watsons-slough-dh

Dear Defenders of the Peace River Valley,

Last Thursday was World Wetlands Day and ironically, BC Hydro planned to begin clearing a section of the Peace River Valley that includes a rare and significant wetland:  Watson’s Slough.  Both the Peace Valley Landowner Association (PVLA) and the Peace River Regional District (PRRD) have asked BC Hydro to delay logging of this important area as it is being cleared for the purposes of filling the Site C dam reservoir which is at least seven years away.

Can you please endorse their request to help defend this precious wetland?

Go to our easy-to-use letter writing platform at www.RealSiteCHearings.org where your letter will automatically be sent to BC Hydro CEO Jessica McDonald as well as Premier Christy Clark, your MLA, Prime Minister Trudeau and federal environment minister, Catherine McKenna.

According to local wildlife biologist and Chariman of the Timberline Trail and Nature Club, Mark Phinney the loss of Watson’s Slough to the Site C project is significant because:

  • It is one of few prairie-pothole type wetlands remaining in the Peace region and provides habitat for a wide variety of wildlife, including several rare bird species.
  • It’s a widely known as a birding hotspot, and is listed as such on the e-Bird website.
  • e-Bird lists 129 bird species observed at the Slough to date.
  • The Peace area of BC is a common birding destination for individual birders and organized tours from across western North America.
  • The forested area around the slough is relatively small, but important to birds in particular.
  • Delaying destruction of this area would allow both visiting and local birders to continue to enjoy the site. It would also allow the local birdlife (including the rare species) to raise a few more broods thus bolstering the local population before their habitat is lost to flooding.
  • Undoubtedly, BC Hydro has plans to create ‘replacement’ wetlands elsewhere, but from my experience, these rarely produce the same habitat conditions as natural wetlands. Ducks Unlimited Canada has done some habitat management at Watson’s Slough, but it is still primarily a natural wetland.

Birds and other natural values found in Watson’s Slough:

  • Yellow Rail – a red-listed ‘species of concern’; Nelson’s Sparrow’, Le Conte’s Sparrow; Horned Grebe; breeding Trumpeter Swans; and many more
  • Several neotropical birds use the slough on their annual migratory routes
  • The Slough contains the area’s only ‘marl fen’ ecosystem – created by lime-rich marlstone seeping into a wetland as well as several uncommon ‘tufa seep’ ecosystems.

Loss of unique educational opportunity for local school children:

  • The Slough has served as a unique and comprehensive site for educating school children in the area for decades. Annual visits allowed them to dip nets and examine the living things they found in the pond water, walk the shoreline to learn about the diversity of vegetation and learn to identify different species of ducks through spotting scopes.

Just go to www.RealSiteCHearings.org now, where the platform is set up to automatically email your letter to key players and decision-makers regarding this request.

 The Yellow Rails, Nelson’s Sparrows, Horned grebes, Trumpeter Swans and many other waterfowl and songbirds thank you and so do we!

watsons-slough-dh

Peace Valley Environment Association

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Fort St. John, BC – February 2, 2017:  Today is World Wetlands Day and BC Hydro is set to begin logging on a stretch of the Peace River Valley that includes a significant wetland, in preparation for the Site C dam reservoir.  The reservoir wouldn’t be filled until the end of the construction period in 2024, so various organizations are asking BC Hydro to consider delaying destruction of the wetland until much later in the project timeline.

Ken Forest, former Fort St. John biology teacher and school principal noted that the destruction of Watson’s Slough would be a great loss to children from the local area, “For decades, Watson’s Slough has been used to educate local school children to learn about birds, ducks, vegetation, fish and amphibians.”  The school program ran for decades and was supported by Ducks Unlimited and the Peace River Regional District.

According to Forest, Watson’s Slough is a rare and well-situated wetland that various classes of school kids from grades 3 to 7, come to by bus during the month of June.  The kids were provided with opportunities to dip nets in the slough, examine the living things they found in the pond water, walk the shoreline to learn about the diversity of vegetation and learn to identify different species of ducks through spotting scopes.

Trumpeter swans and several neotropical birds use the Peace River Valley as migratory path, stopping at weltand areas to feed.   According to a report by Chillborne Environmental, these birds need undisturbed corridors to connect them with their breeding in secluded wetlands, such as Watson’s Slough.

