BC Rivers Day 2016

bc-rivers-day-2016-poster

The Geological History of the Slocan and Kootenay Basin presented by Lesley Anderton at the Harrop Community Hall on BC Rivers Day September 25th.

If you missed the Nakusp or Slocan Presentation“The Geological History of the Slocan and Kootenay Basins” presented by Lesley Anderton or you would like to see it again, you have another opportunity on BC Rivers Day at the Harrop Community Hall. . There will be an opening by Sinixt Matriarch, at 12:00, a luncheon (by donation) and an educational visual slide presentation, concluding with a field trip to Kootenay Lake. Everyone welcome and tourists, in particular can learn the amazing geological history of this area of British Columbia. Rock climbers will also be interested in the information about the rocks in this area.

The presentation teaches the geological history going back millions of years, which includes the formation of continents and in particular it teaches about the various rock formations and mountains in the area. It explains what these rocks tell us about the history of the mountains, water and land formations. This presentation deepens our connection to this place and our knowledge of the landscapes that surrounds us, supports our survival, and provides a significant portion of hydroelectric power to the rest of the Province. .

Many of you will already know Lesley Anderton, retired Instructor from Selkirk College. Ms. Anderton grew up in Lancashire in the north of England where she came to love the outdoors. Having gained a BA (Hons) degree in Geology and Geography from Keele, she won a Commonwealth Scholarship to study at UBC. After completing her master’s degree with a thesis entitled ‘The Quaternary Stratigraphy and Geomorphology of the Lower Thompson Valley’ she returned to work in England at Malham Tarn Field Centre in the Yorkshire Dales. In 1969 Lesley began her 35 year career at Selkirk College, where she taught first and second year geology and geography courses and developed the ‘Geology, Landforms and Soils’ course for renewable resources technology students. In addition she developed a first year Environmental Science Course for non-science majors. In the summers she frequently worked on terrain analysis mapping with Dr June Ryder. Some of you may recall Dr. June Ryder from her work locally, “Geological Hazards of the Perry Ridge Benchlands”and her grave concerns about several aspects of the potential effects of logging the Perry Ridge uplands www.perryridge.org

Ms. Anderton has always been interested in sharing her love of the natural environment with non geologists and enjoys giving talks on local geology and leading field trips. In her spare time she enjoys hiking and cross country skiing as well as visiting polar latitudes. The appeal of Lesley Anderton has been demonstrated over the decades as a much loved Geology instructor at Selkirk College and her knowledge is extensive, and irreplaceable. We invite attendees to bring their film equipment so that this presentation may be filmed for future reference (see advertisement in this issue of Pennywise and in the Nelson Star next week. Thank you to the RDCK Area E Discretionary Fund.

We look forward to seeing you and celebrating BC and World Rivers Day.

Submitted by Perry Ridge Water Users Association

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A reminder that the Lemon Creek case will begin Tuesday, September 13th 9:30 at the Nelson Court House

A reminder that Tuesday, September 13th 9:30 at the Nelson Court House the Lemon Creek case will begin and your presence is important if you can make it to show our support for Justice for Lemon Creek. West Coast Environmental Law Staff Counsel wrote the following as a review of the case. We hope to see you there.

Government charges (finally) laid in Lemon Creek jet fuel spill – thanks to private prosecution
29 July, 2016

Photo courtesy of Valley Voice
In 2013 a jet fuel truck operated by Executive Flight Centre, and servicing BC Ministry of Forests firefighting efforts, plunged off a road in the Slocan Valley, crashing into the pristine Lemon Creek and dumping 33,000 litres into the river, compromising drinking water and killing fish. The province investigated, concluding that no charges were warranted. The case would have been closed, but for the efforts of Marilyn Burgoon, a resident of the Slocan Valley, with a little help from our Environmental Dispute Resolution Fund. When the province wouldn’t act, Marilyn laid her own charges – a course of action that led directly to a federal government appointed prosecutor laying new charges last Friday (July 22nd) against both Executive Flight Centre and the BC Government.

As the Nelson Star reports:

The federal government has decided to lay eight charges against Executive Flight Centre stemming from the fuel spill in 2013 when the company’s tanker truck overturned into Lemon Creek in the Slocan Valley, spilling 33,000 litres of fuel. Also named as defendants are the provincial government and the driver of the fuel truck, Danny LaSante.

Court documents filed last week show two counts of “depositing a deleterious substance in a water frequented by fish” under the FisheriesAct. The penalty on conviction is a minimum of $5,000 for an individual and $100,000 for the government or a company.

There are also six counts of “introducing waste into a stream causing pollution” under the EnvironmentalManagementAct. The maximum penalty set out in the Act is a $1-million fine or six months in jail.

West Coast is proud to have played an important role in getting charges laid and the potential for justice for Lemon Creek. When Marilyn first contacted us about the province’s failure to lay charges, we put her in touch with the lawyers who became her legal team – Lilina Lysenko and Jeff Jones (the latter having handled private prosecutions for Alexandra Morton). We also provided some of the funding that allowed her to lay charges under the Fisheries Act against Executive Flight Centre and the government. Marilyn was able to convince a BC provincial court judge to issue the charges and order the defendants to respond.

Thousands of British Columbians also wrote to the federal government urging them to take over the case and lay charges. It now appears that those voices were heard! 

The broader context

We shouldn’t be all celebration – however. The Lemon Creek charges raise fundamental questions about why Marilyn had to work so hard to get charges laid in a dramatic and high profile spill. Although the charges are yet more evidence that private prosecutions can be an important environmental law tool – in an ideal world the government, not private citizens, should be laying charges.

In actual fact we’ve seen drops in environmental charges being laid at both the federal and provincial (BC) levels, and the Lemon Creek example suggests that this is because governments are failing to lay charges – rather than that there’s no serious environmental harm occurring. Cuts to field staff, changes to the law and perhaps ideological motivations all play a role in this chronic non-enforcement of our environmental laws.

We should all press our governments to reverse these troubling trends, but in the meantime citizens will increasingly consider turning to private prosecutions when the government doesn’t step up to the plate. At least one person retweeted our tweet about the Lemon Creek charges, adding a#MountPolley hashtag – a reference to the fact that charges have yet to be laid in relation of the Mount Polley mine disaster.

Marilyn and her lawyers have shown us that a determined individual acting on behalf of her community can get some environmental justice. Congratulations once again, Marilyn. 

By Andrew Gage, Staff Counsel

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THE GLADE CREEK WATERSHED RESERVE: NO “MISNOMER” / NOT “JUST A NAME”

- Will Koop, BC Tap Water Alliance

http://www.bctwa.org/GladeReserve-Aug30-2016.pdf

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Norway- The First Coutry to Ban Deforestation

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Goverment Charges Laid – Lemon Creek Fuel Spill

Marilyn…

Government charges (finally) laid in Lemon Creek jet fuel spill – thanks to private prosecution
29 July, 2016

Photo courtesy of Valley Voice
In 2013 a jet fuel truck operated by Executive Flight Centre, and servicing BC Ministry of Forests firefighting efforts, plunged off a road in the Slocan Valley, crashing into the pristine Lemon Creek and dumping 33,000 litres into the river, compromising drinking water and killing fish. The province investigated, concluding that no charges were warranted. The case would have been closed, but for the efforts of Marilyn Burgoon, a resident of the Slocan Valley, with a little help from our Environmental Dispute Resolution Fund. When the province wouldn’t act, Marilyn laid her own charges – a course of action that led directly to a federal government appointed prosecutor laying new charges last Friday (July 22nd) against both Executive Flight Centre and the BC Government.

As the Nelson Star reports:

The federal government has decided to lay eight charges against Executive Flight Centre stemming from the fuel spill in 2013 when the company’s tanker truck overturned into Lemon Creek in the Slocan Valley, spilling 33,000 litres of fuel. Also named as defendants are the provincial government and the driver of the fuel truck, Danny LaSante.

Court documents filed last week show two counts of “depositing a deleterious substance in a water frequented by fish” under the FisheriesAct. The penalty on conviction is a minimum of $5,000 for an individual and $100,000 for the government or a company.

There are also six counts of “introducing waste into a stream causing pollution” under the Environmental Management Act. The maximum penalty set out in the Act is a $1-million fine or six months in jail.

West Coast is proud to have played an important role in getting charges laid and the potential for justice for Lemon Creek. When Marilyn first contacted us about the province’s failure to lay charges, we put her in touch with the lawyers who became her legal team – Lilina Lysenko and Jeff Jones (the latter having handled private prosecutions for Alexandra Morton). We also provided some of the funding that allowed her to lay charges under the Fisheries Act against Executive Flight Centre and the government. Marilyn was able to convince a BC provincial court judge to issue the charges and order the defendants to respond.

Thousands of British Columbians also wrote to the federal government urging them to take over the case and lay charges. It now appears that those voices were heard! 

The broader context

We shouldn’t be all celebration – however. The Lemon Creek charges raise fundamental questions about why Marilyn had to work so hard to get charges laid in a dramatic and high profile spill. Although the charges are yet more evidence that private prosecutions can be an important environmental law tool – in an ideal world the government, not private citizens, should be laying charges.

