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Beavers to be culled from Site C wetland before BC Hydro crews ramp up work

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  • Beavers to be culled from Site C wetland before BC Hydro crews ramp up work

    Published Aug. 11, 2022 1:24 p.m. CDT

    Tom Summer

    Work is expected to ramp up this fall on logging the Watson Slough to make way for the Site C dam reservoir, but BC Hydro says it will first need to breach beaver dams and cull the animals from the wetland before crews can begin.

    The slough was given a reprieve from logging in 2017 after pressure from the regional district to preserve it for as long as possible. With reservoir filling slated to begin as early as next year, BC Hydro says it will begin lowering water levels in the slough this fall so that standing trees can be safely cleared over the winter.

    Spokesman Greg Alexis says work is being timed to “minimize the risk to amphibians and migratory birds” but that the beavers first need to be removed from the wetland so they don't repair the breaches of their dams.

    He says euthanizing the beavers was determined to be the most humane way to remove them from the slough as the animals are known to be aggressive and territorial, and “very susceptible to predation” without a lodge.

    ... This is problematic because beavers are very territorial and will fight to defend their territory.”

    An estimated 90 hectares will be cleared at Watson Slough, though there is no estimate on the number of beavers to be removed. Alexis says meat from the beavers will be shared with local First Nations.

    “The trapper doing the work will be making use of the fur pelts and sharing the meat with local Indigenous groups,” he said.

  • #2
    First Nation reaches partial settlement with governments, BC Hydro over Site C dam

    Updated June 28, 2022 9:16 a.m. CDT

    Dirk Meissner

    VICTORIA - An Indigenous leader says he's heartbroken over an out-of-court agreement that will see construction continue on the massive Site C hydroelectric dam in northeast British Columbia.

    Chief Roland Willson of the West Moberly First Nations said Monday his people did everything they could to stop the project, but realized the province and BC Hydro, the Crown corporation building the dam, were not going to stop.

    A joint statement from the federal and provincial governments, the West Moberly and BC Hydro announced a partial agreement for the civil court lawsuit.

    The nations said in the lawsuit the Site C dam - now expected to cost $16 billion - would destroy their territory and violate their treaty rights.

    ... The joint statement said BC Hydro and the province will give the nations financial benefits, contracting opportunities and the transfer of provincial Crown lands, while the West Moberly provides a release of claims against the Site C project.

    It also said the agreement is a settlement with the federal government, but the claim that the existing dams on the Peace River infringe on West Moberly's treaty rights will be paused to try to negotiate a settlement.

    Willson said he could not discuss the financial details of the agreement but suggested the nations will receive an amount of Crown land equivalent to what will be lost to the dam.

    ... “Broken-hearted,” said Willson. “We've watched them rip up the valley for absolutely no reason. We're not happy about how this happened, but we have to make the best of what we've got now.”