Babine River Foundation

Our Vision

The Babine Synergy: From Problem to Opportunity

We see the possibility of a better system and process for managing and utilizing the Babine Watershed… a system that will prove to the community, the Province, that the best of human progress, security, enterprise, growth and development rest upon, and emerge from (1) a sound relationship with the natural environment and (2) through cooperation with other involved human communities and interests.

This will involve the establishment of cooperative and sensitized social, economic, and political systems of endeavor and enterprise among competing interest groups on the Babine, (tourism, logging, First Nations)…etc.

These systems will, for example include (1) environmentally sound and sensitive logging practices and sites…. (2) state of the art selective commercial fishing practices and sites, and (3) state of the art wilderness tourism opportunities (white water rafting etc) that will join with the three wilderness tourist facilities which have been in place for over thirty years on the Babine.

We believe that now is the time for pilot project in the Babine River Watershed to demonstrate on the ground how sustainable resource management can balance environmental and economic sustainability.

Watershed protection must be expanded. There are tributaries which have to be protected; roads and logging practices must be strategically planned and effectively monitored. And First Nations concerns must be considered and integrated into the plan. In the end a balance has to be created which sustains the entire watershed and yet allows for appropriate levels of human activity and enterprise.

We believe that The West Babine Watershed Plan does have the potential to do this, to usher in a new era, a new dedication to solve the problems confronting us all. We are not interested in eliminating logging in our area; we are not interested in excluding other stakeholders and interested parties.

We are very interested in finding what we would call “the highest possible road,” and helping to create a finished Babine Watershed management plan that could become a pilot for solving the kinds of problems which always seem to occur when various groups compete for access to the same area. We are interested in proving to the community, and the province that it is possible to achieve an integrated plan and solution at a minimum cost to government.

We have significant resources at our command. We are well funded, focused and committed. We have videos, studies, reports and insights which prove the viability of new ways of doing things- processes that are changing the way other countries and areas are successfully managing their resources, even when these resources are under pressure from competing interest groups. We are willing to share these and we are willing to enter into a new kind of dialogue- one which recognizes the value of all the ingredients.

That is what the Babine River Foundation is suggesting. The necessary total of the Babine Watershed cannot be sustained by throwing out any of the ingredients. They must simply be re-arranged in a way which considers the importance of the entire area. The essential tenets of the West Babine Watershed Management Plan cannot be inspired or driven by the Annual Allowable Cut. The situation is more complicated than that; it requires a greater sensibility, a more sophisticated perspective and an increased sensitivity to the contribution of all participants.

With this in mind, we will continue to invest the time, money and energy to engage those who also share a concern about the Babine Wilderness Watershed area. We will continue contact with key government individuals including Minister of Sustainable Resource Management, Stan Hagen; we will meet with Gitxsan chiefs and planners. We will communicate with The Regional MSRM office in Smithers, with provincial biologists and conservation groups. We will continue communication with Ministry of Parks; we will continue to retain the services of recognized experts in economics, forestry and fisheries.

We will continue to do whatever we can to protect our watershed and to sustain the contribution we believe we are making to the community and to the province.

References

BC Parks. No Date. Backgrounder on Babine River Corridor Park.

BC Parks. 2000. Management Direction Statement for the Babine River Corridor Park.

Bulkley Land and Resource Management Plan. 1998. The Bulkley LRMP is available at http://luco.gov.bc.ca/lrmp/bulkley/index.htm

Kispiox Land and Resource Management Plan. 1999. Available at
http://www.luco.gov.bc.ca/lrmp/kispiox/index.htm

Ministry of Forests and Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks. No Date. Babine River Interim Local Resource Use Plan.

O.R. Travers. 2002. From Problem to Opportunity: Sustaining High Quality Wilderness Angling in the Babine River Corridor.

Pacific Analytics & O.R. Travers Forestry Consultants. 2002. The Economic Value of the Babine River Corridor Park with and without a Protective Buffer.

Pacific Analytics. 2003. The Economic Value of Additional Spending by the Fishing Clients of the Babine River Corridor Park.