In actual fact we’ve seen drops in environmental charges being laid at both the federal and provincial (BC) levels, and the Lemon Creek example suggests that this is because governments are failing to lay charges – rather than that there’s no serious environmental harm occurring. Cuts to field staff, changes to the law and perhaps ideological motivations all play a role in this chronic non-enforcement of our environmental laws.

We should all press our governments to reverse these troubling trends, but in the meantime citizens will increasingly consider turning to private prosecutions when the government doesn’t step up to the plate. At least one person retweeted our tweet about the Lemon Creek charges, adding a#MountPolley hashtag – a reference to the fact that charges have yet to be laid in relation of the Mount Polley mine disaster.

Marilyn and her lawyers have shown us that a determined individual acting on behalf of her community can get some environmental justice. Congratulations once again, Marilyn. 

By Andrew Gage, Staff Counsel

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Charges Laid in Lemon Creek Case

Good News for the Slocan Valley. Charges Laid in Lemon Creek Case – 8 charges Laid in the Lemon Creek spill.
Check out website at: www.mykootenaynow.com/15558/charges-laid-lemon-creek-fuel-spill

Thank you to everyone who wrote letters, to the media who covered the story, to West Coast Environmental Law, Lawyers Jeff Jones and Lilina Lysenko, Otto Langer, Fisheries Biologist and to the wisdom of the late Sinixt Elder Eva Orr, whose wise words, “Never Give Up” are an inspiration to those of use engaged in social and environmental justice.

Marilyn Burgoon

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May 29th Event in Nakusp Geological History of Slocan and Kootenay Basins

geological history slocan kootenay rivers poster may 19  2016

The Geological History of the Slocan and Kootenay Basins Presentation by Lesley Anderton
 
The public is invited to join us at the Seniors Association in Nakusp on May 29th at 1:00 to learn about “ The Geological History of the Slocan and Kootenay Basins” presented by Lesley Anderton.
 
The presentation teaches the geological history going back millions of years, which includes the formation of continents and in particular it teaches about the various rock formations and mountains in the area. It explains what these rocks tell us about the history of the mountains, water and land formations. This presentation deepens our connection to this place and our knowledge of the landscapes that surrounds us, supports our survival, and provides a significant portion of hydroelectric power to the rest of the Province. . 
 
Lesley Anderton grew up in Lancashire in the north of England where she came to love the outdoors. Having gained a BA (Hons) degree in Geology and Geography from Keele, she won a Commonwealth Scholarship to study at UBC. After completing her master’s degree with a thesis entitled ‘The Quaternary Stratigraphy and Geomorphology of the Lower Thompson Valley’ she returned to work in England at Malham Tarn Field Centre in the Yorkshire Dales. In 1969 Lesley began her 35 year career at Selkirk College, where she taught first and second year geology and geography courses and developed the ‘Geology, Landforms and Soils’ course for renewable resources technology students. In addition she developed a first year Environmental Science Course for non-science majors. In the summers she frequently worked on terrain analysis mapping with Dr June Ryder. Some of you may recall Dr. June Ryder  from her work locally, “Geological Hazards of the Perry Ridge Benchlands”and her grave concerns about several aspects of the potential effects of logging the Perry Ridge uplands www.perryridge.org
 
Ms. Anderton has always been interested in sharing her love of the natural environment with non geologists and enjoys giving talks on local geology and leading field trips. In her spare time she enjoys hiking and cross country skiing as well as visiting polar latitudes. The appeal of Lesley Anderton has been demonstrated over the decades as a much loved Geology instructor at Selkirk College and her knowledge is extensive, and irreplaceable. We invite attendees to bring their film equipment so that this presentation may be filmed for future reference.  Everyone is welcome. See attached poster. Thank you to Columbia Basin Trust for Discretionary Funding.
 
Submitted by Perry Ridge Water Users Association
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Oppose Logging in Western Toad Habitat

Time to change outdated Forestry Planning to protect Water, Wildlife and Culture…

The Perry Ridge Water Users Association supports the citizens opposing logging in Western Toad Habitat. Perry Ridge is also a high elevation unique habitat for the Western Toad. Although the government says logging in winter will protect this struggling amphibian this is not correct as the Western Toad has an extremely strong homing instinct and always returns to its original water source to breed, even if just a puddle in the forest. Once machines move through and disturb the soil and small water sources the toad no longer can return to its home. 

 
The Slocan Valley forest removal is outdated and does not take into account the ecosystem services provided by the forest. We need to understand the capital value of forests to water, endangered species and global warming to name a few. True cost benefit analysis will show that protection of forests makes economic and environmental sense. If we are to take the recent Global Warming commitment in Paris by Canada then we must understand the function of forests. The American Forests – Protecting and Restoring Forests website, regarding how do we deal with Greenhouse gases and Global warming, states:
 
“So, what do we do? For starters, we protect our trees and forests. It’s well known that trees act as carbon sinks, or basically storage vaults, absorbing carbon from the air for use in photosynthesis and accumulating it in their limbs, trunks and roots, as well as in the organic matter of the soils that trees help to build. But scientists are discovering that forests may be even better sinks in the coming years than was originally thought. According to a recent report by a team of University of Michigan researchers, in the immediate future, forests will be able to consume more carbon than had been previously estimated and help remove additional greenhouse gases from the air.”
 
Unfortunately the planning for the forests in our communities go back 30 years – and even then those of us who were at the various planning tables opposed the logging we now see taking place. Science has proven the water users correct and it is time to change this outdated planning with new data collection and the use of the precautionary principle.
 
When the government gives a license to road build and cut the forests,  the law then protects the licensee. This is not justice for the toad, the Sinixt Nation or those of us who will suffer the consequences of this misguided planning by the government.

Western Toad

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Justice for Lemon Creek

Please donate to Justice for Lemon Creek
LemonCreekTanker3

Lemon Creek Jet Fuel Spill July 26th 2013.

If you prefer to donate by cheque rather than using the PayPal button. Please send to directly to Marilyn Burgoon’s legal counsel:

Lilina Lysenko c/o Vogel Smyth & Lysenko
1580 Bay Ave, Trail, BC V1R 4B3 CANADA

Our crowdfunding site “Justice for Lemon Creek”.

Lemon Creek Background Info

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Impatient judge forges ahead with Lemon Creek case

LemonCreekTanker3In a private prosecution, a private citizen takes on the role of the public prosecutor. Such prosecutions are rare because the private citizen often does not have the financial resources, legal expertise, investigative powers, or institutional backing of a prosecutor’s office. 

 Marilyn Burgoon now faces the difficult and prohibitively expensive job of carrying on the prosecution of a major case. Please donate and help with this important legal case.
 

 “The Fisheries Act specifically provides for private prosecutions by individuals.  In addition, the right of a private citizen to lay a charge is considered a fundamental part of Canada’s criminal justice system. If government is not going to apply the laws of Canada, it is up to the people to do so. I had no choice but to launch a private prosecution and let a judge review the evidence.”

 The act states: Subject to subsection (4), no person shall deposit or permit the deposit of a deleterious substance of any type in water frequented by fish or in any place under any conditions where the deleterious substance or any other deleterious substance that results from the deposit of the deleterious substance may enter any such water.

  Because of the severity of the incident, (33 000 litres of jet fuel into fish habitat) and the disturbing trend in British Columbia over the past couple years of toxic spills by corporations and the unwillingness of government to hold polluters accountable, it is up to citizens to lay charges and be the voice for creatures that have been the victims of this violation of the Fisheries Act.

 Please use the PayPal button for your donation
 Thank you
 
 See entire article at:
 Please donate and help the private prosecution under the Fisheries Act succeed in finding justice for the fish habitat in the Slocan Valley.
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Selkirk College Faculty Assoc. Environmental Solidarity Speaker’s Tour

 Mt Polly Evening Poster-page0001

Wednesday, Feb. 25th Mount Polley Mining disaster

Noon in the Pit, Selkirk College, Castlegar campus

Linking the Mount Polley and Lemon Creek environmental disasters

7 pm at Nelson United Church ($5 @ door – recommended)

Wednesday, February 25th in the Pit at noon

The Federation of Post-Secondary Educators’ Human Rights and International Solidarity Committee presents the Environmental Solidarity Speaker’s Tour, featuring Jacinda Mack who will be speaking about the Mt. Polley Mine disaster in the Pit on Wednesday, February 25th at noon, and with Marilyn Burgoon (Lemon Creek disaster) at 7 pm at the Nelson United Church.

Jacinda Mack is the Mining Response Coordinator at the Northern Shuswap Tribal Council. Born and raised in Xat’sull, Jacinda is a community organizer who enjoys fishing, hunting, and harvesting traditional food. She holds a Master’s degree in Communication and Culture from York University, has conducted research in self-government, and has experience protecting Indigenous land and advising on natural resources policy.

Marilyn Burgoon, President of Perry Ridge Water Users Association, is a longtime resident and advocate for watershed protection in the Slocan River Valley since 1983. On July 26, 2013 33,000 litres of jet fuel was discharged into Lemon Creek and entered the Slocan River and Kootenay River killing fish and harming aquatic ecology on July 26, 2013. Ms. Burgoon exercised her Constitution right and filed a private prosecution under the Federal Fisheries Act.

Come join the discussion on the urgent need to protect our watersheds, the fundamental human right to clean drinking water, and addressing the impacts of extractives industries on healthy water for all.

