significance of the two resources (hydroelectric and caribou) was made very early in the devel- opment of the study program. On a technical level, Hydro and NWD biologists generally agreed that a statistically significant change in herd productivity would demonstrate that an important impact had occurred as a result of the project. This was a "primary" level of significance. Impacts that might not have a direct effect on herd productivity (e.g., changes in distribution or behavior) were assigned "secondary" signifi- cance. They were important for two main reasons. First, such impacts are often easy to mitigate; for example, vehicular traffic could be curtailed to allow animals to cross access roads. Second, many small impacts could accumulate; therefore, if a statistical decrease in productivity were ob- served, an analysis of secondary impacts might help to explain it. Establishment of Boundaries Establishing spatial boundaries for the studies was not difficult once the scope of the studies was determined. The decision that herd produc- tivity was the ultimate measure of impact required an investigation of

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PROTECTING CARIBOU DURING HYDROELECTRIC DEVELOPMENT 217 animals in their whole range. Calving and postcalving areas were em- phasized because of the vulnerability of animals around the project area. However, some investigations particularly those regarding predation, distribution, and range quality were undertaken on the summer and winter ranges. The temporal boundary for the NWD-Hydro cooperative study was established shortly after the start of the first field season. It was thought that any substantial USD-related impacts would occur during construction, but that it was necessary to continue the study for at least 2 years into the operation phase, to determine whether the animals were becoming ac- customed to the presence of the USD within their range. The main thrust of the behavior study was to monitor changes in activity budgets of individuals and groups of caribou as they confronted the USD. This required that the study concentrate on areas near the USD, although control data were obtained away from the experimental area. The sensitivity criteria established for the USD specifically defined spatial boundaries. The boundaries were directly related to the location of construction activities and varied with the caribou's life-history stage. Inasmuch as the sensitivity criteria were implemented to make decisions on construction activities, the temporal boundary was defined by the con- struction schedule of the USD. Development and Implementation of Study Strategy Detailed planning of the study program began after two political de- cisions were taken: that the development would be built and that caribou constituted a valued ecosystem component. Therefore, the program was oriented toward the monitoring of impacts, rather than assisting in making a "go, no-go" decision, which is usually the underlying goal of envi- ronmental impact assessment. Impact prediction was one objective during the first year of the coop- erative NWD-Hydro study. However, in following years, the focus was on monitoring impacts. In this context, Hydro and NWD biologists began developing the re- quired studies. The program's first study was to monitor the population characteristics, migration, and distribution pattern of the herd. The study had to be undertaken in a technically competent manner, within a schedule and within a reasonable budget. Various options were examined, including the use of consulting firms. However, it was decided that such a study would afford the third author (S. P. M.) an opportunity to undertake doctoral studies at the University of Calgary. This provided a valuable

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218 SELECTED CASE STUDIES academic orientation to the study and reduced the cost and administrative burden to Hydro, the proponent. It was also agreed that NWD would manage the study, provide technical assistance from its existing staff, and provide some of the aircraft time. Hydro would pay for the remainder of the flying time and the radiotelem- etry equipment and drugs that were needed. Thus, the study developed as a cooperative effort involving the responsible resource agency and the proponent. Further comments on this relationship have been provided by Mahoney (1983) and Kiell (19841. As previously discussed, Hydro initiated behavior studies near the USD. But this was not a unilateral action; NWD supported the initiative, helped to develop the terms of reference for the study, and reviewed proposals received from consultants. During the study, data were shared with NWD, and in the later stages NWD assisted in obtaining some of the necessary control data. The main expense and responsibility of implementing the sensitivity criteria were borne by the proponent. Helicopter surveys of the USD area, in cooperation with the Newfoundland Department of Environment, pro- vided valuable information on caribou numbers and distribution to both NWD and the consultants conducting the behavior study. Telemetry sur- veys by NWD assisted in the scheduling of these monitoring flights. Trained observers for the surveys were provided periodically by NWD and the consultants. The overall strategy was one of cooperation. There were periods of disagreement, but generally this approach was satisfactory for the pro- ponent, NWD, and the graduate student. Development of Predictions and Hypotheses The program involved three distinct groups, or interests: Hydro, NWD, and the academic interest, each with a staff of biologists. Therefore, hypothesis-testing, although not always specifically mentioned, was fun- damental to the design of the studies. The testable null hypotheses included the following: The reproductive rates of the herd before and after the USD would not differ. The age and sex ratios of the herd would not change during the study. The numbers of caribou using the construction area as a postcalving site would not change during the study. The behavior of caribou encountering the USD area would not change