In their submission to the Environmental Assessment process, Environment Canada notes that three-quarters of BC’s 247 bird species use the Peace region; of which 32 are ‘at risk’, including the Canada Warbler and Common Nighthawk, both of which are seen at Watson’s Slough.  Further, the Joint Review Panel scientists stated that the Site C dam would cause significant adverse effects on migratory birds which cannot be mitigated.

Pushing ahead with construction of the Site C dam continues to be controversial.  Many across the province continue to defend that valley and are hopeful that a new provincial government will ensure that the independent public watchdog, the British Columbia Utilities Commission, will be given the opportunity to thoroughly assess Site C as was strongly recommended by the Joint Review Panel and frequently reinforced by its former chair, Dr. Harry Swain.

“The school children could never learn from a book what they do by spending a day at Watson’s Slough,” stated Forest.

-30-

For more information:

Andrea Morison, Coordinator, Peace Valley Environment Association

Phone:  250-793-7279, pveacoordinator@gmail.com, http://www.SaveBCfromSiteC.ca

poets-for-peace-cover

Dear Friends of the Peace,

Happy New Year!  Here’s to putting a stop to the project that could become BC’s biggest White Elephant yet in 2017.

Our allies continue to work hard to build awareness about the fallacies of the Site C Dam project.  We all want to ensure this is a priority issue in the upcoming BC election, happening May 9th, 2017.  You can do your part by informing candidates in your local riding about this issue at public events, meetings or through letter writing.  We have to do all we can to protect British Columbians from this completely unnecessary project.

What’s happening next?

As always, we are working on a roster of upcoming campaign related activities.  You can keep up with all of them by following us on Facebook at Peace Valley Environment Association and Poets for the Peace.  The Poets group also has a website with event updates that can be found here.  Following are details about a couple of events happening this month:

Survivorman LES STROUD in Concert

Join filmmaker, musician and documentary television star Les Stroud for an evening of music and conversation in support of Peace River Protectors.

 

 

Followed by a conversation about the Site C Dam featuring:

-The Tyee’s Christopher Pollon, author of The Peace In Peril

-Photojournalist Ben Nelms

-Elizabeth May

-led by reporter Emma Gilchrest of DeSmog Canada

When: Tuesday, January 10, 2017, doors open 6:30 p.m., show starts at 7 p.m.

Where: Dave Dunnet Community Theatre, Oak Bay High School, Victoria

Cost: Tickets available on EventBrite or at the door by sliding scale donation of $10 – $20. All proceeds go to groups fighting Site C.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Peace in Peril: Photo Show and Book Talk

Join award-winning journalist Christopher Pollon and photojournalist Ben Nelms as they talk about their acclaimed new book The Peace in Peril:  The Real Cost of the Site C Dam.

When:  Thursday, January 19, 2017, 7 p.m.

Where:  Patagonia Vancouver

1994 West 4th Avenue

Cost: FREE + craft beer by donation

Proceeds go to Peace Valley Environment

Association

Books will be available to purchase at event.


We hope  that many of you will be able to make these meaningful and informative events.  Please invite your friends and help us Save BC from Site C!

We look forward to your continued support in this important year ahead 🙂

For the Peace,
                        

Andrea Morison                                Galen Armstrong                 Candace Batycki
Peace Valley Env. Assc.                    Sierra Club BC                     Yellowstone to Yukon Cons. Initiative

 

nov-28

Dear Friends,

Our campaign to protect the Peace River Valley from Site C dam continues to grow!  We are so encouraged by the support from individuals all over the province who are contributing their creativity and time to the campaign.

Wondering what you can do?

Following are a couple of initiatives we thought you’d be interested in undertaking to help out:

Have you got your Stake in the Peace yet?

Our Yellow Stakes Campaign is going great!  We have 398 stakes in the ground at Bear Flat in the Peace River Valley and the number just keeps growing.  Stakes are $100 each and make a great Christmas gift. All funds collected go towards supporting the legal fees for the court cases against Site C Dam by West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations.  More information here:  www.StakeinthePeace.com .

Write a letter – Take part in Amnesty Write for Rights this weekend!

Join thousands of others from around the world through Amnesty’s Write for Rights campaign being held December 10th.  Write to Prime Minister Trudeau and Premier Christy Clark and call for an immediate halt to construction of the Site C dam.  The dam is causing numerous immitigable impacts to the lives and lands of the Indigenous peoples in northeastern British Columbia.