For more information contact:

Lori Barkley

Anthropology & Peace Studies Faculty
Selkirk College, Castlegar, BC
250-365-1319
lbarkley@selkirk.ca

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Sweet Hearts for Water…Valentines Day Brunch fund raiser with PRWUA

water fundraiser feb14 2015

Perry Ridge Water Users Association and the Sinixt Nation host a Valentine’s Day Brunch

An Event “ Sweet Hearts for Water” will be held at the Passmore Lodge on February 14th between 10:00 and 2:00 to raise funds for professional review by scientist Dr. Lee Benda of BC Timber Sales reports on the proposed “areas of interest” on Perry Ridge.

According to Ken Scown of BC Timber Sales these reports should be ready by early spring, originally due in early fall when we commissioned Dr. Benda. Dr. Benda will also be coming to the valley in late spring to do field work for Perry Ridge Water Users Association and will at that time also do a public presentation. . Dr. Benda was appointed to the Federal Science Advisory Board in the US for his report “Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands to Downstream Waters.”

Dr. Lee Benda is well qualified to assess the BC Timber Sales reports on “areas of interest” on Perry Ridge. Dr. Benda  has a BS in Forest Hydrology, University of Washington (UW), Seattle, 1982, a MS in Geomorphology, Dept. Geological Sciences, UW, 1988 and a Ph.D in Geomorphology, Dept. Geological Sciences, UW, 1994.

Dr. Benda’s primary research interests include the relationship between hillslope and fluvial geomorphic processes and river ecosystems and the role of river network structure, via tributary confluences. This is also the primary interest of the Association to help us understand the impacts of logging above homes in the valley, which include homes at the confluence of the Little Slocan River and the Slocan River. Climate change and increased rainfall affecting the Slocan Valley are no longer disputed. There will be a slide show of the beautiful aerial photos of the Slocan and Little Slocan River drainages by Lucas Jmieff.

The February 14th Brunch and Gift Sale “Sweet Hearts for Water” will celebrate the love and power of water.  There is a suggested donation of $10.00.

Respectfully submitted

Marilyn Burgoon

Slocan Valley

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Citizen charges to proceed against jet fuel hauler and BC Government.

To:  MOE Minister Polak, DFO Minister Shea and EC Minister Aglukkaq
MLAs and MPs

       Prime Minister Harper and Premier Clark

Citizen charges to proceed against jet fuel hauler and BC Government in Lemon Creek spill of July 2013.

Some of you may beware of this obvious violation of the Fisheries  Act in the Slocan Valley on July 26th, 2013.  The Fisheries Act Section 36 pollution violation occurred when a tanker truck sent to supply forest fire fighting helicopters with jet fuel  got lost along the Slocan River highway and went up an abandoned trail along Lemon Creek and rolled over and spilled its contents of some 30,000 litres of jet fuel into Lemon Creek. The spill literally wiped out all life in the stream for several kilometers including invertebrates, fish, birds and mammals. When I inspected the stream 3 months after the spill the jet fuel smell along the large stream was very evident and signs of jet fuel could be seen under the rocks in the stream, in the detrital matter along the stream and a sheen of jet fuel was evident flowing along the banks of Lemon Creek.

A few months go I sent around a note of the inability or lack of desire by the Province or Federal DFO/EC to lay charges on this incident despite having had many months to complete investigations and do the right thing. Due to government’s inaction a  caring local citizen Ms. Marilyn Burgoon  laid charges against the most culpable parties in this event – the fuel services company and the BC government  (BC Forest Service) under the deleterious substance provisions of the Fisheries Act (Section 36).

This case again a makes it very abundant that if we had a court of morality that the BC Ministry of Environment and DFO and Environment Canada should also be charged for simply refusing to do the job we as Canadians must expect them to do and  pay them well to do that job of protecting the public interest.  It is ironic that PM Harper did argue that the feds had created a better focus for the Fisheries Act after Bill C 38 gutted the habitat law in Canada and the government ran ads about higher fines and better enforcement?

Such claims have been proven worthless in that government has amply demonstrated that it has largely neutered environmental legislation, undermined the civil servants that are to do the work and above all destroyed the will to do the job. It is totally obvious that if we are to protect the environment, citizens must play a much greater and direct role in environmental assessments and enforcement work.

In the past when some of us participated in private informant actions (eg. R. vs. Richmond Landfill and Her Majesty the Queen or R. vs Crown Zellerbach) we did not have to go thru a hearing to seek an order that process should be issued against the named defendants. This process took place in Nelson recently for the Lemon Creek case and ATTACHED is the Judgement of that hearing held in Nelson on Nov. 27th and dated Dec 12, 2014. Ms. Burgoon’s recent press release is also attached.

As you can see Ms. Burgoon was successful and the Judge ruled that the fuel services company and the Province of BC  will be issued with summons and have to face a trial for their roles in this most unfortunate but totally preventable fuel spill. If the government of Chrtisty Clark and Stephen Harper were serious about any form of environmental enforcement in such obvious violations of our environmental laws they would take over the case and prosecute it for Ms. Burgoon and cover all her costs. Unfortunately we cannot expect this and above all cannot even trust government to do this work at this time. This has to change for the sake of our environment and future generations of Canadians.

I would appreciate a response from the First Ministers and Cabinet Ministers as to why has the Federal and BC governments been so lax in environmental enforcement and what are they going to do about this critical issue facing all Canadians and our grand children’s environment? If they refuse to do the job that Canadian expect of them how will they assist the citizens to do their job for them?

Otto E. Langer
Fisheries Biologist

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“A Victory for Democracy – Judge orders charges to proceed against BC Government and Executive Flight in fuel spill case”

Judge Orders Charges to Proceed AgainstBC Government in Fuel Spill Case

Nelson, British Columbia
December 19, 2014

A Provincial Court Judge has ruled that the BC Government and Executive Flight Centre Fuel Services Ltd. will face charges in relation to the Lemon Creek fuel spill.

33,000 litres of jet fuel was discharged into Lemon Creek and entered the Slocan River and Kootenay River killing fish and harming aquatic ecology on July 26, 2013. Charges were laid under the Fisheris Act against the Provincial Government and  Executive Flight Fuel Services Ltd by long time resident Marilyn Burgoon. However, before a summons could be issued, the evidence must be reviewed by a judge.

On November 27, 2014 the court hearing was held in Nelson, BC before Judge Mayland McKimm. Ms. Burgoon provided her evidence with respect to the allegations that both parties shared responsibility for the fuel entering Lemon Creek, flowing downstream into the Slocan River and Kootenay Rivers. A book of documentary material substantiating these allegations was provided to the Court by Lilina Lysenko, counsel for Ms. Burgoon. Todd Gerhart appeared as counsel for the Department of Justice.

“This is a very important victory for democracy. This Provincial Court decision means that government and industry are still accountable for their actions in a court of law. Even when government and industry drag their feet to avoid investigation of environmental offences, justice can still prevail.” states Marilyn Burgoon.

“This is an important step when using the Fisheries Act to protect British Columbia’s water, the fish and the habitat for fish species in the Slocan Valley” she added.

“The Fisheries Actspecifically provides for private prosecutions by individuals.  In addition, the right of a private citizen to lay a charge is considered a fundamental part of Canada’s criminal justice system. If government is not going to apply the laws of Canada, it is up to the people to do so. I had no choice but to launch a private prosecution and let a judge review the evidence” she stated.

Ms. Burgoon concluded that “West Coast Environmental Law Dispute Resolution fund supported my legal counsel, Lilina Lysenko and Jeff Jones. Their legal research has resulted in the Honorable Judge D.M. McKimm agreeing with my application. I hope citizens throughout British Columbia will be encouraged to exercise their right to lay a charge under the Fisheries Act. It is a powerful piece of legislation which can hold industry and government accountable for their actions.”

A summons will now be issued and a court hearing date will be set in the new year.

Marilyn Burgoon
marilynburgoon@hotmail.com 604-259-0996* please note my change of phone # from the one you may have on file.
Lilina Lysenko -250-368-6200 cell 250-231-5019 lilina.lysenko@lawyersvsl.ca

Jeff Jones  250-973-2338 jjlawyer@telus.net

 Reasons for Judgement PDF

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Season’s Greetings from PRWUA, Difficult Task Ahead

December 16, 2014

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Anthropologist Margaret Mead

Season’s Greetings,

The Association relies on professional and legal help to continue our work. With so few laws in BC to protect the environment we have a very difficult task ahead.

BC Timber Sales has completed the road to the north side of Hird Creek on Perry Ridge. It runs along the west side.

In order for Perry Ridge residents to have the best court challenge we need evidence based on expert assessments. Past assessments funded by the Association have stated there should be no logging or extended road building on the east side of the main haul road. (The late Dr. Tony Salway and Allen Isaacson). However we would like to have expert opinion as to the effect of the west side logging downstream on the Little Slocan as well. Residents have already observed changes to the river and in one case it necessitated moving a home back from the river.

The Association continues to work with lawyers and we have received funding from West Coast Environmental Law Dispute Resolution Fund (www.wcel.org) for a legal opinion and for 6 hours of expert work @$80.00 per hour. The hourly cost for an expert is between $90.00 and

$140 US. The expert work will enable our legal counsel, Ms.Lilina Lysenko to give the Association a legal opinion regarding risks based on expert advice.

