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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Waterisafundamentalhumanright.Canadajoinedtheinternationalconsensusand 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.
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
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-maillemon_creek_private_prosecution@ yahoo.ca
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
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.
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 uplandswww.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 (2011‐2013) 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.