Instead of vacationing in Hawaii, Annable resident Dustin Teindl will be spending 25 days paddling the Fraser River from beginning to end.
He’s one of 10 participants in the BC Sustainable Living Leadership Program, beginning at Mount Robson and finishing in Vancouver.
The 26-year-old instrument mechanic for Teck and outdoor enthusiast said he’s always wanted to volunteer for a cause that meant a lot to him and the outdoors.
“That’s what this trip basically comes down to — how we can live sustainably.”
During the 1,400-kilometre trip the group will be stopping in communities along the way, exchanging ideas about sustainable living. By talking with First Nations and non-native groups about things like resource management, water cycles, participants will share personal experiences with those communities and decide how best to bring back new ideas, modifying them to fit their own communities.
As part of his application, Teindl had to design a program he would like to see implemented in his own community. He chose reintroducing salmon back into the Columbia Basin watershed.
“I do a lot of fishing and I realized the benefits of the salmon coming up here from helping the community financially to the health of the river system — everybody benefits,” he explained. “There’s no reason why it shouldn’t be here because salmon were at one point.”
Although plans are still up in the air about how to do that, Teindl said he believes he’ll pick up valuable ideas and experience first-hand how to implement his idea while on the Fraser River.
“This trip that we’re going on is all along the Fraser, from the headwaters to Vancouver, and it’s the route of the salmon so the whole time we’re going to be involved in how they get there and learning about it.”
Teindl is also very excited about the challenges the trip will present to him personally.
“I’ve always been a big backpacker and spending a week away is hard enough so 25 days should be quite interesting.”
The group sets out this Thursday and plans to arrive in Vancouver on Aug. 28, traveling via the Fraser River.