The Association has had a difficult time finding an expert without a conflict of interest in British Columbia. Most of the terrain stability and hydrology work done here in the province is commissioned by the BC Government. However, we are privileged to begin work with Lee Benda, PhD, Terrain Works, from the United States. Dr. Benda was appointed to the Federal Science Advisory Board in the US – “Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands to Downstream Waters.”

Dr. Benda has agreed to do an assessment of BC Timber Sales hydrology and terrain stability studies for the areas of interest proposed on the ridge, which basically are the future cutblocks. Of particular importance at the north end on the ridge top is the proposed logging above Jerome, Nelly and Avis Creeks.

In addition Dr. Benda will also assess the west side areas of interest and the impact downstream on the Little Slocan. We are awaiting receipt of BC Timber Sales Reports. (Google search Dr. Lee Benda). We will be applying for Dr. Benda to do field work during high water in spring 2015. For background information on Dr. Benda Google search Dr. Lee Benda on the internet.

We are appealing to supporters of Perry Ridge Water Users Association to help us secure needed additional funding for Dr. Benda to come to the valley and do field work on the Areas of Interest and assess the increased risks to our homes.

Dr. Benda has volunteered to do a public presentation during his field work in the valley. He will talk about his knowledge of the tragic and predicted Oso Mudslide in Washington State. He will also discuss his work “Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands to Downstream Waters.” Dr. Benda’s professional opinion is that removal of trees can increase soil water “on the order of 20 to 35 percent”

We are experiencing a very wet late fall and some creeks in the valley are running to the river that have not historically run to the river at this time of year. Climate Change has not been adequately addressed by BC Timber Sales and no up-to-date rainfall or snow data has been collected. The Association’s position is that the precautionary principle must apply.

We have recently been reminded of just how much we stand to lose should a mudslide come off Perry Ridge. The Johnsons’ Landing tragic landslide took the lives of 4 residents and several homes and the deadly mudslide in 2014 in Oso, Washington, where the State allowed logging on the plateau above the slope took the lives of at least 49 people and many homes. Please contribute what you can so that we can prevent such a tragedy in our community.

We appreciate the contribution the students’ summer employment selling raffle tickets and distributing educational materials throughout the summer at community events, made possible with Regional District of Central Kootenays, Area H Discretionary funding.

The Directors wish you a safe holiday season and thank you for your continued support.

If you would like further information please visit our website by Source Media Arts www.perryridge.org or 604-259-0996.

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PERRY RIDGE – SLOCAN RIVER PROTECTION FUNDRAISER

 Saturday Morning December 6th Passmore Hall

The Perry Ridge Water Users Association and the Sinixt Nation will host a pancake breakfast from 9:00 to noon at the Passmore Hall in the Slocan Valley. There will be a sale of gifts and a craft corner for children to celebrate the season. It is by donation and the funds will go to help fund Dr. Lee Benda’s work on Perry Ridge.

The Association is privileged to begin work with Lee Benda, Phd, Terrain Works, from the United States. Dr. Benda was appointed to the Federal Science Advisory Board in the US – “Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands to Downstream Waters.”  Dr. Benda has agreed to do an independent assessment of the government studies of the BC Timber Sales areas of interest, particularly the two areas of interest at the north end on the ridge top above Jerome, Nelly and Avis,  The BC Timber Sales Hydrology study and terrain studies should be finished shortly and will be forwarded to Perry Ridge Water Users Association. (Google search Dr. Lee Benda for more background information on his professional work).

Donations will help secure needed additional funding for Dr. Benda to come to the valley and do field work on the Areas of Interest and assess the safety issue. Dr. Benda has volunteered to do a public presentation when in the valley this coming spring. His presentation will be on the tragic and predicted Oso Mudslide in Washington State. Dr. Benda, has stated that harvesting can increase soil water “on the order of 20 to 35 percent”.

The Association and the Sinixt Nation look forward to seeing the community and sharing updates on our worktogether to protect the gift of water both in the creeks and the river system. In addition to
sharing an early morning breakfast to folks on their way to do their gift shopping, and an opportunity to purchase gifts that were donated to the fundraiser.

Submitted by Marilyn Burgoon, President Perry Ridge Water Users Association www.perryridge.org

pancake-poster
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SINIXT SPOKESPERSON MARILYN JAMES RESIGNS POSITION

Slocan Valley, British Columbia

October 27, 2014
Many local groups and individuals who have supported the Sinixt in the past need to be reminded as well that both the CCT and the ONA intervened on the local Sinixt Perry Ridge Supreme Court of British Columbia legal case. Both the CCT and the ONA stood against the Sinixt and their attempt to protect the water and the land. They are not from here and have no interest other than resource extraction and money.

Marilyn James,

Matriarch smum iem – (smum iem which means “belongs to the women”.)

250 226-6726

www.sinixtnation.org

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Letter from Fisheries Biologist Otto Langer

To: Marilyn Burgoon (Private Informant – Fisheries Act Charges –  Jet fuel spill into Lemon Creek July 2013) - the story in the Valley Voice by Jan McMurray (below)  is well done. It is a good summary of what the public must know versus what government would prefer not be considered nor discussed.
In order to allow these essential citizen charges to stay alive one has to apply political pressure on the  BC AG Anton, Minister Polak and Premier Clark to allow this case to go to court. They are not to enter a stay of proceedings or just take over the case and let it die in the courts as is the common practice by the AG on such matters. Since I promoted two private informant cases in 1980 (both successfully prosecuted by Federal DOJ) the AG in cooperation with the Federal DOJ has obstructed most citizen cases. The BC Environment minister of the day called citizens that lay such private informant charges “vigilantes”.  Such cases are most often obstructed by government because they most often make the government look bad because this shows the environment agencies again were not doing their job!

If the BC AG does not  show the leadership to allow this case to proceed or take over the case and prosecute it properly one should look to the  Federal Office of the Public Prosecutor to prosecute the matter.  This case is a clear and flagrant violation of the Fisheries Act and DFO and EC have demonstrated a total lack of willingness or ability to enforce the Federal  Fisheries Act. Until Mt. Polley tailing dam rupture, the Lemon Creek spill was was one of the most extreme pollution cases seen in BC in the past several years. Despite what government bureaucrats may say, there is abundant evidence to prosecute the case successfully. I have been involved as an expert witness in over 100 prosecutions of this type across Canada (many for the BC AG) in the past 40 years and this is one of the most  clear cut cases I have seen.

What makes this flagrant spill so unacceptable is the massive impact on a BC river and community in the face of government denials of what their job is and then pretend they are doing a diligent job. Why would agencies like BC MOE, DFO and EC do everything to get off the backs of polluters and literally let them get away with such criminal acts?  The Premier and Prime Minister should be embarrassed to not set a better standard of what is to be tolerated in our waterways. If they have a single concern for our environment versus an unbalanced agenda of jobs and economic prosperity they must address what happened to Lemon Creek and the Slocan River.  There is no economic prosperity in destroying our rivers.

Finally, letters have to go to Federal  Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq and Prime Minister Harper. As they neutered environmental legislation they bragged about higher fines and better enforcement. How can that occur when no real enforcement is taking place across Canada?   They have to firmly direct DFO and EC to simply do their job – especially after grand promises of doing a better job to protect the environment and key fish habitats that support commercial, aboriginal and recreational fisheries in Canada.

I have also sent this to the key politicians that should be monitored on this matter and copied to those that should hold them accountable.

Otto E. Langer
Fishers Biologist and Aquatic Ecologist
Richmond BC

OTHER NEWS ON LEMON CREEK FUEL SPILL…

The National Post
The Tyee
The TyeeLemon Creek Update
The Financial Post

 

 

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Support the Fisheries Act Prosecution by answering YES! NELSON STAR POLL

If you can get your family on their own computers to vote yes. That will increase it. Our outreach has put us ahead but would like to see it stay that way for tomorrow’s edition.

Marilyn

www.nelsonstar.com/opinion/poll

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Next court date is scheduled for October 16 in Nelson

The next court date is scheduled for October 16 in Nelson. It is a “fix-date” and it may be in camera. Basically what we expect to happen at that time is that the lawyer for the Public Prosecution Service of Canada (“PPSC” – which is the federal crown) and Lilina Lysenko will provide the court with an estimate of how many witnesses we expect to have at the process hearing, and provide the court with a time estimate on the process hearing. Then the matter will be adjourned to an appropriate date in probably early November for the actual process hearing to occur.

Thanks, MB…PRWUA

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Private Prosecution laid in the Lemon Creek Jet Fuel Spill

Private Prosecution Under the Federal Fisheries Act laid in the Lemon Creek Spill

Slocan Valley September 29, 2014

Jet Fuel discharged into Lemon Creek and entering the Slocan River and Kootenay River killing fish and harming aquatic ecology July 26, 2013 has resulted in charges being laid under the Fisheries Act, by long time Slocan Valley resident, Marilyn Burgoon.

The release of 33,000 gallons of jet fuel is a clear violation of s. 36(3) of the Fisheries Act, a powerful piece of legislation that states:

Subject to subsection (4), no person shall deposit or permit the deposit of a deleterious substance of any type in water frequented by fish or in any place under any conditions where the deleterious substance or any other deleterious substance that results from the deposit of the deleterious substance may enter any such water.

