Upper Pitt B.C.'s most endangered river
The Canadian Press
Published Monday, March 24, 2008 12:03PM PDT
The Outdoor Recreation Council of B.C. issues the annual list and says the Upper Pitt is threatened by a proposal for a power development that would divert eight tributaries and construct seven power houses just off the river's main stem.
"The clustering of power projects along the Upper Pitt has raised serious concerns about the potential for adverse impacts to the river and its fish stocks,'' said council spokesman Mark Angelo in a news release.
Angelo called the Upper Pitt one of the jewels of B.C. waterways that needs protection.
The Flathead River, which flows from southeastern B.C. into Montana, is tied with the Fraser River for second place on the list of endangered waterways.
A proposed open pit coal mine raises concerns for the future of the Flathead River headwaters.
"No other region along the Canada, U.S. border sustains such a diversity of wildlife and ecosystems,'' Angelo said of the Flathead River.
The council said the river has important trans-boundary fish populations and has one of the highest levels of inland grizzly bears anywhere in North America.
The council said pollution and industrial development along the Fraser continue to plague B.C.'s longest river.
Mining and power developments are named as concerns threatening five of the other rivers on this year's most endangered list.
The Taku, Peace, headwaters of the Skeena, Nass and Stikine, Kettle, Coquitlam, Okanagan, Coldwater, Little Campbell and Salmon Rivers, as well as the Glacier/Howser system, all make the endangered rivers list because of development, mining, water extraction or encroaching urbanization.
Here is a list of British Columbia's most endangered rivers, according to the Outdoor Recreation Council of B.C.:
Upper Pitt River: Threatened by an independent power project proposal.
Flathead River: Threatened by a proposed coal mine and by coal bed methane development.
Fraser River: Threatened by urbanization, sewage, pollution and industrial development.
Taku River: Threatened by a proposed mine and acid mine drainage.
Peace River: Threatened by a hydro-electric dam proposal.
Headwaters of the Skeena, Nass and Stikine: Threatened by a coal bed methane proposal.
Kettle River: Threatened by water extraction, development and a power project proposal.
Coquitlam River: Threatened by excessive sedimentation and urbanization.
Glacier/Howser Creeks: Threatened by a power project proposal.
Coldwater River: Threatened by water extraction.
Okanagan River: Threatened by channelization, water extraction, urban encroachment, riparian habitat loss and the building of dams and weirs.
Salmon River, near Salmon Arm: Threatened by low flows, pine beetle, riverside habitat loss.
Little Campbell River: Threatened by development, agricultural impacts, water quality concerns.