You are hereNews


Bute Inlet National Park?

by Lars Hawkes, Powell River Peak, Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Recently I visited Bute Inlet; what I saw was much more spectacular than any photograph can depict.

What makes this area unique is the fact that Bute Inlet cuts a long fjord right into some of the highest mountains in BC. The sheer drop of these glacier-covered mountains right to the ocean is hard to comprehend unless you have been there.

BC Rivers at Risk

Wilderness Committee, Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Download BC Rivers at Risk.pdf

Wild places like Bute Inlet and Glacier/Howser Creeks are not only scenic areas, they are just a few of the hundreds of rivers and creeks that have become flash points over the last three years in the battle that is raging over private hydropower projects in BC.

The Bears of Bute

Mother Grizzly and Cub in Bute Inlet

Homalco Wildlife Tours

By Rob Butler, Vancouver Sun, 25 Sep 2009

For the past ten days, I have been away from my blog on an expedition with the Pacific WildLife Foundation to view the grizzlies of Bute Inlet. Ron Ydenberg from Simon Fraser University's Centre for Wildlife Ecology and the Pacific WildLife Foundation led the trip that included several colleagues from the University of Wachningen in The Netherlands. The aim of the trip was to examine the role of deer in river valleys with an abundance of salmon and their predators (bears and wolves).

Renewable power decisions create a tangled web

David R. Baker, San Francisco Chronicle, Monday, September 21, 2009

More big solar power plants in the Mojave Desert. Fewer solar panels on homes and businesses. More hydroelectric dams in British Columbia.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger passes a solar energy field to sign an executive order he signed giving California the nation's most aggressive energy standards, during ceremonies held at a solar energy field in Rancho Cordova, Calif., Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2009. The order requires utilities to get a third of their power from renewable sources by 2020.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Report from Stuart Island

Anita Brochocka, September 14, 2009

It was a big success. FOBI made contacts with the community of Stuart Island, brought them information and publications about RORs, and I think everyone left having made allies in the fight against the phony green machine.

We have the ability to do green energy the right way in B.C.

By Gwen Barlee and George Heyman, Vancouver Sun, September 12, 2009

Gargoyle, Red Tusk, Klinaklini and Billy Goat aren't just wild creeks and rivers with intriguing names. They are just a few of the more than 800 water bodies staked by private power developers in British Columbia over the last seven years.

How did this gold rush on our rivers start? The trigger was the 2002 B.C. Energy Plan which decreed that "the private sector will develop new electricity generation, with BC Hydro restricted to improvements at existing plants."

BC conservation groups respond to California article on renewable energy

RE: Renewable Fight at the Crossroads, David Baker, San Francisco Chronicle, September 4, 2009

September 8, 2009

Lowering California environmental standards through PG&E amendments (SB14 and AB 64) will accelerate the rush to develop more than 600 applications for power generation across British Columbia. The industrialization of BC rivers is creating social and political furor in our western Canadian province.

BC EAO suspends Glacier/Howser environmental assessment

September 9, 2009

West Kootenay EcoSociety

Province Stops the Clock On Controversial Private Power Project

Nelson, British Columbia – The proposed Glacier/Howser private power project has hit a major environmental snag and is again floundering over fish. In a surprising move, the provincial Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) stopped the clock on the review of the controversial private power project due to impacts on fish and fish habitat noting these posed a “significant challenge” for the proposed project.

Renewable-power fight at crossroads

David R. Baker, San Francisco Chronicle, September 4, 2009

A fierce and complicated fight has broken out in Sacramento over a simple idea with broad support - increasing California's use of renewable power.

The fight isn't over the basic goal.

Haida take $240-million stake in NaiKun wind project

Scott Simpson,Vancouver Sun, August 13, 2009

We are putting this project through a rigorous environmental assessment, and it is looking good,’ says Guujaaw, president of the Haida Nation. (Photograph by: Bill Keay, Vancouver Sun files)

VANCOUVER — The business arm of the Haida Nation announced Thursday an agreement with NaiKun Wind Energy Group to acquire a 40-per-cent equity stake in a $2-billion green power project on British Columbia's north coast.

Plutonic's EIS will be delayed until early 2010

By Dan MacLennan, Courier-Islander, August 12, 2009

It's going to take longer than first thought for Plutonic Power to submit an environmental impact statement (EIS) for its massive Bute Inlet Hydroelectric proposal.

Opposition to dams reaches high-water mark

Mark Hume, Globe and Mail, Aug. 10, 2009

When a public information meeting on a proposed power project was held in the small village of Kaslo earlier this year, nobody was clear about what to expect.

Climate change calls for land-use plan rethink

CHRIS GENOVALI,Times Colonist, July 21, 2009

The spectre of rising sea levels and ecological change from climate disruption show land-use plans for Vancouver Island and the B.C. coast will need to be revisited and recalibrated to account for rapid and unabated climate change.

Boating Up Bute: A Sierra Club Fact-Finding Trip

Bute Inlet, a long and deep fjord 300 kilometres north of Vancouver, is sometimes known as "Canada's Himalayas". It has glacier-covered mountain slopes, temperate rainforest, and a stunning view of Mount Waddington, the highest peak entirely in BC.

