Trouble for the Skagit River...? - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-22-2019, 02:54 PM Thread Starter
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Trouble for the Skagit River...?

I noticed there is an article about the application for a permit to enable mining activity near the headwaters of the Skagit River, in B.C., by the mining firm whose activities, elsewhere at Mount Polley, has caused considerable concern after a breach in one of their holding dams allowed BILLIONS of gallons of gold and copper wastewater to enter the local watershed.

As to the Skagit River, it is implied that there may be copper mining waste that, should it enter into the stream environment, would be toxic to salmon and by extension, steelhead.

https://www.bellinghamherald.com/lat...228251264.html

Obviously this is potentially very bad news for the health of the river, based on the extraction industry's track record, with Imperial Metals being the poster child for environmental irresponsibility.
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Jet sleds/boats destroy redds in the spawning grounds with their turbulent jet wash, scouring the bottom and further burying some of the eggs while ejecting the rest into the stream flow to be eaten. To protect fish, these boats must be restricted from the spawning grounds.
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-23-2019, 11:39 AM
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I sympathize with you but, it has been my experience that Canadian's do not take well to foreigner's interfering in their politics. If you come up with an effective strategy, please let us know. The Skagit may originate in Canada but it flows into America emptying into Puget sound. Therefore we are rightly concerned.
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-23-2019, 03:24 PM Thread Starter
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If the B.C. government allows the permit to proceed, I recommend we abrogate any treaties with them and then raise Ross Dam an additional 30 feet and thereby flooding their upper valley. If that doesn't work, invasion would be my second choice. We could all use some new land since they ain't making anymore. Well, aside from a few Pacific island volcanoes.

[Least someone take the comment poorly, I only jest. I have nothing but kind words for my brothers and sisters in British Columbia. In fact, my spouse is from Vancouver and my favorite fly fishermen, Brian Chan, calls B.C. home.]

Jet sleds/boats destroy redds in the spawning grounds with their turbulent jet wash, scouring the bottom and further burying some of the eggs while ejecting the rest into the stream flow to be eaten. To protect fish, these boats must be restricted from the spawning grounds.

Last edited by Mean Mr Mustard; 03-24-2019 at 02:55 PM. Reason: I don't want to upset my northern neighbors. FYI: the only time the US invaded Canada, the US lost, June of 1812. Peace.
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-23-2019, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Mean Mr Mustard View Post
If the B.C. government allows the permit to proceed, I recommend we abrogate any treaties with them and then raise Ross Dam an additional 30 feet and thereby flooding their upper valley. If that doesn't work, invasion would be my second choice. We could all use some new land since they ain't making anymore. Well, aside from a few Pacific island volcanoes.


I'm sure they'd love your option, maybe they should invade us since we blocked all andominouse fishy passage on the Columbia river.

Tight lines! B K Paige
"Occupy Skagit"
Wishin I was fishin the Sauk!!!
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-23-2019, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by JDJones View Post
I sympathize with you but, it has been my experience that Canadian's do not take well to foreigner's interfering in their politics. If you come up with an effective strategy, please let us know. The Skagit may originate in Canada but it flows into America emptying into Puget sound. Therefore we are rightly concerned.
JD: Do you know any country that takes well to foreigners interfering in their politics? Even the countries that have considerable experience directly interfering in the politics of other countries do not seem to take well to other countries interfering in their internal politics. Perhaps you can think of one......

But then as you are not a mindless populist with zero understanding of watershed and fishery issues, you know there is nothing to get worried about as long as Canadians do not start farming or ranching the upper Skagit River.

