Skip to main content

“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

ADAM OLSEN – Millions of dollars have been spent to build roads and move mountains of debris, all in a heroic effort to save wild salmon



Since my election to the British Columbia legislature in May 2017, I have been a champion for wild salmon.

As I have written often in the pages of this blog, the salmon are not only an important symbol of the abundance of our province, their work of transporting nutrients from the Pacific Ocean back home gives life to all other wildlife in our creeks, streams, rivers, and forests. Salmon are truly one of the great wonders of the world.

In early 2019, the provincial and federal governments learned of a landslide at Big Bar, in the Fraser River north of Lillooet, BC. The landslide has had a dramatic impact on BC’s iconic salmon runs. It is just one of many human-caused and natural challenges facing wild Pacific salmon.

Landslides on the Fraser are not new. I have heard the ancient stories of how disruptions upriver affected the salmon returns for the W̱SÁNEĆ reef net fishing families in the Salish Sea.


Landslides of the past have been survivable, but now wild salmon must contend with a host of other troubles.

In addition to the house-sized boulders at Big Bar producing a wall of fast moving water -- making the river nearly impassable even for all but the fiercest swimmers -- salmon face over-heated tributaries from poor logging practices, and a massive nutrient-depleted warm blob off the British Columbia coast (which is) super-charged by a rapidly warming climate.

Historically, a landslide of the scale and scope of the one at Big Bar would have been devastating, but would have hardly doomed salmon species to extinction. Unfortunately, that is exactly how the experts are characterizing our current situation.

The federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans optimistically predicted 4.5 million Pacific salmon would return in 2019 ...instead only slightly more than 600,000 made it home.

It’s a dire situation.



From the human response to the slide, we learned that it is possible to for the government to find resources, inspiration and motivation to act. I believe that the all-hands-on-deck approach is largely due to an innately human desire to conquer nature.

The situation at Big Bar is a thrilling “human vs. nature” scenario.

Millions of dollars have been spent. Government agencies are working together in lock-step to build roads and move mountains of debris, all in a heroic effort to save wild salmon.




It’s a rescue and recovery effort for which we will expend whatever resources necessary. However, when it comes to showing restraint on the human activities that are adding to the existential threats to wild Pacific salmon, we hear about how it someone else’s problem and that the social, environmental and economic costs are far too great to overcome.

I am thankful that the provincial and federal governments have invested $140 million in Pacific salmon research, innovation and habitat. I’m grateful they have found a way to pull multiple agencies together, and find many millions of dollars, to try and solve the massive problem at Big Bar.

With all we know about the importance of salmon to the health and well-being of our province, today and for future generations, governments at all levels, need to respond with the same sense of urgency to the human-caused crisis’ facing salmon as we do for the ones caused by nature.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

It seems the call for blood donors is being responded to, however ... “This effort is a marathon, not a sprint” says Canadian Blood Services

A week and a half ago I wrote the commentary ... “ While the national inventory is currently strong, an increase in blood donor cancellations is a warning sign of potential challenges to maintaining a health inventory of blood ” It was written as a result of talk about a potential blood shortage that would occur if people stopped donating due to the COVID-19 virus. It seems the call to Canadians was responded to, however, as I was told this afternoon ... “ T his effort is a marathon, not a sprint ”. As it now stands now, donors are able to attend clinics which are held in Vancouver (2), Victoria, Surrey, and in Kelowna, so I asked if there any plans to re-establish traveling clinics to others communities - for example in Kamloops, Prince George, Prince Rupert, Revelstoke or Cranbrook, and perhaps further north at perhaps Ft. St. John? According to Communications Lead Regional Public Affairs Specialist Marcelo Dominguez, Canadian Blood Services is still on

FEDLSTED -- Rules will have to relax-- the question is how and when

The media has created a fervour over the mathematical models that allegedly help governments predict the future of Coronavirus infections in the general population. Mathematical modelling has limited use and value. We need to understand is that the data available on Coronavirus (COVID-19) infections in Canada is far too small for statistical reliability. The data available for the whole world is useless due to variables in how nations responded to Coronavirus infections. There is no commonality in steps taken to combat virus spread and no similarity in the age demographics of world nations, so the numbers you see on the daily tracking of world infections are not useful in developing a model of infection rates that can be relied on. Mathematical models of the future spread of Coronavirus are better than nothing, but not a whole lot better.  Mathematical models must include assumptions on virus spreads, and various factors involved. As they are used in projections, a small erro

When necessary – and only when necessary – the Family Maintenance Enforcement Program can attach (garnish) wages

Alan Forseth ~~ Kamloops, BC ~~ May 15th Earlier this week (Monday May 13 th ) the BC government announced it would be establishing a new Crown agency to oversee the Family Maintenance Enforcement Program (FMEP).   They indicated that on or before the end of October, the provision of family maintenance services would transition from a contracted service provider, to the newly created Crown agency. Apparently, this was to ensure that family maintenance enforcement services for vulnerable British Columbians continue uninterrupted. Seeing this story, reminded me of a woman ( we’ll call her Mary Brown ) who had email me some time b ack about this very thing, and questions she had about how maintenance enforcement was imposed and enforced. She said to me, “ I’m just curious if you can get any statistics of the homeless men and woman, that have children, that they are paying family maintenance in support of their children”.  “I am not about to sugg

Labels

Show more