Our mandate: “Call for an improved dam management plan that will allow restoration and revitalization within the Columbia River Basin”

After 50 years, the opportunity for change has come, now is the time to act, to make our voices heard and stand up for the Columbia Basin that has been exploited.

” We encourage all local First Nations and other British Columbians to reject the provincial and federal governments’ reliance on narrow legal positions in respect of the history of indigenous people in the Columbia Basin which results in the lack of recognition for the Sinixt and a failure to engage in meaningful consultation about significant land use issues related to hydro-electricity within their traditional territory. “


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4 Responses to Home

  • Janet Spicer says:

    This letter is being sent by me to all the newsmedia:

    Dear Editor

    The Columbia River Treaty: “Silent Spring” in British Columbia

    The year 1964; heart attacks, death, 2 years for the smoke to clear as 2,300 of us were forced from our homes and farms. Tens of thousands of mammals drowned or starved to death. 266,518 acres of our very best valley bottoms submerged, extensive old growth forest drowned as it stood. That was half a century ago when the Columbia River Treaty dams were constructed to impound water in vast industrial reservoirs “on call” for the U.S.

    Today, the legacy behind these dams is a virtual dead zone within a local climate gone awry. With the riparian area destroyed and the river’s ability to seasonally charge and release its nutrient load denied, gone are the insects, birds, bats, mammals, amphibians, vegetation, freshwater phytoplankton, aquatic larvae and crustaceans.
    Chemical additives from Teck-Cominco boost aquatic “nutrients”; chromosome-modified sterile triploid trout stock the reservoirs preying on remnant, ever-declining native fish; pests & disease proliferate (no birds plus reservoirs’ artificial warming);
    • No agriculture in a valley formerly the third most productive in B.C.,
    • No return of small industry that formerly sustained closely-connected human populations now gone
    • A dismembered river called upon to provide ever more water for US irrigation, industry, navigation, eco-system function, direct consumption, domestic use, hydropower, recreation and “flood control”.
    Unethical, immoral and ultimately ruinous to both countries.

    There is a solution; mid-pool reservoirs in Canada.

    Janet Spicer
    PO Box 162
    Nakusp, BC V0G 1R0

  • KorieMarshall says:

    I definitely believe that ecosystem functions need to be included, probably as even more important than flood control and power generation.

    But the province/BC Hydro is already planning Site C Dam (which they can call clean, but it is not environmentally friendly).

    What concerns me is that if specific areas feel they need/deserve attention, others will likely suffer more. For example, many people feel that since there are more people living around Arrow Lakes, changing that reservoir (for stable levels) would be greater benefit than, for example, Kinbasket Reservoir. The Americans could use this same argument, since they have far more people on the Columbia than Canadians.

    I think that is a flawed argument. The ENTIRE ecosystem needs to be considered, and I think government should be making us look at and understand the entire ecological picture, instead of focusing on money. Money and power generation are the trade-off for environmental values. There can’t be an “us-verses-them” attitude to resolve environmental issues, we are all together on this planet.

    • ella says:

      I agree with you wholeheartedly, that we need consider the environmental needs of the whole basin. Not just what is best in the short term, but look at the long term consequences. Preserving and restoring the ecosystem will in tern benefit the people of the basin.

  • Michel Michaud says:

    I understand that you are just starting up this website and therefore some links are still not up and running, but I wish to thank you for what I hope will become a very useful and informative means for the public regarding the Columbia River Treaty, the ‘true’ benefit and impact levels within the watershed, and where we must go from here to either modernize or terminate this archaic agreement.

    The Province appears to be forcing their decision through in haste without allowing adequate information to be forthcoming to the public to thereby involve us effectively. In a statement from the Local Government’s Committee they say they have heard us clearly, then go on to list changes that simply support the status quo, ask for protection of the crown corporation Columbia Basin Trust and their assets, and suggest nothing in the way of constructive change for a future that would ensure sustainability of the watershed which would in turn revive communities’ social, cultural, and economic values. It is still the government being driven by corporate structure and not working for its people.

    I totally agree with what I see in the US with tribal councils and residents calling for ecosystem values being equal to power generation and flood control under the treaty. This is a good beginning and we in Canada must get on board before we become victims yet again.

    It could be best to terminate the treaty, but then we would be up against crown corporation, BC Hydro, who are single interest driven. Legislation is drastically lacking in Canada for protection of the ecosystems. BC Hydro operates under very few restrictions regarding environmental issues and uses what they call “soft constraints” which are simply suggested guidelines and not regulations. BC Hydro appears to be exempt from the Constitutional Rights and Freedoms Act. They bought up most of the land (7,000 acres) around Site C in the 1970’s, with only about 600 acres left that remains private still. They now call Site C a “heritage asset” even though it is not yet built. Being a “heritage asset” exempts Site C from the BC Clean Energy Act. Hopefully residents of the Peace River Valley will access this website to continue to prepare themselves.

    Thank you for giving me a place that I feel I will be heard.


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