To survive, the Babine River must overcome ecological, political and social challenges. Since 2001 the Foundation has pursued the following strategy to address them.

  • Maintaining the priceless value of the wilderness at all times.

  • Providing a single voice for all park use permit holders in the provincial park.

  • Liaising with other organizations and government ministries.

  • Identifying common concerns and forming position papers.

  • Sharing information with and fully understanding the positions of all stakeholders.

  • Taking the lead in strategic planning and proactively finding solutions.


Steelhead and salmon are the keystone species for the ecosystem of the Babine Watershed. Without steelhead and salmon, the forest with all of its flora, fauna, birds and animals would eventually disappear. Steelhead and salmon provide the bulk of the nutrients required by all living things, not just protein for grizzly bears and eagles but also fertilizer for plants and food for invertebrates and other fish.

The main environmental stresses on the Babine come from

  • Erosion caused by logging and other extractive industry too close to waterways.

  • BC salmon hatcheries, a source of genetic dilution and disease.

  • Road construction, causing contamination and pollution.


The Babine River Foundation is dedicated to maintaining the health of the Babine Watershed ecosystem forever.


  • Preserve clean water in the Babine and its tributaries, the Nilkitkwa, Nichyeskwa, Hanawald, Shelagyote, and Boucher.

  • Maintain diversity of habitat across the watershed not just at the riverside.

  • Maintain wilderness by preventing unnecessary development in the watershed.

  • Conserve historic wildlife numbers with a focus on steelhead, salmon, bears, and eagles.

  • Support community conservation and awareness projects through outdoor education and donations. 

We aim to achieve our objectives through negotiation and cooperation with all stakeholders, including industry and government. The Foundation believes that economic development can coexist with conservation.


In addition to annual monitoring; since 2005 the Foundation has donated over $400,000 to the Babine Monitoring Trust and other community initiatives.

These donations have funded over 25 high priority projects and position papers on:

  • Fish habitat

  • Riparian ecosystems

  • Water quality

  • Wilderness value

  • Grizzly bears

  • Visual quality

  • Tourism value

  • Rare ecosystems


  • The direct annual visitor expenditure in Smithers-Telkwa is $28,730,000 and the total for the Bulkley Nechako Regional District is $58,680,000.

  • A 2005 study by IBM Business Consulting found that Skeena salmon contribute some $110 million to the region’s annual economy.  

  • The Babine supports all five salmon species, 90% of the Skeena sockeye populations and healthy Steelhead returns annually.

  • 4,000-11,000: government estimates of Babine steelhead.

  • 150: average number of grizzlies in the Babine watershed.