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PROTECTING CARIBOU DURING HYDROELECTRIC DEVELOPMENT 219 from one year to another and would not differ between control (undis- turbed) situations and disturbed circumstances. Caribou mortality patterns would not change during the study. These null hypotheses were tested with accepted wildlife techniques, and the data were analyzed in a statistically rigorous manner. Monitoring The primary objective of the program was to monitor the impact of the USD on caribou. The program treated the USD as an experiment. In 1979- 1980, control (predevelopment) data were obtained on caribou population biology for comparison with similar data obtained during and immediately after construction. Control data for the behavior study were obtained in the same year as the experimental data, but were collected away from the influence of the USD. These studies were designed so that any changes due to the USD would be detected and statistically verified. Information from these studies was often used to make USD-related decisions. For example, knowledge of the migration routes of caribou from telemetry data obtained in 1979 was used to determine areas of the reservoirs that should be cleared to facilitate future caribou migration (Kiell, 19811. Underlying the reservoir-clearing program was the as- sumption or prediction that caribou would use these areas in future years. Information from the sensitivity-criteria surveys was provided directly to the decision-makers who planned the daily activities during construc- tion. Data from this study served such a specific use that they were not expected to contribute to the general knowledge of caribou movements or behavior. Hydro in particular saw this study in a very restricted way. In retrospect, slight changes in the design of the program would have yielded more rigorous data and would have added another element to the knowl- edge of caribou migration, distribution, and behavior. Cumulative Effects The study program was designed to examine the impact of the USD on caribou at the individual and population levels. It was necessary to collect data on caribou ecology before, during, and after construction, to evaluate cumulative effects. A short-term study would have been unable to detect or assess cumulative effects. One of the deficiencies in the program has been the lack of thought regarding the effect of increased human access caused by the USD. It now appears that this may be the most important impact of the develop

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220 SELECTED CASE STUDIES meet, because of general disturbance and increased human legal or illegal hunting. The problem has been addressed in policy, but no data from this program were collected to assist in policy development. SOURCES OF ECOLOGICAL KNOWLEDGE Ecological Facts The main product of the program was ecological facts about caribou that could be compared before, during, and after construction of the USD. Well-documented wildlife research techniques were used to obtain infor- mation on herd size, sex and age ratios, calf production and survival (productivity), and habitats. Radiotelemetry allowed researchers to deter- mine general migration routes and spatial and temporal distribution pat- terns. A specifically designed study documented the effect of the USD on caribou behavior. Before the study program was implemented, information about the biology of the Grey River herd was obtained from published papers, mostly by Bergerud, in the late 1960s and early 1970s (e.g., Bergerud, 1971) and from NWD data files. Studies of barren-ground caribou (northern Canada and Alaska) and of reindeer (Scandinavia) provided some guidance for interpretation of Newfoundland data, although natural history infor- mation was not directly applicable. Experiences of local people and wild- life technicians provided a valuable historical perspective during the program. The study program supplied most of the data needed for decision-making during construction and operation of the USD. These data were used in making decisions, such as on where to clear the reservoir and whether vehicular traffic should be allowed to operate as usual. Specific, high- quality, timely information was needed for these decisions; management data obtained by NWD in the 1960s were not adequate. Time and budget constraints did not preclude studying some ecological elements, but were important in determining the depth of studies and precision of the data. For example, studies on the winter range were minimized by logistics. Theory and General Principles The theoretical framework of basic animal ecology and ethology formed the foundation of the studies. Population dynamics and bioenergetics un- derlay the approach to the program. It was felt that, if there were significant impacts from the USD, they would affect the energy budget of the caribou and ultimately be reflected in changed reproductive and mortality rates.

