On Nov. 20 I dragged my sorry butt, reluctantly, to yet another public meeting. This process I know is very important. It was the second major public consultation regarding the re-negotiations of the Columbia River Treaty. I must admit I was embarrassed.
At the start of the meeting there were about fifteen representatives of various government agencies, Crown corporations and political entities. Unbelievably, I was the only member of the public from our community present.
Eventually there were a grand total of three local residents that felt it was worth attending. No media, no environmental or conservation groups, no recreationalists, no business community reps. No federal Parks reps. Wow!
The Columbia River Treaty sets the stage for operations of all the dams and reservoirs along the entire Columbia River in Canada. It influences the allocation of millions of dollars of benefits and compensation annually.
When you put your hand out for a grant this piece of paper ultimately determines through what processes and how much your community and region may receive.
Influenced by the Treaty are the Columbia Basin Trust, the Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program, grants to communities and numerous other important economic factors.
In my realm of interest, ecosystems, it is a critical document that will for the next several decades determine how operations of dams and reservoirs will affect ecosystems associated with the Columbia River, no small consideration and not confined to fish.
It can if properly re-negotiated address some of the long standing and unresolved issues around ecological, social and economic impacts that resulted from hydro and flood control developments in our area.
Sometimes we choose to stay home, some times that is more ‘comfortable,’ less stress and frustration, but in the end we live with what we create or allow to be created for us.
Can you do better Revelstoke?