Public Registry Notice for s.83 Exceptions - CFB Esquimalt

CFB Esquimalt

Defence Establishment:
CFB Esquimalt (encompassing the following properties: Rocky Point, Mary Hill, and Albert Head)
SARA Competent Department:
Parks Canada Agency
Date of Notification:
June 18, 2013
  • Bear’s-foot Sanicle
  • Coast Microseris
  • Dense Spike-primrose
  • Dwarf Sandwort
  • Foothill Sedge
  • Lindley’s False Silverpuffs
  • Macoun’s Meadowfoam
  • Purple Sanicle
  • Rigid Apple Moss
  • Seaside Birds-foot Lotus
  • Seaside Bone Lichen
  • Water-plantain Buttercup
  • White Meconella


Period for the Exception:
This Exception would apply until the property is no longer required for military training activities.

Area where the Exception Applies:
CFB Esquimalt properties: Rocky Point, Mary Hill, Albert Head, Canadian Forces Maritime Experimental and Test Ranges.

Operations directed to ensuring that training areas are sustainable for activities related to national defence/security. Specifically, the exceptions apply to activities for the control and management of vegetation that interferes with, or restricts, training.

Rationale for the Exception:
CFB Esquimalt is a major force generating Base supporting the training requirements of a number of Canadian Forces units. Meadows and open woodlands on CFB Esquimalt properties are important training areas. These areas are impacted by problematic vegetation, which restricts movement of personnel, blocks sight lines, and creates safety hazards because of the presence of thorns and phytotoxins. Problematic vegetation includes invasive species such as gorse, broom, daphne, holly, English hawthorn, English ivy, and certain herbaceous weeds, as well as native conifers. All of these plants interfere with or restrict training activities as described above. Vegetation control activities on these properties may kill or harm individuals of SARA-listed plant species and/or destroy identified critical habitat.


Alternatives Considered:
Altering the location of planned training events or altering the type of training that occurs at CFB Esquimalt were considered as potential measures to avoid conflicts with problematic vegetation; however, neither measure is considered feasible. If problematic vegetation were not controlled, invasive plants and/or native conifers would quickly in-fill to the point that training would not be possible over large areas of CFB Esquimalt training areas. This is not considered an acceptable alternative.

Mitigation Measures Implemented or to be Implemented:
All properties listed above are important training areas and need to be available to support requirements for national defence and security. Vegetation control activities on these properties may kill or harm individuals of SARA-listed plant species and/or destroy identified critical habitat. Several measures will be taken to reduce risk of harm to these plant species at risk (SAR).

Whenever possible, vegetation removal activities are conducted during seasons when the SAR present are dormant. The use of heavy equipment will be preferentially scheduled to occur in the dry season to prevent the creation of ruts, which could damage critical habitat. When heavy equipment must be used at other times of the year, there is a risk of creating ruts or soil compaction. In this situation, when persistent rainfall causes soils to saturate and soil compaction/ruts are observed, mitigation strategies, such as plywood or swamp-mats, will be used to dissipate the weight of the equipment. In areas where heavy equipment would create an unacceptable amount of disturbance to soil or native flora, vegetation removal will be conducted with brush saws or hand tools.

A selective herbicide may be applied to cut stems of woody vegetation to prevent re-growth without requiring removal of the stump. This would further reduce the potential for soil disturbance. When herbicide is used either as a cut-stem or foliar application, it will be applied in accordance with provincial standards in the most conservative manner appropriate for the situation, and with consideration to the proximity and sensitivity of the SAR.

Consideration will be given to SARA-listed plants in the management of biomass generated through the removal of problematic vegetation. Depending on the location and volume of biomass, options may include off-site disposal, burning on site, or leaving material to decompose in non-sensitive areas. When vegetation removal activities create undesirable amounts of bare soil, these areas will be revegetated using native species obtained by collecting seed on the same property. All vegetation removal activities will be planned in consultation with staff of Formation Environment, and where necessary, use of SAR biologist who have specific knowledge and experience related to the SAR contained within this notification. This planning will include consideration for known locations of SAR, potential for additional occurrences of SAR, timing of the activity, assessment of appropriate techniques and equipment, and revegetation requirements. The problematic vegetation described here has been identified in federal recovery planning documents as a major threat to all SAR-listed plants included in this notification. The control of this vegetation is expected to have a net positive outcome for the ecological integrity of these properties and for populations of SAR and their critical habitat.


"I, the Defence Establishment Commanding Officer, am of the opinion

  • That all reasonable alternatives to the activity that would reduce the impact on the species have been considered and the best solution has been adopted; and
  • That all feasible measures will be taken to minimize the impact of the activity on the species or its critical habitat or the residences of its individuals".

Captain (Navy) Luc Cassivi

Defence Establishment Commanding Officer

Date: 02 July 2013