Posted by: peacevalley | July 16, 2009

Over 400 people showing their passion for the Peace

Fort St. John, BC – Terrific winds and rain on Friday night that brought down power lines and stranded campers did not deter over 400 people, 146 boats and over 300 paddlers, from enjoying a sunny day in the fourth annual Paddle for the Peace Saturday, July 11th. Roland Willson, Chief of the West Moberly First Nations, said “With all the torrential downpours we had, it [the sun shining throughout the paddle] was like a miracle or something. It was as though we were blessed.” This joint project between the West Moberly First Nations and the Peace Valley Environment Association (PVEA), is a celebration of the Peace River. It allows people to express their love of the river and their concern over the proposed Site C dam.

Beginning in 2006, the 2009 event has grown into a festival. The day began with a pancake breakfast at Bear Flat hosted by the West Moberly First Nations. Onshore fun for the whole family included face painting, games for the kids and musical entertainment by folk band “Miss Quincy.” Another highlight was a raft constructed and paddled by the Bedaux Cowboys. Charles Bedaux’s “Champagne Safari” gave precious work to local cowboys during the Depression 75 years ago. These cowboys, related to the ones joining the 1934 expedition, highlighted the historical importance of the region. A paddler from the Yellowstone to Yukon (Y2Y) Conservation Initiative also came to support the shared goal of preserving the integrity of this important wildlife corridor.

The trip began with a prayer from West Moberly Elder Max Desjarlais at the Boon farm, and continued through the serene wilderness of the Peace River Valley to the community of Old Fort just below the proposed dam site. The 3-4 hour trip, through the proposed flood reserve, showcased the beauty of the Peace and some of what would be lost if Site C were to proceed. Planning is already underway for next year’s Paddle for the Peace.

For more information please contact:
Sandra Hoffmann at 250-787-1749 or savingthepeace(at)gmail.com

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