°

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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-23-2019, 09:23 PM
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There is copper and an active mine still working( I think) over the hill just west of Princeton. I,d be more concerned with the way we are logging in Canada as far as damage to water and environment goes. Some of nicest red sided rainbows I have ever caught came from upper Skagit not to far above the lake,also some of the worst mosquitoes I have ever seen in my 60 plus years. If the USA can fix Canada,s problems please do as I know with no forests there will be no water after run off and so very poor runs. This has been proven true from California north to even now Skeena drainage is being affected. Numbers don,t lie and even though the powers that be can come up with a lot of excuses the simple fact is if we want fish they need water all year long in the river and for that you need an intact forest . East slopes in Alberta are also taking a beating,north Saskatchewan river was closed last year there.Not because of people or mining but low fish numbers and all thats happening there is oil Gas exploration and logging to much. Fraser and Thompson are in serious decline too. I guess some of the rivers in western states are coming back somewhat but doubt we will ever see runs anywhere even close to what was there historically.(like before we started managing things). Maybe if we all stopped living in wood houses and let the forests grow might help some but open to any ideas that will improve things for the fish, maybe take dam down and let a few steelhead come back into Canada on the Skagit river and you will get some more traction from Canada,we need all the fish we can see in our rivers and agree that mine tailing likely won,t help long term river health. Daryl
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-23-2019, 11:07 PM
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There is copper and an active mine still working( I think) over the hill just west of Princeton. I,d be more concerned with the way we are logging in Canada as far as damage to water and environment goes. Some of nicest red sided rainbows I have ever caught came from upper Skagit not to far above the lake,also some of the worst mosquitoes I have ever seen in my 60 plus years. If the USA can fix Canada,s problems please do as I know with no forests there will be no water after run off and so very poor runs. This has been proven true from California north to even now Skeena drainage is being affected. Numbers don,t lie and even though the powers that be can come up with a lot of excuses the simple fact is if we want fish they need water all year long in the river and for that you need an intact forest . East slopes in Alberta are also taking a beating,north Saskatchewan river was closed last year there.Not because of people or mining but low fish numbers and all thats happening there is oil Gas exploration and logging to much. Fraser and Thompson are in serious decline too. I guess some of the rivers in western states are coming back somewhat but doubt we will ever see runs anywhere even close to what was there historically.(like before we started managing things). Maybe if we all stopped living in wood houses and let the forests grow might help some but open to any ideas that will improve things for the fish, maybe take dam down and let a few steelhead come back into Canada on the Skagit river and you will get some more traction from Canada,we need all the fish we can see in our rivers and agree that mine tailing likely won,t help long term river health. Daryl


There is unpassable falls under the lower lake that no salmon or steelhead passed and why they put a dam there(as well as geology) so good luck with that. With the human population almost to 8 billion resources wil be in greater demand, unitl the human population is cut down by 2/3's rivers and their inhabitants are doomed, as well as us!

Tight lines! B K Paige
"Occupy Skagit"
Wishin I was fishin the Sauk!!!
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-23-2019, 11:52 PM
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Thanks for info on falls, never been below the lake so didn,t know.Sadly you may be right about the rivers sure looks that way now but I keep hoping some how we can get things back on track. I sure hope so. Daryl
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
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And so our elected officials are getting into the act. https://www.goskagit.com/news/local_...47c5e5cc8.html

I do believe there is hope on this particular issue. Treaties are treaties, and they remain an important mechanism for nations to conduct business with each other. With tribal leaders contesting the proposed mine and joining with state officials doing same, it is only time before the feds go on record condemning this mining activity as environmentally unsound and contrary to the treaty. So read my tea leaves...

Jet sleds/boats destroy redds in the spawning grounds with their turbulent jet wash, scouring the bottom and further burying some of the eggs while ejecting the rest into the stream flow to be eaten. To protect fish, these boats must be restricted from the spawning grounds.
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by JDJones View Post
I sympathize with you but, it has been my experience that Canadian's do not take well to foreigner's interfering in their politics. If you come up with an effective strategy, please let us know. The Skagit may originate in Canada but it flows into America emptying into Puget sound. Therefore we are rightly concerned.
No offense to my Canadian friends and family but Canadian firms do not have a very good track record of keeping things in order as far as mine tailings, accidental releases, and general "housekeeping". The Canadian government may be partly to blame.
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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 09:23 PM
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No offense to my Canadian friends and family but Canadian firms do not have a very good track record of keeping things in order as far as mine tailings, accidental releases, and general "housekeeping". The Canadian government may be partly to blame.
I do a lot of work n the Mining industry, and currently live in the area of the largest gold deposits in the world. We just finished a gold mine project, ( new gold rainy river), and 2 or more mines are in the near horizon.
Believe me, in the past things were not done properly, I can ASSURE you that things are much much different now. These mines now take years, yes years for environmental assessments etc etc etc. And things are done properly before the mines are given the go ahead to run. I was on the testing crew for the effluent lines into the setting ponds, and it had to be 100 percent on all aspects of the lines and containment of the ponds. And when the mine was running, 4 of our employees worked round the clock, 24/7. 2 , -12 hour shifts for 2 years monitoring the settling ponds.
Yes things have changed! Ministry of the environment are breathing down their necks constantly.
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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 11:50 PM Thread Starter
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In the spirit of progress and against my conservationist leanings, a compromise with myself if you will, I would be more supportive of mining activity if two major protections were in place:

1.) An assurance of settling pool integrity under seismic and flood activity by way of redundancy and active monitoring by company and state employees until eventual shutdown and reclamation.

