By Andru McCracken

If you want to trap or hunt on roads being used in the construction of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project, you had better call ahead to make arrangements.
Senior Strategic Advisor and Manager of Communications for Trans Mountain, Ali Hounsell, wouldn’t give a blanket answer for all hunters, or reveal whether hunters would be accommodated but said there are phone numbers posted where access is blocked. Trappers, hunters, hikers and others can use that number to make arrangements.

Hounsell said restricting access to some areas is a given.

“We know there are a lot of recreational activities and skiing and sledding and especially in the fall it will affect hunters and trappers. Wherever it is safe to do so we endeavour to facilitate access.”

She said Trans Mountain has an obligation to alert land tenure holders, like trappers, in a condition set out by its regulator.

“Prior to and during construction, Trans Mountain will notify potentially affected Aboriginal groups, provincially authorized trappers and guide outfitters about construction progress and any changes in access. […] Project Contractors will work with Trans Mountain to respond to enquiries, resolve issues arising from traffic management communications, and provide concise, accurate, and understandable information to Aboriginal groups, provincially authorized trappers and guide outfitters with the appropriate advance notice.”

She asked that out-of-area hunters look at the Trans Mountain website to see any notices on the map.

Work continues
Work on the pipeline will continue throughout the winter.

“Crews will continue to work on the right of way, grading stripping clearing in the winter months,” she said. “The work is mostly in preparation for peak pipelining next year.”

Hounsell said while much of the work gets harder during the winter, some things are actually easier, including water course crossings.

Trans Mountain wasn’t able to provide the percent completion of the project, but said that so far 60 hectares have been cleared, 7.5 km of right of way graded and 2km of pipe has been strung.

“The pipe is sitting on the ground next to a trench or where a trench will shortly be,” she said.

“We plan as much as we can and adjust to specific conditions.”