Perry Ridge Water Users Association Raffle

Visit the Perry Ridge Water Users Association table at the Slocan Artisan’s Market…

…and support water protection. Raffle Tickets for this beautiful, hand woven rug (32” x 65”) made by local artist Dianne Carter will be on sale throughout the summer and the draw will be at our annual BC Rivers Day Celebration September 23rd, 2018. Tickets are 3 for $10.00 or $3.50 per ticket.


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Earth Day Celebration/World Water Day Videos

Perry Ridge Water Users Invites the Public to Celebrate the Water Planet on Earth Day – World Water Day Videos 


A U.S. senator named Gaylord Nelson came up with the idea for a “national teach-in on the environment” after witnessing the ravages of the 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, Calif. Hoping to mobilize the politically active student community, he chose April 22nd (falling between Spring Break and final exams) as the official date. On that day in 1970, more than 20-million Americans took to the streets — as well as campuses, parks, and other public spaces — to demonstrate in support of a healthy, sustainable environment. By the end of the year, the United States Environmental Protection Agency had been created and the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts had all passed. 

Two decades later, in 1990, Earth Day went global, mobilizing 200 million people in 141 countries and lifting environmental issues onto the world stage. Earth Day 1990 gave a huge boost to recycling efforts worldwide and helped pave the way for the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. 

Now, Earth Day is the largest secular observance in the world, celebrated by more than a billion people every year. 

Native American people have long recognized and celebrated in story and song the interdependence of the earth and all its creatures. For the 20th anniversary of Earth Day in 1990, they were joined by more than 200 million people in 141 countries participating in celebrations of the planet that supports us. 

 The theme for this year’s Earth Day is cleaning up plastic pollution.  Our Association supports these clean- up efforts and the focus is cleaning up plastic from waterways and the ocean. The Perry Ridge Water Users Association believes  “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” and that is why the Perry Ridge Water Users Association has worked to protect the local streams and the Slocan River since 1983.  

 It is unfortunate that once areas are open to the public, pollution follow.  Opening up the headwater and alpine areas to use, including recreational use, puts clean water at risk to human waste, toxins as well as plastic. 

 There are many events locally celebrating Earth Day on Sunday, 22nd of April. We encourage people to support these events and our Directors have chosen not to hold an event to allow the other locally planned events good attendance. 

 If you are unable to attend these Earth Day events or were unable to attend our World Water Day celebration,  we invite you to spend some of your celebration visiting our website at: where our web master has made educational videos readily available at the link below. The categories include aboriginal water perspective, local water videos, and international perspective on the water crisis.

 The Earth is unique in its life giving element of water, a gift that needs to be protected and cleaned up.  We have uploaded videos on water to help with education about our planet and invite the public to view our website as part of your Earth Day Celebration. 

 Submitted Marilyn Burgoon 


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Seasons Greetings & Letters to Forestry

4403 Slocan River Road,
Winlaw, B.C. VOG 2JO
Ph/Fax 1-250-226-7324 

December 12, 2017

Dear Members and Supporters: 

 Season’s Greetings

 The Association received a response to a letter we wrote to BC Timber Sales. The last paragraph states: Lastly, you asked to be advised of our plans for the remaining portions of Perry Ridge and reports done for these areas. At this time, BCTS does not have further plans on Perry Ridge for 5 – 7 years other than the active TSL being harvested currently. Barring an outbreak of a forest pest we will not proceed with development for at least 5 years.” Regarding our query about collection of precipitation data and about calculation of carbon sequestration information BCTS has stated they do not intend to do either. The Association requires this data collection prior to removal of any of the remaining forests. We will be searching funding for this data independently. The complete response can be viewed at 

 The current logging is on the back of the ridge.  The Association will work during the 5 – 7 year period to educate the government, in particular BCTS and the Ministry of Environment of the value of the remaining forests on Perry Ridge. These remaining forests provide protection to our homes from landslides, sequester carbon and help with climate change, provide visual beauty to Rails to Trails and the scenic route of Highway 6 and the Slocan River  The forests protect the creeks, seeps and springs, which provide us with some of the world’s finest water. 

Perry Ridge Water Users Association held the annual BC Rivers Day Celebration in September. At the event the keynote presenter was Mr. Frank Fowler, Instructor of Geology and Hydrology at Selkirk College for 10 years; currently retired,   M.S. in Geology from University of Minnesota.  The Upload of the presentation is now on You-Tube at:
Relationships Between Climate Change and Rivers  

 Perry Ridge Water Users Association also hosted a successful Christmas Faire for local artists and for community non-profit volunteers. Both BC Rivers Day and the Faire were funded by CBT Discretionary Funding and RDCK Area H Discretionary Funding. We will continue to host these annual events and produce you-tube uploads of the presentations at the BC Rivers Day. 