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PROTECTING CARIBOU DURING HYDROELECTRIC DEVELOPMENT 221 Specif c Models Airphoto/Beak (1976) reviewed available data on caribou and developed an overview of caribou migration and distribution patterns around the USD. On the basis of data from the first year of the study, Mahoney (1980) improved this overview to depict the general boundaries of calving and postcalving areas, migration corridors, and summer and winter ranges. A similar picture was produced for each later year to help organize data and to see whether there were marked differences between years. Figure 2 is an example of the types of information summarized in these descrip- tions. Analog Studies The development of oil resources in the Canadian and American North in the last decade required construction of pipelines to markets in the South or to tanker ports. Many studies have been undertaken to investigate the impact of pipelines, vehicular traffic, compressor noise, helicopter ha- rassment, etc., on caribou migration, e.g., those of Banfield (1974), Roby ~ 1 978 ), Cameron et al . ~ 1 979), Miller and Gunn ~ 1 979), Hanson ~ 1 98 1 ), Horejsi (1981), and Smith and Cameron (19831. These studies were useful to the program at the USD, because they highlighted the issues that needed attention, provided suggestions on study techniques, assisted in formu- lating study design, and generated a group of experienced resource people with whom to discuss ideas. Pilot Studies The speed with which decisions were made and studies initiated pre- cluded the use of pilot studies. If time had allowed, pilot studies to check the effectiveness of radiotelemetry equipment might have been useful. Development of receiving equipment, the use of radio collars, and cali- bration of equipment took place as the program proceeded. The Project as an Experiment The considerable flexibility in this program was exercised when there was a compelling reason to do so. For example, as the program developed, collars were installed almost exclusively on calves. Calves were considered to be most vulnerable to potential disturbance, and their migration and distribution patterns were considered to reflect those of cows. It was thought that more and better data would be obtained from this approach.

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222 SELECTED CASE STUDIES The evolution of the caribou sensitivity criteria also illustrates how activities were modified according to need. Originally, the criteria applied only to blasting (Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro, 1980~. As construc- tion activities multiplied, the criteria were modified to include all project activities and to be cognizant of the differing degrees of sensitivity to disturbance expected during the calving, postcalving, and migratory pe- riods. This flexibility worked to protect the caribou around the USD. Expert Judgment Table 1 summarizes the expertise used and the role of the various ecologists in the program. The program was being funded and administered mainly by NWD and Hydro (both of which agencies had environmental staffs), so the need for purely academic input was identified at an early stage. This group of ecologists helped to design the studies, provided expert advice on request, and reviewed study components periodically to ensure a high degree of scientific integrity. Two scientists, D. R. Klein and E. Reimers, moved to the USD from Alaska and Norway, respectively, to gain firsthand experience with the situation. The technical input from these experts was valuable, and the confidence that they instilled in study administrators and less experienced biologists was very important. CONTRIBUTION OF ECOLOGICAL KNOWLEDGE This case had three attributes that contribute to its usefulness: scientific methods were applied in designing the program, sound environmental management strategies were adopted in scoping the studies and organizing their implementation, and ecological knowledge was used to address the problems at hand. The main features of the scientific method are the framing of testable hypotheses and the design of studies in such a way that statistical confi- dence can be attached to the results through spatial and temporal control and bounding of observations. These elements were aspects of the study described here. All environmental studies that contribute to decision-making are con- strained. Prudent management of time, funds, and staff resources is es- sential for success. In this case, the decision by NWD and Hydro to undertake the studies in-house with the assistance of selected outside experts (e.g., academic advisors and consultants) was a major step toward maintaining scientific flexibility and obtaining the most from the resources available.