Ms. Burgoon states: “Jet fuel is definitely a deleterious substance and the 33,000 litres that spilled into the creek on July 26, 2013 killed many fish. In the report written by SNC Lavelin (worked for the company to do the clean –up) they admitted to collecting 261 dead fish. Local residents have dead fish in their freezers and  the clean-up crew was directed to throw dead fish, animal and bird carcasses back into the river.  Therefore the exact count will never be known.

Burgoon’s lawyer, Lilina Lysenko and Ms Burgoon met with an Environment Canada official and followed up with e-mails but the Department still has not taken any action.  Ms. Burgoon was advised that although Environment Canada also has jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute, the Province was the lead in this investigation. Subsequently, a Ministry of Environment spokesperson provided comments to the Nelson Star in an article on the Lemon Creek Fuel Spill. The Star reported that “a Ministry of Environment spokesman told the Star he wasn’t aware of any charges being contemplated against Executive Flight Centre under the Fisheries Act”. As a result of the inaction on the part of both levels of government, with help from the West Coast Environmental Dispute Resolution fund Ms Burgoon has filed a private prosecution.

Further Ms. Lysenko states: “The Province was involved in controlling where the staging area was located, and providing directions to the same. The Province could and should have controlled the access to the staging area, and as such is also responsible for the spill.”

“The Fisheries Act specifically provides for private prosecutions by individuals.  In addition, the right of a private citizen to lay a charge is considered a fundamental part of Canada’s criminal justice system. If government is not going to apply the laws of Canada, it is up to the people to do so. I had no choice but to launch a private prosecution and let a judge review the evidence.”

Because of the severity of the incident, the disturbing trend in British Columbia over the past couple years of toxic spills by corporations and the unwillingness of government to hold polluters accountable it is up to citizens to lay charges and be the voice for creatures that have been the victims of this violation of the Fisheries Act.

For more information contact:Ms. Marilyn Burgoon @ 250-226-7324  – marilynburgoon@hotmail.com

Ms. Lilina Lysenko @ 250-368- 6200  lilina.lysenko@lawyersvsl.ca

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Join Us for BC & World Rivers Day, Sept. 28th 2014

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Perry Ridge Fly Over May 20th 2014

Destruction into head water areas continues as residents continue opposition and fear valley bottom landslides.

Road leads into headwaters of Hird Creek.

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Logging and Road Building

Logging and Road building will cause increased sedimentation to enter the Slocan River and Little Slocan River;

Otto Langer, fisheries biologist and aquatic ecologist, has assessed post-Spill circumstances and has averred that the velocity of stream flow is a major factor in environmental recovery and increased sedimentation impedes the velocity of stream flow;

It is clear from the photos below  that the clean streams on both the west and east side the ridge must not have increased sedimentation into them in order for them to flush the  river system clean. The current license does not address this important function of the water draining from the ridge.

Photo’s taken May 6th 2014

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/road-building-puts-water-quality-at-risk-in-some-bc-communities/article18335228/

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Road building puts water at risk!

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/road-building-puts-water-quality-at-risk-in-some-bc-communities/article18335228/

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Why have Slocan Valley residents good reason to be concerned about logging on Perry Ridge, read this article and you’ll find out they have every good reason to be!

State allowed logging on plateau above slope


One hell of a mess with many dead and many still missing, Snohomish County Landslide March 2014. The impact of such a ecological disaster is going to effect the County for decades to come! Dear Snohomish County residents we offer our condolences.

Attention Christy Clarke and Cabinet, BC Government, Victoria BC

PERRY RIDGE WATER USERS’ ASSOCIATION
Gr. 16 C-9
Winlaw, B.C. VOG 2JO
Ph/Fax 1-250-226-7324

marilynburgoon@hotmail.com
www.perryridge.org

March 24, 2014

Hon. Christy Clark and Cabinet, BC Government, Victoria BC

Re: Landslide Risk on Perry Ridge – Snohomish County Landslide

We are attaching a letter Perry Ridge Water Users wrote to you and your government in 2012 after the Johnsons Landing tragic landslide. In light of the Snohomish, Oso, Washington State, recent tragic landslide your government should remove Perry Ridge from road building and cutting due to the real possibility of ground water saturation and a similar landslide occurring from Perry Ridge. It is time to  halt the work that is proceeding on the ridge and any future tree removal and road building due to climate change resulting in acknowledged increased rainfall.

We have been lobbying the BC Government since 1997 to protect this area as there have been landslides on Perry Ridge and yet BC Timber Sales continues road building and logging into unstable areas. It is also well documented that logging and road building increase the risk of landslides approximately 10 x! Given climate change and the increased rainfall we fear a major landslide and the loss of life, limb and property.

BC does not have the necessary hazard mapping and continues to allow development into hazardous areas.

The history of landslides in this area is well documented. Lives have already been lost  Due to the fire on Benninger Creek, on Perry Ridge,the Ministry of Forests has admitted that since the trees are gone and there is slash and debris, there is now the potential after heavy rainfall for a debris flow into the creek. Our members on Benninger Creek have been advised in writing by Terrain Specialist Peter Jordan, BC Government, to be prepared to evacuate should there be heavy rainfall.

We are again reminded of how horrible a landslide such as the recent one in Oso is. Apparently it was an unstable area and as a result of the heavy rainfall the groundwater saturated the land.

There are no ground water studies on Perry Ridge and road building could easily intercept this water and increase the risk to residents.

The Perry Ridge back road is the school bus route for many children and they would also be put at risk.

It is the government’s responsibility to protect the citizens, please take this responsibility seriously and do not allow a landslide, similar to the recent Washington State tragedy to occur to the citizens that live at the base of Perry Ridge.

Please review this file and make the decision to protect the residents that live below this identified unstable landform.

We have attached a list of websites regarding the Washington State landslide so that you can appreciate how terrible such an event is.

Your immediate attention to this matter is urgent so that our homes and lives are not put at increased risk.

Yours truly,

PERRY RIDGE WATER USERS ASSOCIATION

Marilyn Burgoon

Cc: Dr. Nathan Goodale,
Gunter Retterath,
Katrina Conroy, MLA
Walter Popoff, Area H RDCK
Premier Christy Clark
Minister of Environment
Minister of Finance
BCTS
Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General
Ministry of Transportation
NDP Forestry Critic
NDP Environment Critics
Chief Forester
Marilyn James, Appointed Spokesperson Sinixt Nation

 


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Perry Ridge Water Users Association continues to communicate to government the need for prevention of landslides

24 dead, over 100 missing in Washington state landslide

The Association is resending our letter of 2012 after the tragic Johnson’s landing landslide along with a letter of today’s date ” Snohomish Follow up” along with a list of websites regarding this tragedy in Washington State. Our membership continues to fear such an event from the landscape above our homes, especially since removal of trees and the resulting ground water saturation. This is an urgent matter as a result of climate change and the acknowledged increased rainfall.

Marilyn Burgoon

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Seasons Greetings & More Info

December 11, 2013

To Our Members and Supporters:

Season’s Greetings

For a more complete update on Perry Ridge please visit our website at www.perryridge.org. You will see that the Association continues to work hard to protect the Perry Ridge watersheds. Also check the Sinixt Nation website at: www.sinixtnation.org. The Sinixt have been protecting the ridge all summer and continue their Cultural Occupation Camp on the Perry Ridge road, where it meets the Little Slocan Back road outside of Slocan City.

BC Timber Sales intends to extend the road further south along the ridge and the Woodlot 1702, previously logged and worked by Kevin Marr and now Gary Burns. The lower part on Avis Road has been logged and there has been damage to Avis road and to a property below this woodlot. The upper part of the woodlot road goes through the headwaters of the residents of Avis Road. At present Woodlot 1702 cannot be accessed on the upper section due to the Sinixt Cultural Occupation Camp. Woodlot Map at: http://www.perryridge.org/government-reports-maps/

The Sinixt cultural areas include the Woodlot areas on Perry Ridge both west and east side. As a result of BC Timber Sales accessing the woodlot last year and the logging of 4 cutblocks while the Sinixt argued before the courts, it became a mute point about their opposition as the logging and road building were complete. The judge in the case did however say that should BC Timber Sales further plan road building and logging there could be a Judicial Review. See Sinixt website

The plans for road building and logging the top of the ridge is mapped and proceeds south above Nixon Creek headwaters and further close to Winlaw.  The argument from BCTS is that these new “areas of interest” – basically new cutblocks drain to the west. As has been pointed out by hydrologists over the years it is not possible to tell which way groundwater flows and in fact some surface areas are questionable as to which way the water flows. Perry Ridge has a very complex drainage system and many of these areas are termed “gentle over steep”. These are the areas where the majority of landslides in this area start from.  Our Association does not accept an impact to the Little Slocan side of the ridge as it all eventually affects the homes at the south end of Perry Ridge See at: http://www.perryridge.org/government-reports-maps/

Due to the fire on Benninger Creek, the Ministry of Forests has admitted that since the trees are gone and there is slash and debris, there is now the potential after heavy rainfall for a debris flow into the creek and our members have been advised by Terrain Specialist Peter Jordan, BC Government, to be prepared to evacuate should there be heavy rainfall. This summer when fighting the fire, the MOF dumped thousands of gallons of fuel spill river water on the headwater areas for about a week after the spill. We would like to have a soil test done but funding a helicopter and taking a soil test is very costly. We are concerned about the runoff into Benninger and possible ground water contamination.