2.) A reclamation bonding system where the company is required to provide assurance of meeting its reclamation requirement by the purchase and maintenance of a prepaid bond, insuring the state for the cost of the reclamation should the company be unable. This bond would have to be underwritten by an international bank with assets large enough to meet its insuring payoff obligation should it occur.

Yes, there are a few good players in the extraction industries, but history has shown time and again that they are indeed few. The vast numbers of questionable players have written terrible destruction to certain areas of our country, and often putting lives in jeopardy - sometimes by devastating natural forces and sometimes by sheer recklessness. Point being, damage is done, and typically at a cost to the public in lives lost, property destroyed and treasuries spent. Because the costs are so often high, the industry must take on the role of providing public assurance in the form of an insurance bond, accepting that schit happens by Murphy's designs and protecting the public interest, just as we require drivers to protect the public interest. And all this would require another agency to provide oversight and enforcement, and laws tough enough to compel compliance and punish official collusion. Done properly, the industry permitting system could possibly provide the needed funding for such staffing.

Bottom line - clean up their act with redundant safeguards and guarantee reclamation by highly rated bond, with public oversight throughout the extraction and reclamation. We get the resources we need - albeit at a higher price, the company makes a little money and the state oversight sees to it that the environment doesn't suffer carelessly.

Or so I'm thinking...

Jet sleds/boats destroy redds in the spawning grounds with their turbulent jet wash, scouring the bottom and further burying some of the eggs while ejecting the rest into the stream flow to be eaten. To protect fish, these boats must be restricted from the spawning grounds.
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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-25-2019, 06:47 PM
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I do a lot of work n the Mining industry, and currently live in the area of the largest gold deposits in the world. We just finished a gold mine project, ( new gold rainy river), and 2 or more mines are in the near horizon.
Believe me, in the past things were not done properly, I can ASSURE you that things are much much different now. These mines now take years, yes years for environmental assessments etc etc etc. And things are done properly before the mines are given the go ahead to run. I was on the testing crew for the effluent lines into the setting ponds, and it had to be 100 percent on all aspects of the lines and containment of the ponds. And when the mine was running, 4 of our employees worked round the clock, 24/7. 2 , -12 hour shifts for 2 years monitoring the settling ponds.
Yes things have changed! Ministry of the environment are breathing down their necks constantly.
We'll see. Im very pro mining and drilling as it is what I do and Ive seen the best of the best. Ive also seen the dark side of things. Im glad your mine assessment program went well. I still think that Canada has a lot of work to do to get it right. Especially if something is situated in an alluvial drainage. Once it is fuc%ed up you can never get it back.
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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-25-2019, 06:59 PM
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If the B.C. government allows the permit to proceed, I recommend we abrogate any treaties with them and then raise Ross Dam an additional 30 feet and thereby flooding their upper valley. If that doesn't work, invasion would be my second choice. We could all use some new land since they ain't making anymore. Well, aside from a few Pacific island volcanoes.

[Least someone take the comment poorly, I only jest. I have nothing but kind words for my brothers and sisters in British Columbia. In fact, my spouse is from Vancouver and my favorite fly fishermen, Brian Chan, calls B.C. home.]
If we invaded Canada it would be like a re make of Canadian Bacon. Lets do it!!
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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 09:17 AM Thread Starter
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In an editorial from June 4th, the Seattle Times has strongly spoken against the mining activity planned for the upper Skagit Watershed which is undergoing the permitting process in B.C.

https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion...ites-disaster/

May the issue continue to gather momentum in opposition to this action by Imperial Mining and the B.C. government.

The Skagit Watershed is too valuable to risk further environmental degradation due to irresponsible resource extraction - the track record of Imperial Mining. Anything more than selective logging should be banned. No mining, no clear cuts, and road building to a minimum and then only to protect the forest and watershed. It is one of the last truly unique wildscapes left in this country and should be preserved into perpetuity as pristine as we can leave it.

In support of a very important neighbor and ally, the B.C. government should reject this permit and allow for the area's preservation for all the people from both sides of the national boundary.


[edit] For further reading...https://www.goskagit.com/news/local_...b57750293.html

Jet sleds/boats destroy redds in the spawning grounds with their turbulent jet wash, scouring the bottom and further burying some of the eggs while ejecting the rest into the stream flow to be eaten. To protect fish, these boats must be restricted from the spawning grounds.

Last edited by Mean Mr Mustard; 06-06-2019 at 09:22 AM. Reason: Additional info...
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