Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Mystery of Fish Lake

Cool blue water surrounded by a thriving eco system, you can take a 1000 pictures of this lake and everyone is different, can you imagine your kids swimming or floating on inner tubes, or can you picture this lake shrouded in fog, fisherman battling large rainbow trout and of course this pristine lake is a vital part of First Nation`s food supply, for millennia this watershed has been vital for their survival, but not just survival of the body but of the mind.

The Raven, Spirit Bear, cultural cleansing, ceremonial rituals and the tale of the "one that got away", legends and folklore of mystery creatures that inhabit the waters of Fish lake, mother natures heals all wounds eventually, some scars heal in years, some in decades and larger assaults take eons to repair, mankind will be long gone and Fish lake will re-appear in one form or another.
but for the life of me I can`t explain how any Government body could endorse deliberate destruction of paradise, why would the BC Liberal Government support this action, maybe I`m naive, maybe I don`t understand the value of money, if I look in my wallet I don`t see any, the power of mining shareholders, the power to corrupt all legitimate processes, the power to pillage third world countries through influence, through stuffed envelopes, through threat of harm, but we aren`t a third world country, or are we?

Maybe I`m just a country bumpkin, I don`t consider myself a tree hugger, I can vision development at Teztan Biny(Fish lake)...Not a destructive 35 kilometer wide open pit mine that will eradicate life but several large fishing and hunting lodges, boat rentals, bear watching stands, First Nation shops selling sweaters and native arts, hiking trails, can you imagine tourists from Germany,from the Nordic countries, bird watchers and nature lovers from all corners of this shrinking planet congregating at Fish lake and surrounding areas spending their money, employing chefs, carpenters, guides, photographers, eateries and so so much more, with the Gulf Coast coated with oil, with the Amazon being clear cut, with country to country tensions and threats of terrorism places like Fish lake and Super Natural British Columbia in the future will be worth more than trinkets of gold and silver, why has no one thought of that for Fish lake?

Well, apparantly someone has, several years ago there was an application for a 35 acre(not 35 kilometer) lodge expansion at Fish lake, the company put their proposal to the BC environmental assessment agency, and they ?apparantly reviewed the project and deemed this area, this gorgeous productive animal and fish filled eden too sensitive to proceed, the lodge expansion was denied, clearly the BC environmental assessment agency did the job of protecting this vital area, this lake system is only a small but inter-connected part of a much larger Fraser river watershed.....

But that may be wrong, did the agency have other motives, were they directed to squash the lodge expansion for other less hounorable reasons, like perhaps political donations?....Because at the time of the lodge proposal Tesako mine and Teck Cominco donated over $500,000.00 dollars to the BC Liberal party, the conflict of interest is blinding my mind, it`s logical, if a lodge expansion was allowed, new trails, boating, guiding, tourists, nature loving people from far and wide spending money in the Caribou, if that had happened an open pit mine would never have been allowed to proceed, but that appears to this persuader to be exactly what took place, the denial of the lodge expansion was because the back room boys of the BC Liberals had open pit fever.

As you know the BC environmental assessment gave Tesako mine the two thumbs up to eradicate 35 kilometers of heaven, the Federal assessment said no way, they cited a myriad of problems that couldn`t be rectified at any cost, the Federal environmental assessment flatly rejected tesako mine for a hundred reasons, the biggest being devastation of the area and leaching problems into the Fraser river watershed.

And after reading up on this boondoggle, I found out that DFO and provincial and federal assessments of the past told the mineral right holders of this land that it would never happen, the open pit mine proposal was a no go, Federal Government after Federal government and decades of Provincial Governments flatly rejected open pit mining and lake destruction in this area for all the right reasons, but all that changed with Gordon Campbell and Stephen Harper....For now to destroy watersheds, to eradicate lakes, to destroy food sources, to alter a way of life for First Nations who own the land all one has to do is give large sums of money to the BC Liberal and Federal Conservative Governments......And that makes it a very sad day for B.C. and the world.......The mystery of Fish lake, the mystery of why a lodge expansion was rejected because of environmental concerns, yet shortly there after an open pit mine that will lay waste to the area got the 2 thumbs up, I think anyone with connected brain cells knows the answer, POLITICAL DONATIONS!

Super Natural British Columbia...........But for money donated to Gordon Campbell you can burn it to the ground.

The decision is sitting on Stephen Harpers desk, but with Harper changing the watershed act, it appears that the writing is on the wall.......

I hope you corrupt politicians rot in hell!

