Rivers Day 2017

Please join thousands throughout BC to celebrate waterways – we will be celebrating the Slocan and Little Slocan Rivers.
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             Thanks, Marilyn

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Evacuee Statement Lemon Creek Fuel Spill – Class Action – Form PDF

JUSTICE FOR LEMON CREEK        (DOWN LOAD FORM PDF)

 For those of you who missed the Lemon Creek Meeting there is an Evacuee Form for you to sign and return. Info on the form.
It is important to have your story about the spill and even if you weren’t evacuated but were in the area (map) on the form you should state that and also that you left on your own accord and what the costs were. Receipts not necessary to send with this form. An expert report will compile the various stories and effects.
It is important to note that this is only part of the case and there is an Expert Appraiser assessing the devaluation of property and enjoyment of your home.
Renters and Occupiers of property are eligible to fill this out of pocket expense form.
Pls do it right away so that it gets to the lawyer. I suggest filling and scanning or adding as an attachment to an e-mail.
There will be hard copies in Winlaw, Slocan Park and Crescent Valley if you can not do it online.
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September 10th 2017 at 7:00 at Slocan Park Perry Ridge Water Users Association invites you to a town hall meeting.

On September 10th 2017 at 7:00 at Slocan Park Perry Ridge Water Users Association invites you to a town hall meeting.

On May 3, 2017 the BC Supreme Court certified BC’s first environmental class action against the Province of BC. The action brought on behalf of more than 2500 BC residents, concerns the July 2013 spill of 35 000 litres of toxic jet fuel into Lemon Creek and the Slocan River water system. This environmental disaster, which occurred when a tanker truck overturned during a Province-led refueling operation, led to the emergency evacuation of thousands of residents in the Slocan Valley, causing millions of dollars of damage to both private property and the ecosystem.

David Rosenber, QC of Vancouver is troubled by the Province’s abrogation of its duties. “In this time of proposed pipelines and increased transportation of dangerous substances, we should all be concerned when the Province of British Columbia fails in its duty to protect the environment and refuses to take responsibility for its mistakes.”

Class counsel David Aaron will be in attendance to update the residents on the successful certification of the class action. Residents are invited to provide detailed information about the evacuation/dislocation costs that were incurred as a result of the Spill. Refreshments will be served. Join us for an informative evening about this class action and the pursuit of justice for the beautiful Slocan Valley. (See advertisement)

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B.C. woman files private charges over Mount Polley tailings spill

VANCOUVER – An Indigenous women has filed private charges in 2014 collapse of the tailings dam at the Mount Polley mine, days after British Columbia’s government announced that provincial charges would not be laid.
Bev Sellers has filed court documents alleging that Mount Polley Mining Corp. polluted the environment when a tailings dam burst, sending 24 million cubic metres of mine waste into local waterways.
I am very glad to see that another private prosecution on polluting waterways being taken on. This one taken on by an indigenous woman. I think Lemon Creek was useful in encouraging private citizens to look for justice as Alexandra Morton’s private prosecution gave me hope. As you will remember I was part of a joint presentation about Mt. Polley and Lemon Creek thru Selkirk College and at the time it was expected that charges would be laid but since 2014 no charges have been laid. Thanks to West Coast Environmental Law and your help and encouragement we are able to show that private citizens have rights to prosecute and bring justice for the environment. I am always reminded of Anthropologist Margaret Mead’s quote: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
The dates for the Lemon Creek case are set to be heard in Nelson: September 25 – 28th, October 30th to November 2, and Nov. 20 – 23rd and Nov. 27th – Nov. 30th.
Mt Polly Evening Poster-page0001
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Perry Ridge Back Road – Slocan River Road

Water Damages Newly Paved Slocan River Road at the base of Perry Ridge South of Winlaw

