Due to the threat of the Site C dam, please be sure to nominate the Peace River as BC’s most endangered river – nominations are due March 5th.  More information can be found here:  http://www.orcbc.ca/pro_endangered.htm

Below is a template that you may use.  Please consider modifying to some degree as it will have more impact if you do.  Letters can be emailed to:  outdoorrec@orcbc.ca

I would like to submit that the Peace River in northeastern BC be considered as BC’s most endangered river due to the fact that it is under imminent threat from BC Hydro’s proposed Site C dam.  Consideration of the dam is presently in the first of a 3-year environmental assessment process.  The process is extremely daunting as the final decision maker on the project is the BC government and ultimately, due to their oversight of BC Hydro, they are also the proponents of the dam!  In addition to that, our present premier has clearly stated, repeatedly in the media that she hopes to see the dam approved!

Following is a sampling of some of the impacts that the construction of this dam will have on the Peace River:

  • will flood 8000 acres of globally significant Class 1 and 2 farmland, especially important in times of global farmland loss due to climate change and also important in a time when the 100-mile diet is emphasized.  Due to the unique micro-climate presented by the valley and the longer days at this latitude, the valley has the ability to supply produce to northern BC during the growing season
  • will destroy 12,000 acres of Boreal forest, an important carbon sink
  • will destroy critical wildlife habitat for animals in the Yellowstone to Yukon Wildlife Corridor
    • including flooding of islands on the river critical for birthing
    • including destruction of south facing slopes – critical overwintering habitat
    • including  impediment to wildlife habitat range due to widening of the river by 2 to 3 times – the preservation of which is essential to promote genetic diversity
  • the Peace Valley is home to an abundant and diverse wildlife population including several red and blue-listed species
  • the valley provides nesting and migratory stopover habitat for hundreds of bird species
  • Site C would create a movement barrier for bull-trout
  • will destroy First Nations cultural sites and burial grounds and affect ability of First Nations to carry out treaty rights
  • will destroy two historically significant old fort sites, including the first non-native settlement in BC which qualifies for protection under heritage designations
  • there are 177 known heritage sites that could be affected by the project
  • will destroy recreational access for untold years due to the fact that the 83 km stretch of river that will be flooded consists of unstable clay banks.  According to engineering studies conducted to date, it is not known how long it will take these banks to stabilize to a point where it is safe to access the river from them.
  • the dam is to be built strictly to supply energy to industry – stated by our current Premier in the media and thus all BC Hydro ratepayers will be subsidizing industry’s profits by helping to pay for their energy through increased rates
  • Not only that, but the natural gas industry is extremely volatile and subject to frequent and constant fluctuations in price, thus destroying a river valley to support such a business venture is ridiculous!

Thank you for your consideration and once again, given the timing and implications of the environmental assessment process currently underway, I hope you will be sure to rank this as BC’s MOST endangered river.

Sincerely,

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