Let Stephen Harper know what you think...

he Straight Goods

Cheers-Eyes Wide Open


For more on this, a letter from the affected First Nations forwarded to me from Rafe mair

WILLIAMS LAKE, BC, Sept. 24 /CNW/ - Political contribution records show that Taseko Mines Ltd suddenly began funding the BC Liberal Party as the province moved towards an environmental review of its Prosperity

The company pumped $30,150 into BC liberal coffers over a 12 month period starting in late 2008 as the province geared up for an election and moved towards proceeding with an environmental assessment of the proposed mine.

Records also show that one of Taseko Mine Ltd directors, Richard Mundie, has powerful ties to the party, having signed off on $440,000 in donations to the party from Teck Cominco between 2005 and 2009 when he was an officer with that company.

This information comes a week after it was discovered that the BC government was previously so protective of the Teztan Biny (Fish Lake) area - listed as one of the top ten fishing lakes in the Province - that it refused to allow a relatively minor 35-acre Lodge expansion, yet was later persuaded to accept and advocate for Taseko's massive, destructive open-pit mine project.

New documents now show that the company and Province insisted on pressing ahead with the mine proposal despite being warned repeatedly - starting in 1995 - by the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans that pursing the idea would be a waste of everyone's time, because neither the DFO nor the minister of environment could approve the loss of this rare and fish-rich lake.

"This money trail helps explain why a government that previously ruled even a small lodge expansion too environmentally unacceptable is now using public funds to champion a company that wants to create an open pit mine with a 35 sq. km footprint that would kill our lake, streams, fish, wildlife, and our rights, culture and way of life," said Yunesit'in Chief Ivor D. Meyers, Tsilhqot'in National Government.

Xeni Gwet'in Chief Marilyn Baptiste added: "We have always found it unfathomable that all the opposition to this mine over the years, culminating in the damning findings of the CEAA panel, has fallen on deaf ears with the BC government. Perhaps this shows that you have to pay big bucks to be heard."

Contribution data from Elections BC's website, along with links to the site's relevant pages, can be found at Copies of letters from the Federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans rejecting the proposed mine as far back as 1995 can also be found here.

The DFO letters show that the department - which has continued to object to the net losses that would still result from Taseko's plan to build a small fake lake reservoir to replace Teztan Biny - declared the project out of bounds 15 years ago.

The department warned the company and Province that destroying the top class lake and fishery and not properly replacing that unique habitat was something that neither DFO nor the environment minister could ever permit, and advised them not to pursue it further.

"These letters show that it is not the opponents of this project that have wasted taxpayers and company investors dollars," said Chief Baptiste.

"BC and Taseko were told 15 years ago to look for alternatives, and instead have spent the intervening time trying to circumvent the rules to kill our lake and lands - and they have had the nerve to publicly portray our First Nations and the many non aboriginals who have resisted their efforts as the unreasonable ones," said Tl'esqox Chief Francis Laceese, Tsilhqot'in National Government.

"It is now clearer than ever that, as DFO warned 15 years ago, the Minister of Environment has no choice but to reject this mine."

For further information:

Chief Marilyn Baptiste, 250-394-7023 ext 202 / cell 250-267-1401
TNG Tribal Chair Chief Joe Alphonse, 250-394-4212 ext 229 / cell 250-305-8282


Anonymous said...

And on Friday night the NDP raked in about $120,000 from business carpet baggers such as Enbridge, fish farms, and mining interests.

What a fraudulent racket. Every political party selling their souls for the almighty buck. At the end of the day, none of them give a damn about Fish Lake.

Crankypants said...

About a month ago I heard Bill Bennett, Minister of Mines, state that Fish Lake was not the pristine lake it was portrayed to be, and the trout in the lake were basically inconsequential. Its destruction would have no ill effects. He appeared on the Sean Leslie show today and again made it sound as if destroying this lake was no big deal, spouting the jobs angle.

The thing that bothers me about discussions about environmental concerns versus jobs created by destruction of the environs is the fact that these jobs are basically short term. This mine, should it go forward will only create jobs for the period of time that the extraction of the minerals are economically feasible. The mine will then be retired and with this, the jobs will cease to exist.

As you so clearly state, this area could become a tourism mecca with very little impact on the environment, and the jobs that would evolve from this could theoretically be eternal.

Which use of this area makes more sense? In my mind, it sure as hell isn't allowing this mine to go forward.

As an aside, Rafe Mair and another gentleman that started up the Common Sense Canadian blog are going to do an in depth series on the run of the river projects. He wants to expose the bs about how environmentally friendly Campbell & Co. profess them to be.


Evil Eye said...

In Canada & BC, government is of the lobbyists, for the lobbyists, and by the lobbyists and the average peon who pays taxes can just go to hell!

kootcoot said...

