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Saturday, 25 February 2012

Kokish River Power Project Approved?

Corporate Greed
Once again, some of the world's most beautiful ecotourism opportunities are about to be wiped out by hydro power--big corporate business squeezing the land for dollars and leaving the rotting pulp behind.  Shameful!

Speak for the Kokish Now
Speak up for Chilean Patagonia and speak up for Vancouver Island's Kokish River.  Speak out against run of river hydroelectricity.  What's being touted as "green" power is sure to nearly or fully wipe out great runs of steelhead and salmon in the Kokish.  How can you draw more than half of the Kokish's water from 9 of its 11 kilometres below Bonanza Lake and not adversely affect the river's ecosystem?  You can't!

What Incredibly Beautiful Transmission Lines
In my opinion, a lucrative commercial fishing industry for wild salmon would still exist and the sport fishing industry would be a much bigger cash cow if habitat were properly protected and rehabilitated.  Ecotourism in many forms could be reaping far greater profits.  Last I checked many of the Germans, Japanese, Dutch, etc that come to the west coast of Canada weren't coming to see the transmission lines, they were coming to see the whales, the mountains,....

Tomorrow's too late!
The Kokish River could have only days left until it's power project proposal is given the stamp of APPROVAL/DISAPPROVAL from The Department of Fisheries and Oceans.  I'm told this decision is likely to come down within a week or so.  Stock assessments on the Kokish show that from 1968 to 1996 the mean annual steelhead catch was 220.  From 1997-2001 this number had dropped to only 66.  Is there something horribly wrong with a trend that has already reduced the run to 30% of what it was?  And let's not kid ourselves, a 1968-1996 average is not this river's historical abundance either.  Can this river afford to have a hydro project thrown into the mix?

Do Things Differently
The Kokish is only one of many BC steelhead, salmon, trout, bear, eagle, otter,...producing rivers that are in decline.  We, humans, are the problem.  Habitat destruction is the problem.  If we hope to be the solution, we need to do things differently.  The Kokish River is a good starting place.  On a more global scale, run of river hydro as a future power source needs to go.  At the very least it needs to go on all anadromous fish bearing streams.  When there are rivers that have 2% of their historic numbers or even 0% of their historic numbers, you're well past critical levels.  BC rivers need your help--your voice.  BC rivers need run of river hydroelectric to be scrapped.  Maybe DFO can be an ally, not an enemy.  Speak up.  If your voices are heard, maybe they'll feel they have the backing of the people in turning down the Kokish River proposal.  Maybe your choice of words are the words that make it clear to DFO that it's time to can run of river instead of canning the ghost runs of fish we already see on many of our rivers.

Here's the conservation message that got me started on this rant.

Here's the type of fishing and scenery you might see or might have seen on a river like the Kokish.  Irreplaceable!

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