The warning of a debris flow after the fire, unlike logging, is without the added impact of road building.  The Association continues to hold the position that this potential for damage downstream and the increased risk to our homes from logging and road building is not acceptable to our members, who will suffer the consequences.

The Association brought in Otto Langer as the keynote speaker at the BC Rivers Day Event. Otto E. Langer – age 67 – BSc(Zool) and MSc in fishery biology (UofA). Fisheries Biologist and Aquatic Ecologist. We were honoured that a professional of his caliber came to our small community to give us support and demonstrates that the hard work of Perry Ridge Water Users Association is known and appreciated beyond the Slocan Valley.

Mr. Langer has worked for DFO and DOE for 32 years as habitat protection, water quality biologist and manager specializing in salmon habitat protection programs. Organizer of the Assoc. of Prof. Biologists of BC and was President of the group. He has been qualified as an expert witness on over 100 pollution and habitat destruction court cases in Canada from the Arctic to Newfoundland to Vancouver Island. Main area of work was in BC and the Yukon and to a greater degree the Fraser River and its estuary.

Have published or directed many studies relating to the protection of the Fraser River and its Estuary and pioneered the use of the concept of no net loss. Was the author of the red, yellow and green habitat color zoning system that is used to protect the Fraser River Estuary and adapted to many other habitat management programs in Canada.

After leaving government in 2002 joined the David Suzuki Foundation (2001 to 2006) and formed their Marine Conservation Program. Have been retired for past 6 years due to health issues but do much volunteer work for many conservation causes including jet fuel issues for VAPOR, Fraser River Gravel Stewardship Committee (Chilliwack), in situ oil sands issues in Alberta, advisor to the London UK based Marine Stewardship Council (2001-2010), BC Marine Conservation Caucus etc. and had legal standing before the Cohen Inquiry on Fraser River declining sockeye stocks.

He has won awards from:

  • Outstanding achievement award from BC Assoc. of Prof. Biologists 1994.
  • 2001 Staff selection as best manager in DFO.
  • The BC Government (Silver metal for work on urban stream riparian protection work 2000),
  • BC Wildlife Fed. – Ted Barsby BC Conservationist of the Year 2009
  • Canadian Wildlife Fed. Roland Michener award for Canadian Conservationist of the Year 2010

Thank you to Craig Pettitt of the Valhalla Society, who at the request of the Association, generously gave his time and accompanied Mr. Langer to the Lemon Creek spill site during very wet weather. (See attached article). Mr. Langer’s presentation: Rivers Mountains, Fish, Wildlife, Beautiful British Columbia & Jet Fuel. – http://youtu.be/rUIh0xmTAJ4 or can be accessed through the Perry Ridge website at: www.perryridge.org.

Mr. Langer stated that the headwaters of the creeks and the clean water from the creeks are extremely important to the river recovery from the fuel spill. Intact forested headwaters are also very important areas to our domestic water sources, both in terms of preventing landslides and protecting the water sources in the dry summer months. There is still no precipitation data for the ridge. Global warming brings more torrential rains and is creating landslides and washing out logging roads.  It is more important than ever to have a Judicial Review of BC Timber Sales faulty planning and its associated risks to residents downstream. Van Tuyl landslide, which tragically took the life of a local resident, is an example of what heavy rains can do in the Slocan Valley on previously logged areas.

We continue to look for funding to do a Judicial Review given the new information regarding headwaters and their flow into the main stem of the river to help recover from the fuel spill.

This letter is a brief summary of some of the work done over the last year and since 1983! We have a dedicated Board of Directors who gather information, fundraise and work for justice in our community. It is important to continue writing to the government to let them know that there is new information that is not being considered and that it is time to use the precautionary principle and protect the headwater areas of Perry Ridge and halt all road building and logging. These are difficult times for the environment in BC and funding is needed to keep up our work to protect our homes and our water.

There are many causes to donate to at this time of year but we believe that there is nothing more important than water.  Without protected water we will face an even more difficult future.

If you are in a position to donate we would appreciate your help to protect the value of your water, your homes and your community. We understand that many families are financially challenged at this time of year and understand if you are unable to give at this time. There is a pay pal account accessible through the website and you can donate any time of year.

We would like to thank all of our members, the Sinixt Nation, the many environmental groups, our website manager and the many volunteers who regularly help at our fundraising events, for their dedication to the work of protecting water, wildlife and culture.

Our Directors wish you a safe, peaceful holiday and all the best to you and your family in the New Year. We look forward to 2014 being the year we celebrate with the Sinixt Nation the full protection of Perry Ridge and its many values.

Yours truly,

PERRY RIDGE WATER USERS ASSOCIATION

Marilyn Burgoon,

President

PS: We are presently redesigning the Perry Ridge Letterhead as the present letterhead takes up a huge amount of ink to print and  in order to save money we feel that  a line drawing design would be more efficient. If anyone has a creative idea for a simple design we would be pleased to consider it.

 

 

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One Billion Litres Contaminated Water released into Athabasca River

The “major failure” of a pit at an Alberta coal mine has released one billion litres of contaminated water into the Athabasca River.

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North End Perry Ridge Turns Slocan River Muddy

Rain Related slides at North end of Perry Ridge turning Slocan River muddy‏. Here are some over head snap shots showing the situation.

From: trwarren@telus.net
To: marilynburgoon@hotmail.com
Subject: slides in small creeks turning Slocan River muddy
Date: Mon, 9 Sep 2013 16:28:10 -0700

Hi Marilyn,

As per your request through Dwain Boyer, I am forwarding to you the info and pictures that I took on my flyover to check on what caused the muddy waters in Gwillim and Mulvie creeks that flow into the Slocan River.

The call came from the Village of Slocan as their water treatment plant was affected and we found that the Mulvie Creek slide brought down more sediment and affected the Slocan River more that Gwillim Creek.

Both slides were rain related that were in the very back basin of both creeks in natural slide areas and were clear into the rocks above.

* Here are a couple of the pictures that I took on the flight up Gwillim creek and Mulvie Creek (spelling might be wrong) today as follows:

Picture 010 is slide into Gwillim Creek and Picture 067 is the confluence into Slocan River.

Picture 048 is slide into Mulvie Creek and Picture 063 is the confluence into Slocan River.

Pictures are not the best due to weather.

As a note Lemon Creek was running clean and Wilson Creek in Roseberry was dirty as well.

Thank you and have a great day,

Terry Warren

Emergency Program Coordinator

Nakusp/Area K & Area H – The Slocan Valley

Box 243,

300 8th Avenue NW

Nakusp, BC VOG1RO

(h) 250-265-3427

(p) 250-265-0230

(f) 250-265-3571

(c) 250-265-1920

(e) trwarren@telus.net

Web  www.rdck.bc.ca

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Class Action-Lemon Creek Jet Fuel Spill

PRESS RELEASE – For Immediate Release August 8, 2013

Lemon Creek Fuel Spill –
Class Action Filed

Commencement of proceedings

A class action was filed yesterday against the Province of British Columbia and the corporate entities operating as Executive Flight Centre (“the Action”).

A copy of the filed Notice of Civil Claim is attached with this press release.

The Class

The Action is brought by a Slocan Valley resident, Robert Kirk, on his own behalf and on behalf of a class of persons who own real property within the defined “Evacuation Zone” – an area of three kilometers on either side of Lemon Creek and the Slocan River; from the junction of highways 3A & 6 at South Slocan to three kilometers north of Lemon Creek.

Persons wishing to support or participate in the action may email slocanclassaction@gmail.com or join www.facebook.com/groups/slocanclassaction/

Cause of action

The Action alleges negligence and nuisance on the part of the Defendants.

Quote attributable to Mr. Kirk:

“They set up an ad hoc fuel depot in an environmentally sensitive area without taking due care.  They could have easily avoided the spill had they taken any one of various safety measures: a sign, map, a VHF radio or a flag person by the side of the road.”

Quote attributable to Austin Greengrass, local resident:

“You take a fuel tanker up Lemon Creek Forest Service Road and you get an environmental disaster.  Considering that the Lemon Creek Forest Service Road is narrow and unstable and is only a few hundred meters from their fuel depot, they should have clearly marked it off.  You could find better signage at the entrance to Shambhala.”

Impact

Quote attributable to Austin Greengrass:

“A preventable tragedy of huge proportions. There has been tremendous suffering:  burning eyes, blisters, sore throats, headaches, respiratory distress, and neuromuscular symptoms.  People have been displaced from their homes, their farms contaminated, their businesses shut down indefinitely.”

Quote attributable to Robert Kirk:

“The Slocan River is a dead zone.  The wildlife are gone.  Ducks, herons and deer have been pulled out dead from the river.  The shorelines and wetlands that were once nesting grounds are now scattered with fish carcasses.”

Quote attributable to Marilyn Burgoon, President of the Perry Ridge Water Users Association:

“We are grieving.  Where there had once been morning bird songs, there is an eerie silence.”

Quote attributable to Austin Greengrass:

“This is over 30,000 liters of perhaps the most dangerous and long-lasting types of fuel – released directly into an aquatic environment spanning over 40 kilometers.  This is the largest spill of its kind in Canadian history.  The total impact of human suffering and ecological damage will not be seen for years.”

