Letter to Premier - Run of the River Projects

March 1, 2012

 

Our organizations appreciate that your government has shifted policy direction with regardto B.C. Hydro’s requirement to achieve electricity self-­-sufficiency by 2016 based upon low water flows. It is our hope that such a change will result in a less aggressive approach for expansion of run-­-of-­-river (RoR) projects throughout B.C.

 

While this policy change will likely improve the financial health of the province, there are a number of RoR projects, not yet constructed, which continue to threaten its environmental health. Specifically, rivers like the Kokish on northern Vancouver Island with its unique summer-­-run steelhead; Big Silver, Trethewey and Shovel creeks and Bremner and Trio creeks (tributaries of Trethewey,) and the Upper Lillooet River—all tributary jewels of the lower mainland’s Harrison Lake—all remain threatened by needless, and expensive, RoR energy purchase agreements.

 

All of these rivers have high fisheries, recreational and environmental values. RoR developments will severely impact these attributes! The result of this will be the “industrialization” of these watersheds with new road systems, powerlines, and power generating infrastructure. Where once was more lenient public access, now will be gates and no trespassing signs. The original values will be impacted and likely lost forever. Your government has now clearly—and wisely—demonstrated that such potentially damaging projects are unnecessary.

 

Further industrialization of free-­-flowing salmon-­-bearing rivers and creeks for RoR purposes will add to the difficulties that are being faced by this province’s wild populations of salmonids and other species. 

 

We therefore urge you to reverse RoR policy on these rivers of concern and remove the unnecessary threat to salmon, steelhead and trout stocks.

Yours truly,

Perry Wilson (BCFFF President)

Rod Clapton (BCFDF President)

Craig Orr (Watershead Watch Salmon Society Executive Director)

Keith Douglas (North Coast Steelhead Alliance)

Brian Braidwood (SSBC & Kingfisher Rod and Gun Club President)

Jessea Grice (SSBC Northern Branch Chair Person)

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