Crews clear a site near Mills Memorial hospital to accommodate construction of the proposed new hospital building. (Binny Paul/Terrace Standard)

Crews clear a site near Mills Memorial hospital to accommodate construction of the proposed new hospital building. (Binny Paul/Terrace Standard)

Nests protected at hospital construction site

Monitors report spotting several species

Environmental monitors found several active bird nests leading up to the logging of the location for the new Mills Memorial Hospital which is north of the current hospital stretching toward the Sande Overpass.

One was found in the northwest corner of the site, another in the northeast corner and another along Tetrault Street on the eastern boundary of the location, reports Sarah Artis, the Northern Health Authority’s information officer connected to the new Mills project.

“Northern Health flagged the areas in which the nests were found ….. Some of these trees will need to be removed at a later date, when the nests are no longer active,” she said.

The site clearing — and emerging details — sparked renewed speculation that the provincial government was ready to sign a final contract with multi-national PCL Construction, the only company to bid on the $447.5 million project.

Artis said the site needed to be cleared prior to any birds nesting on the construction site as had that occurred, construction could not start, a complication that would add costs and time to the project which many had thought would already be underway.

“According to Triton [Environmental], bird nest surveys, several bird types are found in the area and could have potentially nested on site, for example, swallows, starlings, sparrows, crows, ravens and woodpeckers,” said Artis.

Approximately half of the trees cut were dead, dying or dangerous trees, she said, adding that Northern Health is in discussions with Skeena Sawmills and its Skeena Bio-Energy pellet plant companion company about using what was logged.