 Also of interest and supported by Perry Ridge Water Users are the two legal cases on Lemon Creek. The Criminal Case, violations under the Fisheries Act and Environmental Management Act, is before the courts and is scheduled for a week at the end of January for the closing arguments. All the witnesses have given their testimony for the prosecution, which included Dr. Ian Birtwell as the fisheries expert. He was an excellent witness with years of experience with Fisheries and Oceans.  Early in the trial the Judge gave a stay to Executive Flight (this did not apply to the BC Government nor the Driver and so that case is still being heard.  However the Federal Prosecution has filed an appeal of the stay for April 2018. The Civil Class Action case is also proceeding and was the first environmental class action suit recognized in BC. 

 An Anonymous author wrote: 

“Nothing in the world can take 

the place of persistence… 

Talent will not; nothing is more 

Common than unsuccessful 

Men with talent… 

Genius will not; unrewarded  

Genius is almost a proverb. 

Education will not; the world  

Is full of educated derelicts. 

Persistence and determination 

Alone are omnipotent. The 

Slogan ‘press on’ has solved,  

And always will solve, the 

Problems of the human race.”

 Perry Ridge Water Users Association Directors wish you a Safe and Happy Holiday. 

Marilyn Burgoon, President

Letters to Forestry

Forestry Letter p. 1
Forestry Letter p. 2


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“The Pen is Mightier than the Sword”

The judge erred in her decision.

It is clearer than that summer day in 2013, that the Judge in our case  against Executive Flight Center, the fuel company responsible for the 30,000 liters of jet fuel spilled into Lemon Creek summer of 2013, has erred in her decision!
Our AIM is that we will still see EFC  held accountable to the full extent of the LAWWe are appealing to the People of the Slocan Valley whom suffered greatly in numbers, you know who you are. Many of us witnessed it first hand the impact the spill had on the our local Fish, Water and Wildlife. S0 we are calling upon the Kootenay people and any other folks following our story to lend their support by writing letters to the…
Chief Federal Prosecutor, Todd C. Gerhart.

Support us in our efforts to bring Justice for Lemon Creek
{see our sample letter below)
Letter to the Editor Mr. Gerhart

Thank You, Marilyn Burgoon

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Thanksgiving Dinner and Legal Updates

Thanksgiving Dinner and Legal Updates Passmore Hall just off Highway 6 on October 7th from 4:30 -7:30 pm.

Looking North up the Slocan towards the Narrows an Original Sinixt Settlement and fishing grounds.

 Smum Iem (Sinixt law) and Perry Ridge Water Users Association invite you to a Thanksgiving pot luck dinner and legal updates. 

 The potluck will be held at the Passmore Hall just off Highway 6 on October 7th from 4:30 -7:30 pm.  

 The update will include information on the Lemon Creek fuel spill court case and an update on the court case stemming from the arrest of Marilyn James, Sinixt Elder as well as the most recent arrest and charge of Lola Campbell, daughter of Bob Campbell, Sinixt Head Man in Vallican. 

 The Sinixt and the Perry Ridge Water Users Association are beginning a campaign to advocate legal rights equivialent to those enjoyed by humans for the Columbia River, starting with the Slocan River, an integral part of the headwaters of the Columbia down to the sea.   

This status has been granted to the Whanganui River  in New Zealand  which has long been revered by Maoris and has become the first in the world to receive legal rights equivalent to those enjoyed by humans. The high court of the northern state of Uttarakhand established two of India’s sacred rivers, the Ganges and Yamuna as “living entities. The new order makes polluting or damaging the rivers legally comparable to hurting a person.  Recently it is clear that the Slocan River requires this protection. 

Truth and Reconciliation is the work of every citizen. This update is for those in our community who wish to pursue these goals. Truth is about knowing and being informed. Reconciliation begins there. 

 To minimize clean up please bring your own eating utensils. Don’t worry if you don’t have food to bring there will be plenty of eats! Open to all. 

Thank You, Marilyn Burgoon, PRWUA





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Rivers Day 2017

Please join thousands throughout BC to celebrate waterways – we will be celebrating the Slocan and Little Slocan Rivers.
Rivers Day poster and ad 001

             Thanks, Marilyn

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Evacuee Statement Lemon Creek Fuel Spill – Class Action – 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)

poster 001

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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)
“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




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