The Slocan River back road was temporarily closed for a day due to trees sliding across the road and hung up on power lines. Although the road is now open to one lane traffic the water is being funneled through black plastic pipe into the culvert. One lane has slumped and the cutslope above is also moving and held back with a cable. There are several cracks along the pavement in this vicinity.
The Geological Hazards Mapping of the Slocan Valley, done by Apex Geoscience Consultants Ltd. dated Dec 30, 1998 states:
“Mass movement processes involve the downslope movement of surficial material due to gravity. Material moves downhill by rolling, sliding and slumping.”..In most cases the failures appear to be caused by:
1) High pore water pressure between sediment layers (Primarily clay) or possibly along pre-existingfractures or faults within the clay and,
2) Over-steepened scarp faces in places aggravated by recent undercutting of the scarp by the river or road construction.”
Perry Ridge Water Users Association has requested a copy of the geotechnical assessment of this earth movement from Ben Tanasichuk is the Highways Area Manager for this Area.
Fortunately there are no homes in close proximity on this section of the road. This is not the case on the majority of the back road. Many Perry Ridge residents travel this route regularly and the school buses use this road. The school buses are no longer driving the road until it is repaired. Winlaw, Brent Kennedy and Mt. Sentinel High School students must now meet their school bus where the Little Slocan River Road meets the Slocan River Road. The water damage and increased rainfall demonstrate the impact of increased water on the sensitive soils of Perry Ridge. A main road like this is monitored by the citizens driving to and from their homes and YRB. However, once resource extraction roads are constructed and resources removed, these roads can have similar earth movements that can descend to the valley bottom, where many people live and travel. Old logging roads are a major concern for safety due to lack of up keep and monitoring.
Dr. June Ryder, Geologist, in her letter to the Ministry of Environment, (letter dated September 20, 2000)
states:
“Even the most careful planning of roads and cutblocks cannot guarantee that accidents (slides, debris flows, floods) will not occur. A single such event on Perry Ridge, where steep slopes and steep creeks descent to highly sensitive terrain with dense rural settlement, could have disastrous effects.”
Dr. Lee Benda, a geologist with the University of Washington, wrote a report that said harvesting can increase soil water “on the order of 20 to 35 percent”.
Perry Ridge Water Users Association received a letter dated February 8, 2017 from BC Timber Sales, Kootenay Business Area. Tara DeCourcy, Woodlands Manager stated that BC Timber Sales are not planning to go back to extract resources on Perry Ridge for 5 – 7 more years. BC Timber Sales has stated they do not intend to collect precipitation data and plan to continue using the Equivalent Clearcut Area (ECA) methodology to assess risk.
Allen Isaacson Hydrologist, the co-author of the ECA method states:
“The ECA methodology was not designed for this type of terrain..Without the basic data, how is a statistical analysis of risk possible? What is a 100 year event in this area? What is the annual precipitation or runoff.”…The basic information needed for any type of risk analysis is lacking. In summary, the whole process (planning) should be done
with proper data collection and analysis…or it should be admitted that Perry Ridge is a unique area and not suitable for development”.
(Allen Isaacson, Hydrologist, “Comments on Perry Ridge,” Sept. 18, 2000)
Our Association insists that in the next 5-7 years BC Timber Sales collects the data – how much water is there to begin with? What is the precipitation? What is the snowfall? What is the melt rate? These all have to be answered, and then an analysis of how much change from the natural will occur with a road or a cut block. If this data is not going to be included and an analysis of how much change from the natural will occur with a road or a cut block then BC Timber Sales should admit that the remainder of Perry Ridge is
not suitable for logging and road building and set the area aside to protect the citizens that live below.

Marilyn Burgoon, President

PERRY RIDGE WATER USERS ASSOCIATION
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Lemon Creek Court Case

Please mark your calendar for April 11th, Nelson Court House 9:00 as Lemon Creek is setting Court dates and there has been interest to have it moved to Vancouver and the more of the public in attendance the more the judge will realize the community interest in Justice for Lemon Creek. Usually the court begins at 9:30 but I did miss it once as they put it up to 9:00 so I am saying 9:00.
On another community rights issue Marilyn James, Sinixt Nation also has a date that day so you are invited to support both of these important cases and support the work of women who have worked for years to protect where we live. Hope to see you there. Again the 11th of April next Tuesday.

Pls send to your list.

Thanks Marilyn

6 Lemon Crk near confluence with Slocan Rvr 2 log jam IMG_2848

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Schedule for Lemon Creek Court Dates…Please show your support by attending on the dates posted.