Exacerbation of damage

The lawsuit alleges that, subsequent to the Spill, from July 28, 2013, to July 31, 2013, the Province used helicopters  to supress the Perry Ridge forest fire with fuel-contaminated water from the Slocan River, thereby further exacerbating the harm.

Quote attributable to Austin Greengrass:

“They doused a forest fire with fuel contaminated water – we’re facing a circus of incompetence.  Who can we trust keep us safe?”

Remedy of accountability

The lawsuit seeks relief set out at paragraph 94 of the Notice of Civil claim, including an order requiring the Defendants to meaningfully consult the Plaintiff’s independent environmental scientist with respect to ecological monitoring and remediation.

Quote attributable to David M. Aaron, Plaintiff counsel:

“The plaintiff is uncomfortable with the fact that clean up is in the hands of the parties that were allegedly irresponsible enough to let this happen.   We are asking the Court to compel the Defendants to meaningfully consult with an independent environment scientist who may give input into monitoring and remediation strategies.”

Quote attributable to Robert Kirk:

“We are not just going to passively sit and take whatever information and remediation efforts they hand out. ”

Quote attributable to Marilyn Burgoon:

“The law suit stands to trigger full disclosure.  At this point, we do not even have particulars as to the exact composition of the fuel.  Material has been released into our water and we need to know what’s in it in order to properly react.”

About the representative plaintiff

The Representative Plaintiff, Robert George Kirk, owns and resides on a 51-acre property on the east riparian bank of the Slocan River, approximately 6 km south of Lemon Creek.

Approximately 45 acres of the Kirk property consists of wetlands within the flood plane of the Slocan River.

Kirk worked for 37.5 years as a machinist with Tek Cominco in Trail, BC, before an injury left him incapacitated with a broken neck without paralysis.

In his retirement, Kirk has made a daily habit of walking his property, enjoying the beavers, ducks, frogs, turtles, muskrats, blue herons, osprey and various other birds that have made a nesting ground and habitat out of his marshland.

Kirk’s dwelling is 15 meters from the Slocan River.  At 5:00am on July 27, 2013, he awoke with a headache and sore throat to the sound of his horse coughing.  He found an evacuation notice that had been posted on his door.  A pool of fuel had accumulated in a Slocan River back-eddy just south of his barn.  It remains there today, with the addition of an orange flag placed by authorities.

Since the Spill, Kirk has observed the complete absence of wildlife from his property, except for a duck and blue heron that have turned up dead.   Fuel is adhering to grass on the riparian bank of his property, rendering it a lethal habitat for Wildlife.

The media is requested to direct inquiries of Kirk to his representatives, the Perry Ridge Water Users Association and his legal counsel, David M. Aaron.

Administration

The Plaintiff is assisted in the administration of the class action by the Perry Ridge Water Users Association, which has started a litigation support fund at:

Heritage Credit Union, PO Box 39, Hwy 6, Slocan Park, BC V0G 2E0

Account #: 3636-8

The Perry Ridge Water Users Association is a society incorporated under the laws of British Columbia with its offices in the Slocan Valley.  It has represented local water users on environmental matters, including litigation, for 30 years.

Next steps in litigation process

It is expected that the Defendants will receive service of the Court documents today.

Quote attributable to David M. Aaron:

“They will have 21 days from being served to file their defence pleading -a Response to Civil Claim- after which the Plaintiff will seek to have the action certified under the Class Proceedings Act.”

Photos

Five photos (“the Photos”) are posted on the above-referenced Facebook site by Jim Ross.  They are labelled as “Official Plaintiff Photos”.

The media is authorized to publish the Photos  – they are taken by Robert Kirk of/at his property.  Captions attached are quotable statements by Mr. Kirk.

Request for confidentiality

Robert Kirk requests that the media refrain from publishing his home address.  He is retired and recovering from an injury and the maintenance of his physical privacy is essential to his well-being.

Contacts

  • David M. Aaron, counsel for the Plaintiff 250-352-7410  
  • Austin Greengrass, Local Resident and member of the proposed Class  – 1 (250) 900-6885
  • Marilyn Burgoon, President of the Perry Ridge Water Users Association -1 (250) 226-7324
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Garage Sale Fundraiser * Save Perry Ridge

Multi-family Garage Sale

Saturday,  June 29th, 2013 Passmore Hall

10:00am-5:00pm

Concession Stand

Donation drop off 8:30am-10:00am

Fundraiser for Perry Ridge – 250-226-7324

also…check this video

CEASE & DESIST
Sinixt Nation serving a Cease and Desist Order to

BCTS on June 10, 2013 on Perry Ridge

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RED ALERT!!!

BC Timber Sales has notified the Perry Ridge Water Users

“Please be advised that BCTS is posting a road construction project
on BC Bid today for Perry Ridge.”

Perry Ridge Water Users Association continues to oppose the increased risk to the creeks, homes and the Slocan River and the Little Slocan River.

For the reports please contact marilynburgoon@hotmail.com and she will forward by e-mail to you. 

Thanks, Marilyn

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Not accepting the risk.

EMAIL from Marilyn Burgoon to Ken Scown@gov.bc.ca

Thank you for your e-mail. Perry Ridge Water Users Association would like to have the reports you have completed for the roads and the Areas of Interest that the road accesses. As you know the Perry Ridge Water Users Association does not accept the risk of logging and road building that increases the risk to our homes and we would like to see the reports to be sure that our safety is not at risk.

Marilyn

Ken Scown’s reply with attached documents/assessments…

As per your request below,  I have attached the assessments completed to date for this road construction project.  Note: Perry Ridge M/L is referred to by its FSR name/# in the AOA (i.e. ARPL Little Slocan-Perry Road  7777.03).

Note: Perry Ridge 11000 is referred to as 7777 Branch 5000 in the AOA.

Regards,  Ken

Here are the documents …click on to open the PDF’s
Hydrologic Assessments of Areas of Interest Perry Ridge”
“Terrain Stability and Soil Assessment”
“Archaeological Overview Assessment”

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Slocan Valley Aerial View

A slide show of aerial photos, Perry Ridge in the Slocan Valley BC 2012. As the photos show it was a very high year for the Slocan River, resulting in high debris and sedimentation. These beautiful birds eye views were shot from an ultra light by photographer Lucas Jmieff for PRWUA…Enjoy!

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“The River Report”

Here is a recent article from the Valley Voice news paper covering the release of  documentary  “The River Report” produced by
Perry Ridge Water Users Association and The Sinixt Nation…

Valley Voice Submission “The River Report”

A beautiful aerial photo of the Slocan River, Spring 2012.   Photo…Lucas Jmieff

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Seasons Greetings from PRWUA

Seasons Greetings from all of us at Perry Ridge Water Users !

Minister of Forests…Honorable Steve Thomson letter follow up

Letter to Minister Thompson revised

click on these links to open PDF docs

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Follow up letter to Minister of Forests

PRWUA request removal of remaining landscape on Perry Ridge to save lives and prevent another tragic landslide… Johnson’s landing tragic landslide (related press article)

PERRY RIDGE WATER USERS’ ASSOCIATION
Gr. 16 C-9
Winlaw, B.C. VOG 2JO
Ph/Fax 1-250-226-7324
marilynburgoon@hotmail.com
www.perryridge.org
September 4, 2012
Hon. Steve Thomson
Minister of Forests
Victoria, BC
Re: Perry Ridge Logging and Road Development – Risk to Residents
Dear Hon. Mr. Thomson:
Since our letter dated May 14, 2012 regarding landslide hazards on Perry Ridge, on July 12th this past summer, the Johnsons Landing landslide killed 4 community members and left irreparable harm to their community. The community is still trying to cope with the devastating losses. (See attached media articles)
Johnson’s Landing in Limbo…Valley Voice August 22, 2012…Jan McMurray
Where to Point Fingers… Nelson Star July 25, 2012
Tourism Affected…Valley Voice, Jan McMurray
Landslide Devastation…Valley Voice, Jan McMurray
Valley Voice, jan McMurray, July 12,2012…
…previous article continued
Instability Remains a Concern for Johnson’s landing…Nelson Star…Meagan Cole
Idaho Peak Road Repaired/Little Slocan Road Impassable…

The Technical Review Team for this landslide includes Mr. Peter Jordan and Mr. Dwain Boyer (landslide specialist and hydrologist with FLNRO).
In 1999 Mr. Boyer and Mr. Jordan authored the Perry Ridge Risk Assessment and set a lower standard for risk assessments than required internationally and by municipal governments. Mr. Jordan and Mr. Boyer’s report says moderate risk is NOT a significant issue. Moderate risk can include the destruction of a single residence or serious injury to a person. Jeopardizing the safety of homes and families for logging is setting a precedent all over the province.
Even low risk include a moderate chance of an event with the following consequences: destruction of private roads or outbuildings; serious damage to a single residence or commercial building, outbuildings, public roads, utilities or agricultural land; minor damage to multiple residence or commercial buildings.
In many cases, getting to low risk areas requires roads crossing moderate and high risk areas. In the Perry Ridge risk assessments, cumulative damage to the creek beds and river system was not an issue at all!
In the case of Perry Ridge, the BC Government continues to force residents to accept outrageous risks and damage of logging hazardous areas above our homes. The BC Government is also forcing the Sinixt Nation to accept risks to their important archaeological sites and their traditional food sources. Dr. Tony Salway in his May 2, 2011 report on Perry Ridge, concluded in his literature review of the cutblocks at the north end of the ridge: “ Summit did not evaluate the ground water on top of the ridge,
the gullies or the property at the base of the ridge. Therefore BC Timber Sales should not have issued the cutting permit to Sunshine Logging.” Dr. Salway goes on to say in his field report, October 6, 2011: “The irreparable damage currently exhibited is due to the fact that the culvert was grossly inadequate and, along the cutblocks and poor inside ditches, in shallow non-cohesive soils, will undoubtedly result in increased sedimentation, that will eventually find its way into the Slocan River.”

