Babine River Foundation

Justification & Research

Basic Premise:

There are serious environmental, economic, political and social problems about to surface along the Babine Watershed. These stem from flawed philosophies, habituated processes and technologies such as… quantity versus quality production….expediency and short term gain versus long term planning and long term sustainable gain…the implementation of science and technology without wisdom, and an unbalanced perspective which has historically been dominated by timber interests. If these are not replaced by better, more sustainable philosophies and processes, serious economic and political damage will occur.

It is clear to us and to others, in the private and public sector, as well as many inside the government that the previous plans for the Babine Watershed area, while well intentioned, are in the end, confusing, ineffective, expensive to administer and do not meet the prescribed goals of effective watershed use, management and
protection.

The symptoms are evident. Tributaries are becoming damaged and some of this is already affecting the quality of the Babine River itself. Grizzly populations are at risk; there is conflict, and animosity among some of the interested parties. People are on edge and uncertain of the future. No one seems to be happy.

We believe that much of the confusion and failure of the past comes from three key elements: 1. the fact that there are essentially three groups of people and three plans which now effect the Babine Watershed; 2.The absence of effective monitoring, and 3 with all due respect, the fact that logging interests have historically been granted a disproportionate share of influence in determining planning philosophies.

In our opinion, and that of our consultants and allies, the current plans as written, will not eliminate these problems, and leave the door open for the kinds of problems we have seen elsewhere in the area- for example the Copper River, the Kispiox River and parts of the Bulkley. Without an increased buffer, logging will occur within one kilometer of the river; without broad watershed protection, tributaries in the adjacent areas will be at serious risk. Babine river steelhead cannot sustain this because their numbers are relatively small, and the wildlife in the watershed cannot sustain a plan which does not offer protection and insulation for all of the various parts and elements of the area.

The buffer zone offers both immediate and long-term relief and protection for the river corridor itself as logging continues for many years into the future. Roads will exist for decades. It will take at least seventy years for the timber to grow back. We need a larger buffer as these processes and events continue all around us.

The buffer zone offers both immediate and long-term relief and protection for the river corridor itself as logging continues for many years into the future. Roads will exist for decades. It will take at least seventy years for the timber to grow back. We need a larger buffer as these processes and events continue all around us.

Our Research to Date

We wanted to be sure we had a good understanding of the history of resource management on the Babine as well as better information indicating our economic contribution to the region and to the Province. The following table indicates our research program to date.