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Highlights of Report of the federal review panel, July 2, 2010

July 9, 2010

The Report of the federal review panel details the findings of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency. I got my hands on a copy and will be reading through the 296 page report tonight and will provide a book report tomorrow. I had to read it because all of the media information only provided bits and pieces.

Here’s my exordium. I find this fascinating because I have a B.A. in Aboriginal Studies and wrote an undergrad major essay. I actually wish I hadn’t done that because I later found out I could have graduated with course work, but now I have a 50 page paper weight. Treaty rights and First Nation culture are important to me because my mother was raised in a residential school.” Oh boohoo” you might say. I get you, I do. I’m just saying the continual degradation of our rights and cultural don’t have to be an everyday thing. I once read “without our land we will be nothing.”

On to the highlights:

Teztan Biny (Fish Lake but will be referred to as Teztan Biny from here on) is the seventh busiest lake of the 32 lakes surveyed in the Chilcoltin regions. Apparently, fishing is so awesome there it is known for its ease of catch and fish population. Anyone who loves fishing should call your MP now and then book a trip.

The fishing experience “could not easily be replicated.”

The report says Taseko thinks that the lake in not valuable because the First Nation people aren’t using it to its full potential. I’m not even going to touch that statement. I may write an essay on that statement alone.

What is Prosperity Lake? It will be the new lake where the new fish will live.

a 1550 m dam, stripping vegetation and soils from the basin where the lake would be situated and allowing the basin to fill with runoff collected by a headwater diversion channel.

How might one make the fish move? Easy, they catch 12,000 of the 85,000 estimated fish — the rest will be “euthanized” or given to the First Nation people — and be moved to a hatchery and farmed and then relocated in 7 years to the new lake.

If you’re still scratching your head wondering if this is a good idea, just remember, Taseko says:

The Panel findings are very similar to the conclusions reached in the Provincial environmental assessment process — that the loss of Fish Lake and adjacent meadows constitutes a significant adverse effect. However, the important difference in the Provincial process is that it went on to conclude that the environmental impacts were justified because the lake and the fishery will be replaced and the economic and social benefits generated for British Columbians are so significant (sic).

Green grass, running water be damned.



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