Conservationists Call Foul on Site C Logging ~ Y2Y questions unnecessary rush to hand Protected Area over to BC Hydro
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. On September 1st 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 September 25th. 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.”
You can view the application and submit a comment (comment period ends Sept. 25!) to the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations HERE.