You are hereCouple fights to stop IPPs - Apr 9

Couple fights to stop IPPs - Apr 9


Sylvie Paillard, spaillard@squamishchief.com, April 9, 2010

‘Friends of Bute Inlet’ hold slideshow presentation at the Brackendale Art Gallery, April 9,2010, 8 pm

For many B.C. residents, the Bute Inlet’s majestic mountainscapes, pristine lakes and magnificent wilderness hold the secrets to nature itself. For others, it’s a tremendous source of energy and profit where Independent Power Projects (IPP) can thrive.

These divergent desires for the region have culminated into a battle locals can learn about at the Brackendale Art Gallery Friday (April 9) when “Friends of Bute Inlet” members Rob and Laurie Wood hold a slideshow presentation.

The Woods have lived on their off grid homestead on Maurelle Island at the entrance to Bute Inlet for 35 years. They have been world class mountaineers and have taken dozens of hiking, climbing and ski touring expeditions up Bute Inlet in their catamaran, Quintano, and out into the wild and remote mountains at the heart of the B.C. Coast Range, including ascents of Mt. Waddington.

This "mystery" mountain towering 13,200 feet above sea level is not only the highest mountain completely in B.C., (higher than Robson in the Rockies) but also considered by mountaineers to be one of the world's great mountains because of its sheer verticality and its magnificent remote wilderness setting.

Their passion for the beauty and character of Bute Inlet and its hinterland has been so affronted by a massive proposed industrialized run of river project that the couple has decided to share their images, stories and hard-earned secrets of this precious but little-known wilderness gem with as many people as possible with the hope that it can be saved.

“Plutonic Power and General Electric are planning the largest private hydroelectric development in Canadian history,” states the Friends of Bute Inlet website. “[It] will change this wilderness forever, also damaging precious habitat for threatened wildlife including grizzly bear, mountain goat, five species of salmon, anadromous trout, marbled murrelets and countless other species.

The Bute Inlet hydroelectric project will be comprised of three interconnected groups of run-of-river hydro facilities on tributaries to rivers that drain to Bute Inlet. In total, the three groups will be comprised of 17 run-of-river facilities, generating a total nameplate capacity of 1,027 megawatts. The 17 flows would be diverted into 88 kilometres of pipelines, 144 kilometres of industrial roads, 110 bridges, 16 powerhouses, substations and 443 kilometres of high voltage transmission line.

“Impacts will prevent public access and dramatically reduce the world-class recreation values of B.C.’s highest mountains, wild glacial rivers and ocean,” states the Friends website. “A few short term jobs and huge corporate profits are poor excuse for degradation of rare habitat and productive watersheds.”

The slideshow presentation takes place Friday (April 9) at 8 p.m. Admission is by donation.

For more information on the Friends of Bute Inlet, go to www.buteinlet.net, email ButeInlet@gmail.com, write Box 570, Heriot Bay, Quadra Island, BC V0P 1H0, or call 250-285-2846.

Tapped Out

Todd Butler on Canada's water sellout. Click to play

We walked w. Alex!