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Treaty 8 First Nations Oppose 3rd Peace River Dam

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The Peace River Valley is in ecological danger, according to several First Nations and environmental groups, and they are hitting the road in May and June to tell the province about a proposed dam that they say puts the region in greater peril.

The Peace River Valley in the northeast corner of British Columbia is where the Treaty 8 First Nations make their home, along with their hunting, fishing and trapping grounds, farmland, old-growth boreal forest “and one of the most important wildlife corridors in the Yellowstone-to Yukon migration corridor chain,” according to the Wilderness Committee, a Canadian environmental advocacy group.

BC Hydro has put this valley is under threat with its proposed Site C Mega Dam project, which would be the third huge dam on the Peace River, the Wilderness Committee said in a recent release. Nearly 200 feet tall, the Site C dam would flood about 40 miles of river valley, according to the group. Some of that comprises some of the best agricultural land in British Columbia.

BC Hydro said the dam is necessary to meet future electricity needs. Providing up to 1,100 megawatts of capacity, it would produce about 5,100 gigawatt hours of electricity annually, BC Hydro said on its website, which is enough energy to power 450,000 or more homes in the province.

“If you care about climate change, food security, indigenous rights and wilderness areas, or are curious about energy demands in the province, this is a must-attend event,” the organizers said.

BC Hydro’s side of the story is available via a number of fact sheets. The Wilderness Committee and the Stop Site C Mega Dam Project group will hold information meetings on May 30 in Victoria, May 31 in Vancouver, June 1 in Sunshine Coast and June 2 in Whistler. More detailed information is available from the Wilderness Committee.