Find out more about Write for Rights here.

george-desjarlais

                       George Desjarlais, West Moberly First Nation            Photo:  Andrea Morison

 “The damage that this Site C is going to do, I don’t even know how to explain it,” George says. “My people, they’ve used that river as a corridor, almost like what you call a major highway, for years and years and years. There are grave sites and graveyards and village areas where they used to camp in the summer or the winter. It’s prime wildlife habitat. It’s a good place to hunt. And now in the last hundred years or so, it’s become prime farmland. So, you know, there’s a lot to be lost there.”

 Take action – Be the change you want to see!

What else can I do to help?

Join us on our social media sites to stay informed and find out about many more initiatives, activities and events happening in support of our campaign:

  • Facebook: Peace Valley Environment Association
  • Twitter: @SavePeaceValley
  • Website: SaveBCfromSiteC.ca

Wishing each and every one of you a wonderful Christmas and thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your steadfast support!

 

 

Wondering about what you can do to help stop Site C? Amnesty International has consolidated a number of actions, from letter and postcard writing to printing off a flood level sign and taking a picture of you and the sign with anything that can be used to symbolize history, culture, identity and subsistence, then sharing on Twitter and Instagram. Following is the link to the information provided below:

How can you stand up against Site C?

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2016 – 15:23

Join Amnesty International supporters around the world on International Human Rights Day for our global campaign Write for Rights, and protect Indigenous rights in the Peace River valley!

The proposed $8 billion plus Site C hydroelectric dam would flood more than 80 km of the river valley, stretching west from Fort St. John. The severe impact on Indigenous peoples is beyond dispute. A joint federal-province environmental impact assessment concluded that the dam would “severely undermine” use of the land, would make fishing unsafe for at least a generation, and would submerge burial grounds and other crucial cultural and historical sites.

Here are some ways you can stand with Indigenous peoples of the Peace River valley against the Site C dam:

1. Sign up for Write for Rights

Write a letter, change a life! This year the Peace River valley is being highlighted internationally by Amnesty International’s annual Write for Rights event that takes place on or leading up to December 10th. Participants worldwide will be writing letters of solidarity to Indigenous peoples of the Peace River Valley, and calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to respect Indigenous rights by saying no to the Site C dam. Use our letter-writing case sheet for Site C to guide your writing. You can write on your own or at a local event – or host your own letter-writing party!

Sign up for Write for Rights today!

2. Join the global Twitter Storm to Stop Site C on December 6th

Write for Rights participants from all over the world are sending tweets to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on December 6th. Join us!

3. Send a solidarity message or photograph

Rising Waters photo action:

Dramatize the impact of the Site C dam, and build empathy for the Indigenous peoples of the Peace Valley, by asking the question, what would it be like if our own homes, historic sites, and cultural icons were threatened with destruction. Local residents have posted signs up and down the valley to show how much land will be lost if the dam is completed.

Download this PDF to create your “flood level sign” and take photos in front of appropriate landmarks such as museums, cultural centers, farm fields – anything that can be used to symbolize history, culture, identity and subsistence. Then share your pictures on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtags #WithThePeaceRiver and #NoSiteC and text such as:

  • Imagine your history and culture washed away. #NoSiteC #WithThePeaceRiver
  • Imagine your home threatened with destruction. #NoSiteC #WithThePeaceRiver
  • What if everything you loved and valued was about to be washed away. #NoSiteC #WithThePeaceRiver

Your solidarity message with then appear on our solidary page: amnesty.ca/withthepeaceriver.

Lisa showing the impact on her community if the flooding proposed for the Peace River Valley took place in the Ottawa River Valley


Caitlin displaying the Write for Rights letter that she wrote to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asking him to respect Indigenous Rights

4. Give a Virtual Reality tour of the Peace River valley

Explore wrap-around panoramic photos and 360 videos which capture the view of standing on the shore by the Peace River. Find the images here.

Hosting a Write for Rights event? Order a FREE Google Cardboard Virtual Reality Viewer by December 1!

5. Sign and Share our Online Action

Tell Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to stop ignoring the rights of Indigenous people and halt the Site C dam. TAKE ACTION NOW!

