Posted by: peacevalley | July 8, 2008

Peace Paddle Planned For Saturday

By 250 News

Tuesday, July 08, 2008 03:49 AM


For the third straight year, West Moberly First Nations Chief Roland Willson and Assembly of First Nations BC Regional Chief Shawn Atleo will be paddling a canoe down the Peace River to try and raise awareness about the Site “C” dam proposal.
The First Nations say the project would result in the flooding of 104km of homes, traditional territory, farms and wildlife habitat in the Peace River, Moberly River and Halfway River valleys.
 “We have more at stake than just our people’s deep history in this valley,” commented West Moberly First Nations Chief Roland Willson. “Today, we hunt and fish and live along the river. If they built the dam, the islands where most of the deer and elk have their calves would be under water. Their wintering grounds on the river slopes would be eroded by flood waters. The fish would be poisoned with mercury. New reservoir waters would be unusable for years. All these changes to the land will have a profound effect on the entire area, and threaten the way of life of our people and our neighbours.”
It isn’t all about first Nations says Chief Shawn Atleo. “We must ensure that all British Columbians are aware and educated about the potential impact of this development on First Nations lands and people in the Peace River valley.”
The West Moberly First Nations and the Peace Valley Environment Association organized the original Paddle for the Peace in 2006 to raise awareness about the proposed Site C hydro-electric dam. In 2007, more than 300 people canoed and rowed down the Peace River to show their support for the valley.
“I paddle each year because I don’t want to see this amazing, important valley destroyed for power-greed,” said event organizer Danielle Yeoman. “Instead of a large-scale dam, BC Hydro should be looking at truly green energy options, such as wind and tidal power. The province can’t afford to lose the Peace River’s intact ecosystem, the prime agricultural land or the wildlife habitat. They are too valuable.”
The three hour paddle starts from the Halfway River launch and ends downstream at Bear Flats.  All canoes and boats will launch at 11 am on July 12th.


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