NEWS RELEASE · 18th April 2011
Updated with five attachments and four pictures from the Terrace Daily files showing these three major rivers, their inter-relationship and the threat.
For the second year in a row, the headwaters of three of Canada’s most important salmon-bearing rivers are named as one of British Columbia’s most endangered rivers.
The Outdoor Recreation Council released its Top 12 Endangered Rivers List today, and Royal Dutch Shell’s coalbed methane project is highlighted as the main threat to the Sacred Headwaters of the Skeena, Nass, and Stikine Rivers.
“Shell’s coalbed methane project will create industrial havoc on the landscape: over 3,000 wells, pipelines, and enough roads to travel the distance between Vancouver to San Diego. This destruction will be sprawled over an area nearly twice the size of Garibaldi Provincial Park,” said Karen Tam Wu, ForestEthics’ Senior Conservation Campaigner. “This is not how we should be treating British Columbia’s most precious resources: our wilderness, our salmon, our water and clean rivers.”
“Despite widespread opposition, Shell thinks that the communities will ‘change their minds about this project’, and Premier Clark wants to make B.C. a leader in gas exports. However, this project will bring no benefits to the communities and threatens salmon that are the foundation of our communities’ livelihoods and cultures,” said Shannon McPhail, Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition, Executive Director.
In February this year, the B.C. government extended the moratorium on Shell’s operations, originally established in 2008 through to 2012. “We applaud the government for putting a temporary halt to Shell’s activities, but the uncertainty has dragged on long enough, and we need clear movement towards a permanent solution,” said Tam Wu.
Imperial Metals’ Red Chris copper and gold mine that was approved without community consultation was cited as another threat to the headwaters and is the only mine in Canada ever permitted to kill a living lake to be used as a tailings pond. The Morice River was also named on the Endangered Rivers List, because of Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline and its threat to the Morice’s salmon stocks. The Morice produces a third of the Skeena’s salmon and is major salmon spawning habitat.
“Corporations and government can’t sneak projects by communities who live within these project areas. We welcome thoughtful development that respects our values and the environment, but we won’t stand for projects that are forced through and pose risks to the rivers and salmon that are the very lifeblood of our communities,” said McPhail.
The Sacred Headwaters is located in a remote region of northwest British Columbia, about 600 kilometres north of Terrace, B.C. This region is the heart of the critical intact wilderness large enough to maintain predator-prey relationships and supports a diversity of species such as caribou, moose, grizzly bears, and mountain goats. Several species of salmon make the journey of several hundred kilometers from the Pacific Ocean to spawn at the headwaters.
Like a coal filter in an aquarium or a counter top Brita water purifier, the Coal Fields of this region need international recognition and protection - prepared by Terrace Daily
A Map with details to show the intrinsic nature of these three major river systems - Larger version attached below - prepared by Terrace Daily with Google Earth
The Klappan-Nass Lake from which the Klappan runs North to the Stikine and the Nass runs South - Larger version attached below - prepared by Terrace Daily with Google Earth
The Skeena Nass Lake. The Easterly flow runs to the Skeena River and the Westerly drain runs to the Nass River - Larger version attached below - prepared by Terrace Daily with Google Earth
Comment by Gary Edwards on 19th April 2011
I fear the only way we are going to save the environment is to change both the Federal and Provincial governments. And remember next time what has happened under the present governments.
Stand up and be counted people. Get out and vote.