"About a month ago I heard Bill Bennett, Minister of Mines, state that Fish Lake was not the pristine lake it was portrayed to be, and the trout in the lake were basically inconsequential. Its destruction would have no ill effects"

Not long ago I heard Randy Hawes (I think he is Minister of Mines now, Redneck Bill Bennett had to step in to replace the future HarperCon MP Blair Leckstrom as Minister of Energy, if I'm not mistaken)

Anyway, according to Hawes there are NO FISH in Fish Lake, NOBODY EVER fishes there and the whole Taseko Mine Project was all about alleviating First Nations poverty - the companies apparently wanting to destroy the lake and part of the Fraser River watershed for altuistic reasons and not money.

I am startled to hear that the Evironmental Appeasement Office actually rejected a proposal. When questioned in Kaslo last summer EAO representatives could not think of a SINGLE project that had been ever rejected by their office. Meanwhile at the adjoining table the fisheries "expert" from AXOR was regaling the crowd with tales of how relocating a stream through a 20-30 kilometer tunnel and running two streams through turbines, reducing one creek to an empty stream bed (and heating the water in the process and removing and dumping nearby thousands of truckloads of rock and muck) would actually be beneficial to the native stocks of bull trout and kokanee. I guess the fish won't thrive until we remove the water and heat up what's left - they're cold and in danger of drowning, apparently.

At most they generally suggest modifications of the plan and if the company sees bigger profits elsewhere or the market in that commodity goes down the company pulls out of its own accord. But they are never told that their project is inappropriate and in the wrong place for now reason - The Environmental Appeasement Office isn't in the business of protecting Fish Lake, or anything else, but of making wanton destruction of irreplaceble natural resouces acceptable to the unwashed.

Wendy's Windows said...

If this is approved, I will be gearing up and heading out to help save Fish Lake.

Grant G said...

If it`s approved I don`t know that it can be stopped short of violence on a large scale, no one wants that...

But you have a good heart Wendy.....Bless you and thanks.

Wendy's Window's said...

Thanks Grant:) My heart is bleeding for these people and what they must be enduring..I know how much it angers me and I can't even begin to imagine what it would feel like living day to day to be facing this threat of a huge and devastating loss in my community.
I don't condone violence but I do believe in citizens and communites rights when it comes to protecting themselves from violence perpetuated on them. They won't start the war, the feds will do that and then they will be forced to protect themselves and their lake. I support that.

I suppose they better not approve this project then eh? The feds know that this community of people vow to protect this lake with their lives if need be. I support them 100 percent if they have to use necessary force in the protection of the lake and their communities. It is highly probable that people will blockade to protect their way of life and there will be many more that don't even live close to this region that will come full force to stand with the people of Fish Lake and tell this Taseko Mining company and the feds and the corrupt campbell crew to go screw themselves. I live hundreds of km's from Fish Lake and I will book some holiday's to do my small part in opposing the approval of this project. In standing up for Fish Lake I am also standing up for the right of citizens to protect their way of life in their communites from corporate/government interference. I anxiously await word on the feds decision. I pray for a NO decision from them because no community should ever have to face total destruction so others can benefit financially from their loss of life and community as they have known for generations and their ancestors for thousand of years of years before them. This will be a government induced war if approved.
Fish Lake can absolutely not be allowed to proceed. EVER. We all must see to it. When they start hauling people off to jail because they are desperately trying to save their lives, I can envision bloodshed. All I can say is it better not be approved.

Anonymous said...

The First Nation's People, are in a constant battle, to save their food sources. They rely on Fish Lake and area, to hunt and fish, to feed their families. To dump toxic mine waste, into the lake, is going to leach into the eco system. Would Harper, Campbell and Hansen, agree to drink the, mercury water from a stream, near Fish Lake? Every bird, fish and animal, that uses that lake, will perish. They have found, deformed fish, in Athabasca Lake. They have also found, oil in the mighty Athabasca River, from the tar sands. So the Athabasca watershed, is now contaminated. BC's clean drinking water, will be more precious than oil, and will be fought over, as oil is. Problem is, we can't drink oil. Unfortunately, our governing bodies, are only concerned, about their corruption and greed. I have lost count of the lakes, that are contaminated, by toxic mine waste. The other horror's, there are many more pollution plans, in the works for BC. That dammed Enbridge pipeline company, has had 12 major oil spills. And, thousands, of BC people, are going to be supporting, the First Nations People. BC citizens have, had too much of Campbell's thieving from the people. Now they want to pollute BC, into a toxic waste land. The destruction of BC, will then be completed, by, Harper, Campbell and Hansen.