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PROTECTING CARIBOU DURING HYDROELECTRIC DEVELOPMENT 223 TABLE 1 Expertise Used During Caribou Studies at the USD Group Affiliation Personnel Experience and Role in Program Professors Graduate stu- dent Government Proponent Brock University University of Victoria Acadia University University of Calgary University of Alaska University of Oslo Memorial University of Newfoundland University of Penn- sylvania NWD Newfoundland De- partment of Envi- ronment Department of Fish- er~es and Oceans Hydro D. Dodd V. Geist D. R. Klein E. Reimers D. J. Stewart D. Roby Staff (3) Staff (2) J. Rice Staff (6) Consultants Northland Associates T. Northcott A. Banfield Telephone discussions early in study development; experi ence in analogous studies A. Bergerud Telephone discussions; broad experience with Newfound land caribou Review of early reports Ph.D. advisor; study design ad vice; visited site Technical advice on behavior study; visited site Technical advice on behavior study; visited site; familiarity with Scandinavian experience Assistance with behavior study design Review of early reports; experi ence on analogous studies Administration; wildlife tech niques Administration; experience in environmental impact assess ment Assistance with behavior study design and statistical analysis Management and administration with environmental back ground; wildlife biology tech niques Wildlife biology; experience with Newfoundland mammals Finally, it was recognized early in the program that an ecological ap- proach was needed to answer the complex questions about the interaction of caribou with a hydroelectric development. Information of different types was obtained from various sources. Personal communication with scien- tists knowledgeable about the biology of caribou in Newfoundland and about the interaction between caribou and industrial development else- where provided an ecological perspective. Data in the primary and "gray" literature provided a relatively good model of caribou distribution and migration patterns in and around the USD and identified the boundaries of important habitats, but did not provide much insight into the effects of building a hydroelectric project in their range. Original research with

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224 SELECTED CASE STUDIES standard wildlife management techniques (population census, aging, and classification techniques), modern methods (radiotelemetry), and behavior analysis (time and energy budgets) generated specific ecological data on the animals. These data were interpreted in the context of experiences elsewhere (analog studies) and ecological principles, such as population dynamics and energetics. REFERENCES Airphoto/Beak (Airphoto Analysis Associates Consultants Ltd. and Beak Consultants Ltd.). 1976. Upper Salmon/Cat Arm: Environmental Impact Assessment (Preliminary). Air- photo Analysis Associates Consultants Ltd., Toronto, Ont. Banfield, A. W. F. 1974. The relationship of caribou migration behaviour to pipeline construction. Pp. 797-804 in V. Geist and F. Walther, eds. The Behaviour of Ungulates and Its Relation to Management. International Union for Conservation of Native and Natural Resources, Gland, Switz. Bergerud, A. T. 1971. The Population Dynamics of Newfoundland Caribou. Wildl. Mon- ogr. 25:1-55. Bergerud, A. T. 1974. The role of the environment in the aggregation, movement and disturbance behaviour of caribou. Pp. 552-584 in V. Geist and F. Walther, eds. The Behaviour of Ungulates and Its Relation to Management. International Union for Con- servation of Native and Natural Resources, Gland, Switz. Bergerud, A. T. 1979. Access: Greatest threat to caribou. West. Guidelines 2:5-9. Brazil, J. 1983. Reactions of Caribou Observed During Construction at the Upper Salmon Hydroelectric Project, October, 1979-August, 1981. Unpublished manuscript. New- foundland Wildlife Division, St. John's, Nfld. Cameron, R. D., K. R. Whitten, W. T. Smith, and D. D. Roby. 1979. Caribou distribution and group composition associated with construction of the trans-Alaska pipeline. Can. Field-Nat. 93: 155-162. Child, K. N. 1974. Reaction of caribou to various types of simulated pipelines at Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. Pp. 805-812 in V. Geist and F. Walther, eds. The Behaviour of Ungulates and Its Relation to Management. International Union for Conservation of Native and Natural Resources, Gland, Switz. Geist, V. 1975. Harassment of large mammals and birds. Unpublished report to the Berger Comm., University of Calgary, Calgary, Alla. Hanson, W. C. 1981. Caribou (Rangifer tarandus) encounters with pipelines in northern Alaska. Can. Field-Nat. 95:57-62. Hill, E. L. In press. A preliminary examination of the behavioural reaction of caribou to the Upper Salmon Hydroelectric Development in Newfoundland. In McGill Subarctic Research Papers. Vol. 40. McGill University Centre for Northern Studies, Montreal. Horejsi, B. L. 1981. Behavioural responses of barren ground caribou to a moving vehicle. Arctic 34: 180-185. Kiell, D. J. 1981. Development of a reservoir preparation strategy. Can. Water Res. J. 7:112-131. Kiell, D. J. 1984. Environmental decision-making during planning, construction, and early operation of the Upper Salmon Hydroelectric Development in Newfoundland, Canada: A case study. Pp. 352-374 in Proceedings of the Facility Siting and Routing '84 Sym- posium, Banff, Alberta. Environmental Protection Service, Environment Canada, Ot- tawa, Ont.

