I am trying to get some important people to recognize the Kokish River as a great river for Kayaking. So far, I have been only marginally successfull.
If you do not already know, this river is up for a Micro Hydro Project. It triggered an Environmental Assessment. They are starting to write the terms of reference for how the project will be operated. The first go at it (the draft terms of reference) hardly mentions anything about kayaking on this stunningly great river. We have until FEB 11th,2009 to say that the terms of reference needs to protect recreation on this river. As it stands right now, once this project is in place, this river will have a trickle in it and kayaking this once classic river will no longer be possible.
Please take the time in the next couple of weeks to write a personal letter to Graeme McLaren stating that this river is a river that you do not want to loose. That all users should have access to this river, not just the power producer, and the fish. That in the future, you hope or dream of paddling this river...Please, let's make enough noise to be heard. Graeme McLaren has clearly stated that he will disregard form letters, so these have to be individual and personal. Also note that these letters will also be made public.
If you want more background, here is a list of important emails that I have already sent. First Email is the river description. Also, important websites, including the Draft terms of reference. First, i'll explain the process and it's impacts on us.
- 2006- I sent a letter to Brascan saying that recreation occurs on the river and explaining that we want to maintain recreation on this river.
- 2006-June 2008 No communication with the IPP. (they hold two open houses and invite 'all' stakeholders to two meetings that we were never invited to)
- June 2008- sent an email to Chris Oakley(PR guy for the company) asking for Guage info.
- June 2008- First email (note that Chris says nothing about maintaining recreation in his reply)
- October 2008- I get an email from a fisheries biologist for the Songheese asking why we were not part of the creation of the draft terms of reference for the Kokish river. I look up info and talk with Jim Schellenberg of Navigable Waters. He goes to the second meeting for the draft terms of reference and brings up the subject of navigability in the river. He is told that the river is only class 5 and no one has ever been seen on the river. The Draft terms of reference go through with almost no mention of navigability.
- Nov 2008- after a number of phone conversations I write the Margaret email. No reply from IPP.
- Dec 2008- discover that we need to have navigability in the terms of reference for the IPP to do anything about it. Start to make noise to the EA office. (Dec 9th email)
- EA Office very unwilling to support recreation.
The IPP will push that there is no one using the system. We will push that the quality of the run is excellent and that navigability needs to be maintained. The IPP will push the class 5. We will state that there are two sections (class 3-4 for 4+km for intermediates) and a lower class 4+ for strong paddlers.
We need to make a strong case to have navigability added to the terms of reference. We do this by prividing public feedback before Feb 11th. Also, by providing sound arguments to maintain navigability at the cost of power generation.
The public input period started on the 12th and goes to Feb 11th. You can provide input at the following place.
c/o Graeme McLaren, Project Assessment Director
Environmental Assessment Office
PO Box 9426 Stn Prov Govt Victoria, B.C. V8W 9V1
Fax: 250 387-2208 Email: EAOINFO@gov.bc.ca
comments must be received by the eAo by midnight february 11, 2009
The public websites for the Environmental office is: a100.gov.bc.ca/ /epic_project_home_332.html
And the draft terms of reference can be found at: a100.gov.bc.ca/ /epic_project_doc_index_332.html (almost no info on recreation-just that it's class5 and never done)
The proponent's website is: www.kokishriver.com (Note the lack of info on recreation)
Thanks a ton,