6. Send our ‘Keep the Promise” postcards to PM Trudeau

Ask fellow supporters to send Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a postcard urging him to respect Indigenous rights and stop the Site C dam. Order your “Keep the Promise” postcards here

7. Buy a stake in the future of the Peace River valley

Help support the First Nations legal battle against the Site C dam by buying a yellow stake with your name on it. Your stake will be planted on the third generation boon farm that BC hydro wants to expropriate before Christmas in order to flood for the Site C Dam. Buy a stake here.

 

See the press release regarding this action here:
site-c-rpa-challenges-fisheries-permits-12-11-16-2FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 21, 2016

20161025_111436-05

Dear Friends of the Peace,

Our campaign to protect the Peace River Valley from Site C dam continues to grow with more individuals and organizations branching out and launching activities all over the province!  Following is a list of initiatives for you to consider – hope you can get involved in some of them!

The Yellow Stakes Campaign:  (on-going)
We ALL have a STAKE in the FUTURE of the PEACE RIVER VALLEY!

  • Demonstrate your stake in the Peace River Valley by sponsoring a large, yellow, wooden stake which will be pounded into the ground by volunteers at Ken and Arlene Boon’s farm in the valley.
  • Stakes are $100 with 100% of proceeds going to support the Prophet River and West Moberly First Nations’ legal challenges to protect the Peace River Valley.
  • Volunteers will write your name and home town/city on the stake
  • Next batch of stakes are scheduled to be pounded in on Tuesday, November 8th
  • Find more information on how to get your stake in the Peace at www.StakeinthePeace.ca

Host a Feast for the Peace (now till Dec 1st)

  • Help build awareness of the many issues of concern associated with Site C by hosting a small ‘Feast for the Peace’ in your home.
  • Bring family and friends together over good food, good companionship and meaningful discussion
  • Click here to register your feast. Once you’ve signed up Site C Events will sent you a detailed information package with facts, questions and suggested actions you can use to make your feast a success.

Take action at the BC Liberal Convention this week (Fri-Sun, Nov 4th – 6th) in Vancouver

  • Janette McIntosh is organizing opportunities to hand out leaflets and seek opportunities for discussion with BC Liberals as they congregate at the Westin Bayshore in Vancouver this weekend.
  • Janette is asking people to come in conservative, professional attire and be prepared to interact with the Liberal members in a friendly and non-intrusive manner.
  • When:
    • Friday, Nov 4th 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
    • Saturday, Nov 5th, 8:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
    • Sunday, Nov 6th, 8:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. with likely collective action at 11:00 a.m.
    • Jannette will provide leaflets for you to hand out.If you have a banner or placard you would like to bring for the collective action on Sunday, please do so, but Janette will also provide some.
  • Where:  On each day, Janette will meet everyone at the Bayshore Drive Fountain, 1650 Bayshore Driver, Vancouver, across from The Westin Bayshore and Marina Square. Location on Google Maps here.  Janette can be contacted via email: janettem@telus.net.

Site C Keep the Peace Speaking Event on Quadra Island (Friday, Nov 4th)

  • The Peace Valley can provide fruits and vegetables for one million people – and abundant traditional harvests of bull trout, moose, berries and medicinal plants for the region’s First Nations. If the B.C. government is allowed to flood this land for the Site C dam, there will be serious environmental and economic implications for British Columbians. How can we support the people of the Peace Valley and stop Site C?
  • Who:
    • Speakers include Julian Napoleon, Saulteau First Nation and Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty
    • Ana Simeon, Sierra Club BC and Raven Trust
    • Bob Peart, Sierra Club BC
  • Where:
    • Quadra Community Centre, 970 West Rd. Quathiaski Cove, BC

Additional Site C Keep the Peace Speaking Events:

Duncan November 6: facebook.com/events/277508039311472/

Prince George November 14: facebook.com/events/320355015014591/

Quesnel November 15: facebook.com/events/1817819258465155/

Williams Lake November 16: facebook.com/events/1800923640128103/

Hope you are able to make one or more of these events!

Please share these events with your friends who live in some of these locations.

It is in the best interests of all British Columbians to be well informed about the disastrous consequences of Site C not only from Indigenous and environmental perspectives but from economic perspectives as well.

Thank you for your support!

For the Peace,

                      

Andrea Morison                                Galen Armstrong                 Candace Batycki
Peace Valley Env. Assc.                    Sierra Club BC                     Yellowstone to Yukon Cons. Initiative