Sept 12 field trip report

Aerial Survey Photos

Maps… 1 2 3 4 5

Sedimentation bars are already visible through Google earth of the sediment load coming into the Slocan River from Lemon Creek and the Little Slocan.
In reference to the Cascade Creek plume into the Lardeau River, Dr. Salway states, “A similar plume could enter the Slocan and/or the Little Slocan Rivers, not only impairing fish habitat, but also affecting important archaeological sites (Sinixt Concentration” map). (Dr. Goodale’s 2009 Slocan Narrows Report.

May 2nd 2011 report…Literature Review

In his November 4, 2011 Report Dr. Salway did a flight down the southeast side of Perry Ridge, from Slocan to Vallican and observed the headwater areas of the creeks. “It is important to note the existence of a number of tributaries, entrenched in the north side of the basin (Hird) some of which have exhibited signs of slides.”

Headwaters of  Perry Ridge Creeks…Nov. 4th 2011
Aerial photos 1 to 18
Vallican Slide Photos…A to F

A survey of 22 scientific studies in the Pacific Northwest in 1999 shows that an average of 13 times more landslides start on clearcuts than on undisturbed forest (Rates vary from 3 to 93 times more landslides from clearcuts, depending on the area. ) Surveys show that an average of 221 times more landslides initiate on road rights-of-way than undisturbed forests (from 7 – 1600 times, depending on the area and the study.)
The Ministry of Forests, Ministry of Transportation and Ministry of Environment should have the same standard hazard mapping as the RDCK. In a letter dated March 16, 1998 to Planning Manager, RDCK, Mr.Friele, M.SC consultant from Baumann Engineering, states in his concluding paragraph of his letter re: Geotechnical hazards “ We raise these issues out of ethical responsibility.”
This letter was copied to Mr.Berni Eigelshoven* of Valhalla Realty, Martin Carver MoELP, MoTH Kurt Edmonds and to the Area Director at the time Mr. Eric Nygren. . Nanaimo, Pemberton Lillooet Regional District and other municipalities are now doing planning with hazard mapping in place on private land and public lands. *Mr.Berni Eigelshoven died in one of the two landslides from Van Tuyl Creek in the Slocan Valley in May 2008. Summary page from the report identifies the government’s redirecting water from logging and road building to mid creek as the #1 cause of the slide. We forwarded to you the summary page from the Van Tuyl Landslide report in our previous letter. See attached Nelson Star article “Where to point fingers”.
Both the Federal and Provincial governments continue to set Terms of Reference in their contracts that limit professional scientists from upholding The Code of Ethics of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists, which reads:
“To hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public, the protection of the environment and (to) promote the health and safety of the workplace.”
The citizens of this province require engineers and scientists who uphold this serious Code of Ethics, more now than ever with the impact of climate change and its associated intense rainfall as in the case of Johnsons Landing.
Major tragic landslide events often start small but have catastrophic effects as we observe the grief and losses of the community in Johnsons Landing. The municipalities and the province must understand the linkage between Crown land and private land on the valley bottoms where we live and realize the consequences would be the same as the losses in Johnsons Landing. In the case of Perry Ridge, even with the substandard risk assessment, identifies over half of the ridge as unstable.
The landslide at Johnsons Landing, according to Mr. Jordan, landslide expert, was not predictable, even from air photos. Even in areas of predictability i.e. high and moderate in Mr. Jordan and Mr. Boyer`s Perry Ridge Risk Assessment for Crown Land, the government of BC has been unwilling to remove the area from the annual allowable cut. Perry Ridge clearly is an area that requires the remaining landscape on the ridge to be removed from the cut to protect the residents.
A survey of 22 scientific studies in the Pacific Northwest (1999) shows that an average of 13 times more landslides start on clearcuts than on undisturbed forest (Rates vary from 3 to 93 times more landslides from clearcuts, depending on the area. ) Surveys show that an average of 221 times more landslides initiate on road rights-of-way than undisturbed forests (from 7 – 1600 times, depending on the area and the study.)
Our homes are below the fragile landscape on Perry Ridge and it is the residents who will suffer the devastating consequences should a mass failure occur. We DO NOT accept the increased risks of logging and road development.
The solution is simple – remove the remaining landscape on Perry Ridge from the annual allowable cut and protect our community and save taxpayer dollars. (See our previous letter re: costs).How many more deaths do citizens in BC need to lose before your government realizes and acknowledges that unstable areas in and around homes should not be developed.
A plugged culvert in the backcountry does not have the same consequence as one that creates a landslide that rips at inescapable speed down the mountainside to the valley below where we live.
Yours truly,
PERRY RIDGE WATER USERS ASSOCIATION
Marilyn Burgoon
President
Encls.
Cc: Marilyn James, Appointed Spokesperson Sinixt Nation
Katrina Conroy, MLA
Walter Popoff, Area H RDCK
Premier Christy Clark
Minister of Environment
Minister of Finance
BCTS
Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General
Ministry of Transportation
NDP Forestry Critic
NDP Environment Critics
Chief Forester
Austin Greengrass,
Frank Nixon,
Dr. Nathan Goodale,
Gunter Retterath,

You Tube Coverage of Johnson’s Landing Mudslide

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8th Annual Sinixt Barter Fair

September, 28,29,30th-2012

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Johnson’s Landing Slide

Tragic Johnson’s Landing Slide leaves four dead.
Johnsons Landing Slide

here is the link to the Vancouver Sun report of the incident…
http://www.vancouversun.com/news/review+Johnsons+Landing+landslide/6942876/story.html

Contrary to what this article in the Vancouver Sun states regarding predictability of landslides, there is definitely something that can be done and the government of BC has been advised for years that it is a necessary part of planning and that is hazard mapping.

In 2000 the Perry Ridge Water Users President Marilyn Burgoon attended a meeting with a geotechnical team to advise the then BC Government Minister of Environment about the high risk of road building and logging Perry Ridge. The team included, Dr. June Ryder, Mr. Frank Baumann, P. Eng, Trevor Jones, P. Eng and Hydrologist Allen Isaacson. The submissions are posted below. Mr. Baumann at the time informed Minister Joan Sawicki that there was a need for Hazard Mapping to prevent just such events as occurred at Johnson’s Landing. Mr. Frank Baumann’s firm also wrote to the RDCK advising them of the need for hazard mapping as far back as early 90s. To date this has not been done and Mr. Baumann has stated in the media that the Johnson’s Landing could have been prevented with the assistance hazard mapping.

It is unacceptable to allow development, whether home building or industrial development in the absence of hazard mapping throughout the region.

Marilyn Burgoon, PRWUA

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World Rivers Day and BC Rivers, September 27, 2015…Cresent Valley Hall

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BC Rivers Day Celebration September 27th, 2015 “The Geological History of the Slocan and Kootenay River Basins” – Lesley Anderton

“Rivers are the arteries of our planet: they are lifelines in the truest sense.”- Mark Angelo Founder of BC Rivers Day

Our community will celebrate the Slocan and Kootenay Rivers with a Luncheon, Educational Presentation and a field trip to the newly formed Regional Park by the Slocan River in Crescent Valley. The event will take place on Sunday, September 27th at the Crescent Valley Community Hall from 12:00 – 4:00 pm

We are pleased that Lesley Anderton will be presenting“The Geological History of the Slocan and Kootenay River Basins.” Many of you will know Lesley Anderton from her 35 years of instruction at Selkirk College and her continued education courses in the community.

Thousands of British Columbians celebrate BC Rivers Day on the last Sunday in September each year, making it Canada’s largest river appreciation event.
BC Rivers Day generates public awareness about British Columbia’s waterways. Recreational clubs, conservation organizations, community groups, schools, and local governments host BC Rivers Day events across the province.

BC Rivers Day celebrations have grown exponentially over the past 30 years. This growth can be attributed to British Columbians’ growing concern for the state of local waterways.
BC Rivers Day provides a positive opportunity for diverse groups to show why BC waterways are important. Planned events celebrate the cultural, ecological, historical, aesthetic and recreational values of rivers.

Both BC Rivers Day and World Rivers Day highlight the many values of rivers and strives to increase public awareness and encourages the improved stewardship of rivers around the world.

Please join us and celebrate two beautiful local rivers. The toxic jet fuel spill in 2013 heightened our awareness of how much we love and appreciate these two rivers and how concerned we are for the health of our local waterways.

Thank you to Columbia Basin Trust Sponsorship Program for helping our community celebrate the Slocan and Kootenay Rivers. Thank you also to RDCK for their role in helping protect the Slocan River at Crescent Valley through the formation of the regional park.

Marilyn Burgoon marilynburgoon@hotmail.com www.perryridge.org www.sinixtnation.org

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