Please mark your calendar for April 11th, Nelson Court House 9:00 as Lemon Creek is setting Court dates and there has been interest to have it moved to Vancouver and the more of the public in attendance the more the judge will realize the community interest in Justice for Lemon Creek. Usually the court begins at 9:30 but I did miss it once as they put it up to 9:00 so I am saying 9:00.
On another community rights issue Marilyn James, Sinixt Nation also has a date that day so you are invited to support both of these important cases and support the work of women who have worked for years to protect where we live. Hope to see you there. Again the 11th of April next Tuesday. Pls forward to your lists.

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An Urgent Message from the “Ancient Ones ” to the Native American People about Planet Earth

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Why We Should Celebrate Wetlands on World Water Day – Think globally Act locally.

Perry Ridge Water Users Association supports protection of wetlands. Although there is recognition of the importance of wetlands and support for reclaiming them there is very little protection. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Protect the head water wetlands on Perry Ridge.

International World Water Day is held annually on 22 March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.
Water is the essential building block of life. But it is more than just essential to quench thirst or protect health; water is vital for creating jobs and supporting economic, social, and human development.
Today, there are over 663 million people living without a safe water supply close to home, spending countless hours queuing or trekking to distant sources, and coping with the health impacts of using contaminated water.
Water is a fundamental human right. Canada joined the international consensus and recognized the right to water at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable development in 2012. We must live up to that commitment where we live.
Conservancy of Canada stated in 2015:
“Some say water is the lifeblood of this planet, and it’s true! The areas where land and water meet (wetlands, coasts, shorelines and stream banks, to name a few) are places that brim with biodiversity and rare species. The healthy state of these ecosystems is crucial for nature’s provision of services such as purification of air and proper nutrient cycling.
Healthy wetlands and watersheds play key roles in the quality of our water resources. They act like giant sponges that help absorb and replenish water to buffer flood and drought risks. They are also vital nesting, breeding and staging grounds for waterfowl and many other species and continue to be among the most diverse ecosystems of all!
But in spite of their important roles, our world’s wetlands are facing serious woes.
Troubling statistics estimates that 64 percent of world’s wetlands have disappeared since the 1900s (Ramsar Fact Sheet, 2015). Canada, home to a quarter of the world’s wetlands, is not immune to these trends. “
We are coming to better understand and appreciate that nature is a key part of the infrastructure for our cities and communities. Just as we need pipes and pumps as a part of our water system, we also need healthy wetlands, rivers and watersheds to ensure a future of clean and abundant fresh water.
 Perry Ridge Water Users Association continues to lobby the government to protect the watersheds locally and recognizes how fortunate we are to still have high elevation wetlands that provide us with good water. www.perryridge.org

 


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Press Release – The Geological History of The Slocan and Kootenay Rivers

Press Release, February 13, 2017, Slocan Valley, BC

Perry Ridge Water Users Uploads U-Tube Video  The Geological History of the Slocan and Kootenay River Basins presentation by Lesley Anderton

 Perry Ridge Water Users Association announces a new uploaded educational video, which the public can link to through our website (perryridge.org) at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOI8oIkn_kI&t=52s

Marilyn Burgoon, President of the Association states: “The public now has the opportunity to learn from the uploaded u-tube presentation The Geological History of the Slocan and Kootenay River Basin about the special place we call home in the West Kootenays.

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. The presentation shows many beautiful and informative slides about the area.

The appeal of Lesley Anderton, MA (UBC) has been demonstrated over the decades as a much loved Geology instructor at Selkirk College and her knowledge is extensive, and irreplaceable. Ms. Anderton states, “I enjoy sharing my love of the natural environment by interpreting the local geology for non-specialists.”

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 the public 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

Marilyn James/smum iem matriarch/Sinixt nations) states: “Sinixt nation territory is governed by two traditional/cultural laws. The whuplak’n, the “law of the land”,a premise that literally means that the land and all aspects of the land dictates the protocols of care and use of it. The second law is smum iem and means, “belongs to the women”. The elders (now ancestor Eva Orr, Alvina Lum and Annie Kruger are the Sinixt women who I largely credit for the land, water and cultural knowledge I carry. ”

Videographer Kai Cabodyna’s work has produced an exceptionally clear presentation and audio capturing Lesley’s enthusiasm for geology. The accompanying images demonstrate Lesley Anderton’s extensive knowledge of the landscape. Kai states, “Lesley’s presentation is jam packed with quality information about our place in the Kootenays. Being translated into a video makes this knowledge accessible for a wider audience, allowing people to revisit it and learn something new with every viewing.”

