Saturday , 23 May 2015

Let’s Keep the Upper Lillooet River Wild!

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Write a letter today!

WILDERNESSCOMMITTEE_LOGOVANCOUVER, British Columbia, Canada, August 12, 2013 –/WORLD-WIRE/– The Upper Lillooet Hydro Project – a cluster of projects proposed for the Pemberton Valley – would industrialize the Upper Lillooet River and Boulder Creek, creating a serious threat to fish including bull trout and coho, and drastically affecting the flow of the stunning Keyhole Falls.

This river diversion project is a joint venture of industry giants Innergex Renewable Energy Inc. and Ledcor Power Group Ltd. In addition to impacts on fish, the project would also have a negative impact on a threatened population of grizzly bears.

Click here to watch a recent Global News story on the threat to local grizzlies.

Over the last couple of months, several developments have once again made this proposal newsworthy:

On June 24th, 2013, the Squamish Lillooet Regional District refused to issue temporary use permits for the project citing numerous concerns, including the impact of the project on threatened grizzly bears and local businesses as well as negligible letters of credit, and community amenities.

Freedom of Information documents recently obtained by the Wilderness Committee revealed that government biologists didn’t want the project to proceed because of the impacts on a vulnerable population of grizzly bears, which the government had committee itself to protect to ensure recovery.

This project would impact important habitat for coho, cutthroat and bull trout. This is a key point of concern, as the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans has observed considerable non-compliance when it comes to power projects managing flows for fish.

Other species at risk – including spotted owls, peregrine falcons, wolverines and mountain goats – will be negatively affected by this project.

Despite forceful and repeated objections to the project from government biologists, the BC Environmental Assessment Office approved the development on January 8, 2013.

BC Hydro has a surplus of electricity and has been selling high-priced power from river diversion projects at a loss into the open market. Being forced to issue very rich contracts to private power companies – including Innergex and Ledcor – at over three times market rates, for energy we don’t need and that comes at the wrong time of the year will result in BC Hydro losing hundreds of millions of dollars annually.

These costs will be passed on to ratepayers; the Upper Lillooet River Hydro Project alone will cost BC Hydro over one billion dollars in unneeded electricity.

These issues, coupled with the considerable environmental non-compliance at operating river diversion projects, has led to increasing public concern. Right now there are dozens of river diversion projects such as the Upper Lillooet Hydro Project that are not yet built, but have sweetheart contracts with BC Hydro. It is vital that these projects be stopped: not only will this keep wild rivers out of pipes and protect our wildlife, it will also save ratepayers in BC billions of dollars.

Please use our letter-writing tool to write to BC’s Premier Christy Clark, and let her know how strongly you feel that the Upper Lillooet Hydro Project and other private power projects must not go ahead.

Time is running out to keep the Lillooet River and Boulder Creek wild … so click here and write today!

Gwen Barlee or Joe Foy
Wilderness Committee
Vancouver, British Columbia
(604) 683-8220

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