Y2Y upset over plan to log near Site C dam
Sept. 16, 2016 - The Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y) is calling foul on BC Hydro’s plans to log the Peace River Valley above the Site C dam site, including an area that has been recommended for Provincial Park status and contains rare old growth forests.
September 16, 2016 By Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative
On Sept. 1, BC Hydro placed a notice of intent to log the valley, including parts of the Peace-Boudreau, an Old Growth Management Area, at the back of local newspapers. There was no mention of the Site C dam in the advertisement, which gave a deadline for comments of Sept. 25. The Peace-Boudreau hugs the southerly shore of the Peace River.
“If BC Hydro is given control of these Crown lands, they can log them at any time,” said Candace Batycki, BC and Yukon Program Director for Y2Y. “BC Hydro already logged part of the Peace-Boudreau last year, including an Old Growth Management Area and the site of the first interior trading post in BC. Now they want the rest. Why? Even if Site C is built – which is still before the courts – the flooding wouldn’t happen until 2024.”
Y2Y is also disturbed by the extremely short comment period associated with the application, which is from BC Hydro to the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (FLNRO) for a “License of Occupation for Reservoir Tree Clearing” (File #8015830).
“The manner of advertising, and the short comment period, seems designed to minimize awareness of the application and hence the receipt of actual comments,” said Batycki. “We call on BC Hydro to withdraw this application until the courts can rule on the outstanding treaty rights issues, currently being considered by the federal Court of Appeal. Failing that, we call on FLNRO to extend the comment period, to allow for actual examination and discussion of this unnecessary forest removal proposal.”
Designed to protect the last remaining intact portion of the Peace River and conserve the Peace Lowlands, Peace-Boudreau was recognized and set aside as a place of special significance in 1969 — a legally binding declaration to conserve it for the benefit of regionally and internationally significant fish and wildlife species, and recommended for Provincial Park status in the Land and Resource Management Plans of 1997 and 1999.
At more than 17,000 acres (7,000 hectares), the proposed protected area hugs the river shoreline, encompassing tributary creeks and aquatic features, such as the lower Moberly River and Boudreau Lake, and protects high-quality habitat for a diversity of wildlife. The area provides high-value winter range as well as spring calving grounds on the islands for moose, deer and elk, and features a diverse range of wildlife, including grizzly bears, wolves, beaver and bull trout, and a plethora of bird species, such as osprey, eagles and trumpeter swans.
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