Perry Ridge Water Users Association is a public awareness and advocacy group, focusing on education related to water and land issues in the Slocan Valley. We have been in existence since 1983. The presentation and the video were made possible through the generous funding of Regional District of Central Kootenays, Area E and Area H Discretionary Fund.

Contact:  Marilyn Burgoon @ 604-259-0996 or e-mail lemon_creek_private_prosecution@ yahoo.ca

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2017 letter to Ministry of Forests

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Without proper updated precipitation data and the calculation of the carbon sequestration of the forests, the true natural capital of the forests is not addressed or calculated into a true cost benefit analysis. The work on Perry Ridge needs to be updated and the added data included. Without this data our Association submits that to proceed with any further logging on Perry Ridge is negligent.
Letter to Ministry of Forests -  Arrow Forest Jan 2017

Allen Isaacson Professional Hydrologists Report- ECA Pages 1 to 6… page 1 ECA  pg 2 ECA Page 3 ECA Page 4 ECA  Page 5 ECA  Page 6 ECA

American Geophysical Report
Deforestation in snowy regions causes more floods Green(1)

Judge Parrot – Report  Parrett Decision

The Geological History of The Slocan and Kootenay Rivers

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Season’s Greetings – Perry Ridge Water Users Association

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Season’s Greetings Please support the protection of water and all that depends on it – including all of us. I hope you all have a safe holiday and a healthy and prosperous New Year. Thank you for your support and please make a New Year’s resolution to write to the government. There are e-mail addresses within the letter below for you to use. Water is the source of all life and irreplaceable.

Best Wishes

Marilyn

                            

 
PERRY RIDGE WATER USERS ASSOCIATION
4403 Slocan River Road
Winlaw, BC
V0G 2J0
December 1, 2016
 
                                                Re:  Slocan Valley – Rails to Trails
 
Dear Mr. Cannings:
 
Thank you for your Parliamentary Bulletin Fall 2016. I read the Bulletin and agree that the Rails to Trails are of economic benefit to the small communities it winds its way through. I live in the Slocan Valley and would like to bring to your attention the fact that the forests and watersheds on the valley walls are part of the natural capital that contributes to this economic benefit. 
 
The Rail to Trails follows the Slocan River close to Highway 6.  The valley walls need protection to keep this portion of the Cross Canada Trail system with the visual, natural scenic forested mountains.  In your newsletter you mentioned “the economic benefits could be significantly boosted if the trails were well-maintained, better connected and promoted widely.” Should logging go ahead on the valley walls then the trail will not fulfill tourist expectations of visiting natural, beautiful BC and will impact the economic benefits the local citizens referred to, which also include the economic benefits to the river use by local whitewater rafters, tubers, swimmers, kayakers and canoeists.
 
Protecting these forests will also protect the unstable deeply incised creeks on the valley walls that descend in and around the homes at the base of the mountains.  Dr. June Ryder in her report “Geological Hazards of the Perry Ridge Benchlands” stated her grave concerns about several aspects of the potential effects of logging the Perry Ridge uplands www.perryridge.org. The water users do not accept the increased risk that logging poses to their homes.The creeks do not need any more sediment and debris entering them from logging slash and disturbed soils. The late Dr. Tony Salway pointed out to the Ministry of Forests that there was no snow accumulation data or updated precipitation data. Our Association submits that without prior updated accurate scientific precipitation data collection, it is negligent to preceed with logging above our homes on Perry Ridge.
 
Another benefit to protecting the valley walls is the ability of these forests to sequester carbon and assist the world in helping with climate change effects – these effects also include intense rainfall locally that can exacerbate landslides. 
 
