Old growth trees cleared for Site C dam reservoir

While the controversial project sits in limbo, BC Hydro inflicts irreversible damage

Guest post by Ken Boon

Premier Horgan is spending $3 million a day of our money on Site C dam construction while we all wait for the latest report on whether the sinking foundation problem can even be fixed. In fact, with more than $500 million spent on the project since this review started, this may be the most expensive dam review in history. Imagine what that money could be better spent on.

As a person who lives in the Peace River Valley, what I find most disturbing right now is the ongoing clear-cutting of the incredibly biodiverse old growth forest in the valley and its islands. A swath of destruction is slowly marching up the valley, in preparation for flooding of the 128 kilometre reservoir.

To see the trees and ecosystems in the path of BC Hydro’s logging crews, watch Ken Cosburn’s five-minute video:

Meanwhile, repeated calls for work to stop during this review period have fallen on deaf ears. In fact, both the NDP government and the opposition BC Liberals are basically not talking about the project, while the BC Greens are not getting any meaningful response to their inquiries from government.

A disaster for taxpayers and the environment

No matter what happens now, the Site C dam will go down in history as a disaster. Likely the easiest way out for Premier Horgan and his new majority government will be if the engineers cannot guarantee the safe completion of the project, leaving no choice but to scrap it.

However, that won’t bring back spruce and cottonwood trees that stood here before the colony of British Columbia was founded. This loss is just one of many reasons why Site C has the distinction of having the most “unmitigatable harms” of any reviewed project in Canadian history.

This destructive clear-cutting continues even as the project is being reviewed and may yet be cancelled. While most of the current expenditures on Site C are either at the dam site or on bridges, it is the ongoing clear-cutting that is causing the most environmental destruction at this time.

Last chance to save old growth trees

Most of this clear-cutting is within the Peace Boudreau Protected Area, but sadly, that “protection” was trumped by the Site C project. If not for Site C, all of that area would have remained protected.

B.C. has very little remaining old growth or primary forest, as documented by Conservation North with the newly released Seeing Red map. The few remaining areas supply us with a vast array of priceless ecosystem services that need to be preserved, especially in light of climate change with their capacity as carbon sinks.

The Peace River valley is much too valuable to simply carry on clear-cutting just in case Site C continues. Instead, logging in the valley needs to stop until a final decision on the project is made, and that long overdue decision should be to permanently stop Site C.

Ken Boon is the president of the Peace Valley Landowners Association.

8 Responses to “Old growth trees cleared for Site C dam reservoir”

  1. Earl Richards says:

    Stop Site C to stop government waste.

  2. I keep wondering who is running this province and it sure doesnt seem to be Horgan

  3. Steve says:

    Hydro power is one of the cheapest,cleanest and most reliable of our power today….and we don’t need oil to run it!!!!

  4. Gail Koombes says:

    Horgan, you were against this dam at first. The boulders that the dam will go up against have issues. The land that this is taking away from farming is so wrong. And thenprice of the electrical generated will cost too much

  5. Artemis says:

    Huge dams are an ecological disaster. = always have been always will be. There are many other excellent ways to utilise water power which does not destroy nature.

  6. Marie says:

    We also don’t need more power by BC Hydro’s own predictions any time in the near future . This project has killed modern more efficient les environmentally destructive energy development and use in this Province, because we have a glutt of power already.

  7. Horgan is just a bit player, he has his own goals which involve getting to be premier of British Columbia, but he is beholden to the same people who were behind Christy Clark (guess who the addressees were for a significant number of the “Oops! Triple deleted..” emails?).

    They also called the shots for Gordon Campbell, and promised him relative immunity for most of his transgressions so long as he did what he was told. He’s when they got really bold, even though they have been a factor for a long time in BC and the rest of the country, too.

    It is hard to believe in this day and age, but the real picture of what happens at the level of the British Columbian Cabinet is completely drawn by a superstitious and secretive cult that worship of all things a quasi-sentient entity that at the end of the day is simply an overblown set of rituals surrounding numerology.

    It’s always been a popular object of belief with the common citizen, and even though one would think that it’s followers would be solely the least educated and gullible members of society, it has adherents at all levels of socio-economic demographic. It is possibly more influential than the entirety of the Abrahamic faiths combined, and has over time become part of the worship of all three major branches.

    To it’s believers, it is not just the deliverer of prosperity, but is thought to be the actual source of all good things; providing food, shelter, wealth, social regard and success at mating. Anything that it does not encompass is considered to be an illusion and without substance or value (which is ironic considering it’s own ephemeral nature and that it actually has never been demonstrated to generate anything new on it’s own).

    It’s been melodramatically called “Mammon”, but it’s common name is “Economy”, and it is a jealous god, tolerant of no competition, actively aggressive towards any other of it’s own kind that might try to supplant it, and it is incredibly hungry for sacrifices; always demanding more and more be destroyed in tribute.

    Arguing against it’s aims and omnipotence brings immediate charges of heresy, and at best one who dares contradict it’s edicts will be shouted down and ridiculed.

    John Horgan is merely a willing pawn without the strength of character or moral fiber to challenge his masters or their false and idolatrous god.

  8. LInda-Claire Steager says:

    Most of this power is for fracking. There are far too many unremarkable effects to the environment. Plus, our grandchildren will be paying for this.

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