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PROTECTING CARIBOU DURING HYDROELECTRIC DEVELOPMENT 225 Klein, D. R. 1971. Reaction of reindeer to obstructions and disturbances. Science 173:393- 398. Mahoney, S. P. 1980. The Grey River Caribou Study. Newfoundland Wildlife Division and Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro, St. John's, Nfld. Mahoney, S. P. 1983. The trend toward big-politics. Caribou News 3(3):12-13. McCourt, K. H., J. D. Feist, D. Doll, and J. J. Russell. 1974. Disturbance studies of caribou and other mammals in the Yukon and Alaska, 1972. Arctic Gas Biological Report Series. Vol. 5. Canadian Arctic Gas Study Ltd. and Alaskan Arctic Gas Study Co., Calgary, Alla. Miller, F. L., and A. Gunn. 1979. Responses of Peary caribou and musk oxen to helicopter harassment. Occasional Paper 40. Canadian Wildlife Service, Minister of Supply and Services Canada, Ottawa, Ont. Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro. 1980. Upper Salmon Hydroelectric Development: Environmental Impact Statement. Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro, St. John's, Nfld. Northcott, P. L. Impact of the Upper Salmon Hydroelectric Development on the Distribution and Movement of the Grey River Caribou Herd in 1982. Unpublished manuscript. Newfoundland Department of Environment. Northcott, P. L. In press. Impact of the Upper Salmon Hydroelectric Development on the Grey River caribou herd. In McGill Subarctic Research Papers. Vol. 40. McGill Uni- versity Centre for Northern Studies, Montreal. Roby, D. D. 1978. Behavioral Patterns of Barren-Ground Caribou of the Central Arctic Herd Adjacent to the Trans-Alaska Oil Pipeline. Unpublished master's thesis, University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Smith, W. T., and R. D. Cameron. 1983. Responses of caribou to industrial development of Alaska's Arctic slope. Acta. Zool. Fennica 175:43-45. Committee Comment Development projects, such as hydroelectric dams, have impacts on ecosystems both during construction and during their operation. Measures designed to reduce undesirable impacts of these two phases of a project are often different, as they were in the case of the Upper Salmon Hy- droelectric Development. Construction of the dam was accompanied by much vehicular traffic and blasting. The latter ceased on project comple- tion, but traffic, made possible in part by access roads built for construc- tion, was clearly a continuing and underestimated problem whose nature changed as people began to use the area for purposes other than those occurring during construction. During the planning phase, caribou were perceived as the ecosystem component of greatest concern and value. There were reasons to believe that the large Grey River herd might be affected during migration and calving. Planners, however, were confronted with conflicting information that suggested that caribou either might be very sensitive to the project or might be adaptable and become accustomed readily to the kinds of disturbance caused by construction and operation of the dam. As a result,

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226 SELECTED CASE STUDIES although a great deal was known about caribou biology and this infor- mation was used extensively during the planning and construction of the project, it was necessary to develop a plan for monitoring the behavior of animals and taking cautionary measures when animals were close to the construction sites, even if their responses to construction activity could not be predicted. In addition, roads were designed to be readily crossed by caribou and revegetation was encouraged, in the hope that the roads would pose minimal barriers to caribou movements once the project was completed. The monitoring during construction revealed that use of the general project area by caribou was greatly reduced, but that use increased after construction. The long-term effects of the project remain to be determined. Indeed, one of the disappointing aspects of the project is that monitoring was carried out for only 2 years after project completion. This is insuf- ficient to determine whether caribou are moving through the project area as they did before construction, whether the efforts to make roads readily crossable have been successful, whether caribou are crossing the new lakes where old trees were cleared to facilitate their crossing, and whether there are long-term changes in the site and behavior of the herd. A major problem, and one that is likely to occur regularly in similar projects, is that public access to previously roadless areas is greatly fa- cilitated by roads built for project construction. The general disturbance and illegal hunting in the area might be much more serious for the long term welfare of the Grey River caribou herd than was the disturbance during construction itself. The problem of increased use of areas after construction of projects needs to be addressed formally and incorporated into policies governing such projects, perhaps including methods of lim- iting access of people to the areas at especially critical times.