Friday, December 3, 2010

Four Creeks We are in Danger of Loosing

Four Creeks we are in Danger of Loosing by Ryan Bayes

Independent Power Projects, aka IPPs, are being planned here in our back yards - and most of us don't have a clue what has been going on. These creeks include: Big Silver, Shovel, Tretheway and Statlu.

There are over 800 applications for Run-of River projects on B.C's creeks and rivers. These are just four. They've been labelled as green energy, but that couldn't be further from the truth.

The above photo was taken at a recent IPP site on the Ashlu River.

These projects destroy huge amounts of wildlife habitat, ruin recreational experiences for everyone from kayakers, canoers, hikers, dirt bikes/atv's as well as fisherman. These projects have been proven time and again to have a huge negative impact on fish habitat.

As if that wasn't enough, these projects are all owned by American Corporations making millions of dollars off BC's resources. Very little of this money will stay in B.C. BC hydro is forced to buy the power these projects produce for astronomical rates. Ultimately this is going to increase the rate B.C. citizens pay for electricity. Right now we enjoy some of the lowest hydro rates anywhere in the world, as we should.

There are four projects currently planned for the Harrison Lake area. including all the major tributaries to the lake. If we don't make ourselves heard now, these pristine areas will be lost forever.

Most IPP's have a terrible track records for environmental mishaps on their projects. And for the most part they are never called on the carpet for their mistakes. Having part of the flow diverted, as is the case with IPP's, will mean a river never reaches it's full flood stage. These really high water events are the river's way of naturally flushing out wood and debris that can build up over a season. Without 'high water' it is highly likely that log jams and other hazards will build up over time and eventually make a river to dangerous to paddle.

At high water, or flood, the river will also replenish gravel and sand banks that have washed away during the season. This is key for fish habitat and spawning. Sediment will build up in the 'hold back' at the intake for the projects and never make it down stream where it's needed by fish and other wildlife.

It's time to stop these projects from taking BC's resources and in the process permanently scarring our beautiful province for ever.

To read more comments about these projects, please log on to

More info on Run-of-River projects in BC can be found at:

Please pass this along to anyone you know who fishes, hikes, paddles..and enjoys B.C.'s pristine back country. Help us keep British Columbia 'The Best Place on Earth'

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