Karen Tam Wu

ForestEthics Reacts: Sacred Headwaters tops list of Top 10 Endangered Rivers

Monday Mar 12, 2012

While Premier Christy Clark is working hard to export B.C.’s natural gas supplies Asian markets, the ecologically precious site of Shell’s proposed coalbed methane development in northwest British Columbia has been named the Most Endangered Rivers in British Columbia for 2012, according to a Top 10 list released by the Outdoor Recreation Council.

Today ForestEthics senior conservation campaigner Karen Tam Wu made the following statement:

“Each time the Sacred Headwaters has been named on the Most Endangered Rivers List, the government has responded positively: in 2008, the present moratorium was put in place; then, in 2011, the moratorium was extended. This year, we are looking to the government to permanently ban highly destructive industrial activity, like coalbed methane development, from the Sacred Headwaters.”

Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition Executive Director Shannon McPhail also commented:

"Premier Clark's goal of creating more jobs in B.C. cannot be achieved by transforming all B.C.'s wild places into industrialized developments. The Sacred Headwaters supports the local economy, but only if the region is protected and remains intact. The Skeena region alone supports a $110 million wild salmon economy and a $28 million guide outfitting industry.  Our communities are not willing to sacrifice long term sustainable jobs for the short term benefit of Royal Dutch Shell and their shareholders. Protecting the Sacred Headwaters is not a romantic ideal, it's about protecting our livelihoods and our cultures."

Last week, Canadian anthropologist and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, Wade Davis, launched his latest book, The Sacred Headwaters: the fight to save the Stikine, Skeena, and Nass, and delivered talks on the Sacred Headwaters to sold out audiences in Vancouver and Victoria.

"Thanks to Wade Davis’ new book, the rest of Canada will learn what an absolute jewel of wilderness could be lost in our corner of British Columbia,” said Tam Wu. "Canadians from coast to coast want to see one of their country's most precious places protected."

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