A driveway built to protect fish habitat

One of things that attracted us to our property on Lioness Blvd was how private it was.  Almost 10 acres nestled in a second-growth forest on Vancouver Island.  We knew there would be many challenges, but we had fallen instantly in love with the property.

Walking through the dense underbrush, clearing paths and learning the lay of the land, we spent weekend after weekend planning and talking, sharing our thoughts and ideas with friends, family and even any strangers that would listen.

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We knew that building an access road (1500′ driveway) was going to be a bit of a challenge.  And it was!  There were numerous agencies to consult and engage with… endless paper… and lots of costs.  Time and again we heard ‘you’ll never get this done into time’, or ‘you’ll never get through all the bureaucracy’.  At one point we were coordinating the work with seven different agencies – the federal government (fisheries), the provincial government (ministry of highways), the regional district of Nanaimo… to name a few.

The key issue was the fish bearing stream we needed to cross in order to gain access.  The driveway had to be engineered to cross the stream, stay within the easement, and be large enough for a fire truck and/or freight truck to be able to use it safely.

A 48″ culvert was installed to ensure safe passage of the fish.  This photo was taken a couple of months later, once the rains had come and the stream was full of water again.

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Tony was managing (researching, writing, answering, asking) the paperwork and building the relationships with the various parties.

A special thank you to Shane – our environmental consultant! And then it happened… it all came together…

Here’s what our new driveway looks like.  Isn’t it beautiful!

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We couldn’t have done it without the help of my sister Karen and her husband Glen, Mike from Blue Star Excavating, our neighbors Patricia and Leonard.

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