Federal Review Panel Established for Environmental Assessment of Proposed Bute Inlet Hydroelectric Project

News Release, Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, July 16, 2009

OTTAWA – July 16, 2009 – Canada’s Environment Minister Jim Prentice announced today the establishment of a three-member federal review panel for the proposed Bute Inlet Hydroelectric Project in British Columbia.

Minister Prentice appointed Les Cooke as panel chair, as well as Ian Birtwell and George Kupfer as panel members. Biographical information on the panel chair and members is available in the accompanying backgrounder.

Local voices must be heard in decisions on power projects

BY GEORGE HEYMAN AND SARAH COX, The Vancouver Sun, 11 Jul 2009

Bute Inlet, a long and deep fiord 300 kilometres north of Vancouver, is famous for many things. Some call it “Canada’s Himalayas” because of the striking glacier-covered mountain slopes and temperate rainforest. Loggers know it as a place where nature can’t be tamed, where avalanches and rockslides tear down mountainsides and mini-tornados funnel down the fiord in legendary winter storms. Fishers count five kinds of salmon in the emerald inlet. Mountaineers eye Mount Waddington, the highest peak entirely in British Columbia, near the Homathko Icefield which feeds the inlet with streams of gravel-studded water.

In Kaslo, a Big No to River Power

By Rafe Mair,, July 6, 2009

More than 1,000 turn out to oppose Kootenay project.

A couple of weeks ago, there seemed to be cause for celebration for those who join with marine researcher Alexandra Morton in wanting to see the end of fish farming in the coastal waters of British Columbia.

Crowd protests IPP project

By Sam Van Schie, Nelson Star, June 24, 2009

Click here to play video

Opponents of the proposed Glacier/Howser private hydro project crammed into a school gym in Kaslo, filling every chair, lining the walls and sitting on the floor during a project open house on June 23.

Turning Tide on Run of River

Gwen Barlee, Pacific Free Press, Wed Jun 24 2009

Special report from the road by Gwen Barlee, National Policy Director with the Wilderness Committee

Hi everyone, I have very limited time at a computer, and will not have access to one until I am back in Vancouver but here goes: Last night, the Wilderness Committee attended a public meeting on the contentious Glacier Howser private power project in the West Kootenays. The meeting was held in a gymnasium at J.V. Humphries School in Kaslo, a tiny town in BC's Interior nestled in the green slopes of the Purcell Mountains.

Inside Toba

DAN MacLENNAN, Courier-Islander, June 11, 2009

Plutonic Power vice-chair and CEO Donald McInnes stands inside one of the 600 lengths of 2.5-metre-diameter penstock pipe which will direct water from the Toba River and Montrose Creek into high-tech generating stations in the Toba Inlet area. The two projects offer a smaller scale example of Plutonic's much larger Bute Inlet hydroelectric proposal. For more on the story see page 8.
Photo: Dan MacLennan

Plutonic Power is hoping the success and lessons learned on its East Toba/Montrose hydroelectric project will help to smooth the way for the much larger Bute Inlet proposal.

Plutonic says wind power fits with growth strategy

Reuters, Vancouver Sun, June 3, 2009

Vancouver-based hydro-electric producer Plutonic Power Corp. is being "opportunistic" in its proposed takeover of a distressed wind farm project, its chief executive said this week.

Plutonic has formed a joint venture with General Electric Co. to purchase the uncompleted 300-megawatt Dokie Ridge project near Chetwynd, whose owner EarthFirst Canada filed for creditor protection last year.

Green energy bid making some see red

By Dave Lazzarino, Invermere Valley Echo, June 02, 2009

A bid has been made to build two new hydro stations in Central and East Kootenay.

The bid has been re-submitted by Purcell Green Power (PGP), a subsidiary of Montreal-based AXOR Power, to build the stations on Glacier and Howser Creeks for the production of "90.5 MW of green renewable energy". But some groups are arguing that the plans are not green enough.

$250,000 to Participate in the Environmental Assessement

News Release, CEAA, May 21, 2009

OTTAWA - The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (the Agency) is making available $250,000 under its Participant Funding Program to assist groups and individuals to participate in the environmental review for the proposed Bute Inlet Hydroelectric project in British Columbia.

Bute Inlet Project referred to Joint Panel Review

News Release, Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, May 13, 2009

Canada’s Environment Minister Jim Prentice announced today that the proposed Bute Inlet Hydroelectric Project located about 150 km north of Powell River in British Columbia will undergo an environmental assessment by a federal review panel. The Minister's decision of May 5, 2009, follows a request from the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.

Libs' River Power Push: Dangers, but Little Data

By Colleen Kimmett, The, May 11, 2009

On Homathko River, 60 kilometres from Campbell River, huge energy project is slated. (Photo Damien Gillis.)

Experts, local officials want brakes put on big Bute Inlet run of river project.

Tapped Out

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

We walked w. Alex!