The Slocan River would benefit from less sedimentation and debris flow increased from logging and diverting water. These creeks help maintain water temperatures, helping keep the river clean and improve habitat for fisheries (bull trout, sculpin and trout) and wildlife.(Blue Heron, Screech Owls, Western Toad, Golden Eagle, Baldheaded Eagle and Osprey to name a few.) These areas are wildlife corridors and would provide buffer zones to Valhalla Provincial Park and Kokanee Provincial Park
 
 The Slocan River has important Sinixt cultural sites that will and already have been affected by river erosion and heavy sedimentation and need protection. (Dr. Nathan Goodale’s Report – Report on Archaeological Investigations (20112013) at the Slocan Narrows Pithouse Village (DkQi 1, 2, and17), Southeastern, British Columbia)
 
The Perry Ridge Water Users Association Constitution includes:
 “To act in a manner consistent with the preservation of the visual resources of the viewshed lying within or on both Crown held portions of Perry Ridge.
 
We look forward to you lobbying to exclude the valley walls from the “working forest” and lobby to protect these forests. Perhaps making the valley walls part of the Regional Park system would be a solution.
 
The intact forests on the valley walls are working to protect our lives, homes, Sinixt Cultural sites, water, wildlife habitat, and are a community economic benefit as it relates to the Rails to Trails and the Slocan River. Please visit our website at: www.perryridge.org for further background information.
 
Yours truly,
 
PERRY RIDGE WATER USERS ASSOCIATION
 
(signed Marilyn Burgoon
 
 
Marilyn Burgoon
 
Cc Ministry of Environment
      Ministry of Forests
      Sinixt Nation
      Walter Popoff, RDCK Director
      Federal Ministry of Environment – Climate Change            
      Lilina Lysenko, Counsel
      Katrine Conroy, MLA
      Minister of Public Safety
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    The Geological History of the Slocan & Kootenay River Basins

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    LEMON CREEK FUEL SPILL TRIAL DELAYED

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    In 2013 a tanker truck accident spilled 33,000 litres of jet fuel spilled into the Lemon Creek. The public needs to wait a little longer before the trial continues. — The Nelson Daily file photo
    The trial on charges stemming from an aviation fuel spill in the Slocan Valley in 2013 is promising to be a long and complicated one.
    The trial resumed in Nelson on Tuesday- only to be put off for at least two more months.
    Crown counsel John Cliffe told Judge Phillip Seagram the Crown intends to call about 65 witnesses to establish their case.
    It’s going to take time to get the material associated with all those witnesses out to defence attorneys.
    Seagram agreed to put off the trial until at least December 6, with a short check in November to bring all parties up to date on the preparations.
    The Executive Flight Centre, one of its employees, and the provincial government are all co-defendants in the case, begun after a tanker truck carrying aviation fuel up a logging road in the Slocan Valley tipped over and spilled 33,000 litres of fuel into Lemon Creek in July 2013.
    The spill killed fish and wildlife downstream, and affected shallow wells of residents living in the area.  Residents were also forced to evacuate their homes while the cleanup took place.
    It took nearly three years for charges to be laid, and only came after a local activist, Marilyn Burgoon, successfully laid private criminal charges against the defendants. Her win in court prompted the federal government to lay charges in July.
    Burgoon said she was happy to hear the Crown is preparing to present so many witnesses for the prosecution.
    “I’m glad they’re doing a good job on the investigation and prosecution,” she told reporters after Tuesday’s hearing. “It’s something I never could have done, it would have been too costly and lengthy- and I can’t access what the government can access in terms of information.”
    The defendants have been charged with two counts of “depositing a deleterious substance in a water frequented by fish” under the Fisheries Act. 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.
    The defendants have not made their pleas in the case.
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    Families reach $10 million settlement with Grandy Lake Forest Associates over deadly 2014 Landslide

    Families reach $10 million settlement with Grandy Lake Forest Associates over deadly 2014 landslide Families reach $10 million settlement with Grandy Lake Forest Associates over deadly 2014 landslide

    The Perry Ridge Water Users Association continues to work to avoid such a tragedy on the unstable slopes in the Slocan Valley. 
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    BC Rivers Day 2016

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    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
    VallicanDS1smPrinted_Optmzd2

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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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