September 15, 1999 Campbell River Mirror, "Society takes stock of success"

Society Takes Stock of Success

Steelhead Society
counts FRBC deal as measure of respect

Campbell River Mirror Wednesday
September 15, 1999

The Steelhead Society isn't just an advocacy organization anymore, it has proved highly successful as restorer of fish habitat in recent years.

The Society has become so successful it is the only non-forest tenure holder to win a multi-year contract with Forest Renewal BC for watershed restoration work.

FRBC representative Ron Bronstein announced details of its 1999-2000 funding Friday. The Steelhead Society Habitat Restoration Corporation was on the list with an $895,500 multi year contract.

Saturday Society representatives were in town to show off just how successful with public tours of projects in the Campbell River Forest District.

"I feel pretty proud about that," said Dave Haddon, a director of the Society's Campbell River chapter.

He said many groups are involved in maintaining and restoring salmon stocks, but the Steelhead Society has evidence to make the case it is tops among them.

"Analysis shows the Steelhead Society with the Habitat Restoration Corporation, is far and away the number one group in B.C.," Haddon said. "We've done more than any other non-profit group in the province."

He said creation of the corporation has been a radical change for the Society to absorb over the last five years.

Haddon credited current Steelhead Society president Dan Burns with the idea to create the Society's Habitat Restoration Corporation. He said the Society has always spoken eloquently in advocating for the fisheries resource.

It was Burns, however who had the foresight to create the non-profit company that gets directly involved in habitat restoration. And it is that corporation which is left standing as the only non-profit group with an agreement with FRBC.

Doug McCorquodale, operations manager for the corporation, said they are spending about $300,000 on projects in the district this year. Their projects range from playing small roles in improving the Raven and Elk Falls spawning channels on the Campbell River to constructing a ground water channel on Big Tree Creek to forest restoration along its banks.

McCorquodale said McMillan Bloedel is its partner in the latter projects. They aim for partnerships, he said, because it is a way of "levering" more dollars to the task.

Between partners the Corporation is involved in projects totaling $600,000 in work.

Bronstein said the Steelhead Society's Habitat Restoration Corporation is one of six multi-gear agreement holders doing works in the Campbell River Forest District.

MacMillan Bloedel is doing the most work it is spending $3.34 million on either watershead, enhanced silviculture or forest inventory work . Western Forest Products has $3.33 million in work under way, Interfor has $1.33 million, Timberwest $1.1 million and Canfor $175,000 of their funds committed to the district.