Columbia River Treaty: Silent Spring

"Today, the legacy behind these dams is a virtual dead zone within a local climate gone awry."

The year 1964 : heart attacks, death, two years for the smoke to clear as 2,300 of us were forced from our homes and farms. Tens of thousands of mammals drowned or starved to death. 266,518 acres of our very best valley bottoms submerged, extensive old growth forest drowned as it stood.

That was half a century ago when the Columbia River Treaty dams were constructed to impound water in vast industrial reservoirs “on call” for the U.S.

Today, the legacy behind these dams is a virtual dead zone within a local climate gone awry. With the riparian area destroyed and the river’s ability to seasonally charge and release its nutrient load denied, gone are the insects, birds, bats, mammals, amphibians, vegetation, freshwater phytoplankton, aquatic larvae and crustaceans.

Chemical additives from Teck-Cominco boost aquatic “nutrients”; chromosome-modified sterile triploid trout stock the reservoirs preying on remnant, ever-declining native fish; pests and disease proliferate (no birds plus reservoirs’ artificial warming); no agriculture in a valley formerly the third most productive in B.C., no return of small industry that formerly sustained closely-connected human populations now gone – a dismembered river called upon to provide ever more water for US irrigation, industry, navigation, eco-system function, direct consumption, domestic use, hydropower, recreation and “flood control”. Unethical, immoral and ultimately ruinous to both countries.

There is a solution:  mid-pool reservoirs in Canada.

Janet Spicer

Nakusp

Just Posted

Trail and area artists eligible for arts training grant

Grant to support learning for visual and performance artists

New affordable housing in the works for East Trail

The proposal involves tearing down the old McBride Manor house and building a “nine-plex”

Snow hosts available to help you explore the Rossland Range

Safe and responsible way to learn about Rossland Recreation Site

Support for Music Heals Program in Trail

The music therapy program for seniors runs in Columbia View Lodge

South Columbia SAR hoping season stays relatively quiet

Group has responded to four calls so far this winter

First Nation supporters march to Horgan’s MLA office

Dozens marched across the Greater Victoria community of Langford to support the Wet’suwet’en people

Condo rental bans may be on way out with B.C. empty home tax

Many exemptions to tax, but annual declarations required

B.C. boy, aunt missing for three days

The pair are missing from Kamloops

B.C. storm totals $37M in insured damages

The December storm wreaked havoc on B.C.’s south coast

Daredevil changes game plan to jump broken White Rock pier

Brooke Colby tells council daredevil event would help boost waterfront business

Liberal bows out of byelection after singling out Jagmeet Singh’s race

Karen Wang says she made comments online that referenced Singh’s cultural background

Truck hauling compressed gas for ‘virtual pipeline’ crashes on B.C. highway

Driver charged and highway closed for nine hours - containers did not rupture

Canucks rookie Elias Pettersson ‘feeling good’ after knee injury

Pettersson said he wasn’t feeling any pain during Wednesday’s skate

Most Read