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Action Alert: Help preserve recreational opportunities on the Ashlu (BC)

Posted: 03/20/2003
By: Thomas O'Keefe

Micro-hydro in the Pacific Northwest continues to be a threat to paddling opportunities enjoyed by boaters from Canada and the US. We have reached a major decision point with the Ashlu Creek project and have an opportunity to kill a hydro proposal that threatens one of the finest whitewater resources in southwest British Columbia. This run is a classic road trip destination that is enjoyed by paddlers from around the world, has been featured in kayaking films, and has sections suitable for intermediate paddlers. It is a true classic. This action alert comes to us from Stuart Smith, a well-known guidebook author who pioneered many of British Columbia's now-classic runs. Letters to the individuals listed below would be a significant help in documenting recreational interest in this creek (if you can send e-mails now, then send hard copies later, that would be the best thing). Quick action now will preserve this incredible whitewater resource for future generations.

Hello everyone:

I have been working to convince the Navigable Waters Protection Division (NWPD) that we need to have Ashlu Creek (Squamish, BC) saved as one of the places we do not want to see ANY diversion projects.

The Ashlu has been featured in a number of whitewater videos, including the Twitch series, and is a FANTASTIC whitewater resource.

I need some IMMEDIATE help with this effort.

The NWPD is going to attempt to go to bat for the paddlers and say NO. & nbsp;BUT they need as much
ammunition as we can provide them, to be able to do so. We have already identified the Ashlu as one of the top rivers in the area.

Right now the big-business Ledcor Power is pressing them to mitigate, rather than have no project.

PLEASE do the following as soon as possible:

Write a letter that outlines your concerns regarding the Ashlu - there is some information at the bottom to assist you in doing so.

Send the letter to the following people - this does not need to be a work of art, or any sort of redneck efforts at bashing the government or the proponent. We need to clearly state some of the key things at the bottom of the page. Please Blind Carbon Copy (BCC) me with your responses.

Get your club to write a letter as well.

We also need letters to the editor, and articles in our local papers.

E-mail the letter to each person individually, and mail them individually to the people below. Try to put your own spin on the words below.  YES - this is work, but we have clear indications that this thing can be stopped, if we act together, and act soon. You can be a part of saving this stream - for now and for the future.

Bob Gowe
Superintendent, Navigable Waters Protection
Canadian Coast Guard
#200-401 Burrard Street
Vancouver BC V6C 3S4

Jim Schellenberg
Navigable Waters Protection Officer
Canadian Coast Guard
#200-401 Burrard Street
Vancouver BC V6C 3S4

David Ingleson
Land and Water Officer, Land and Water Management Division
Land and Water British Columbia Inc.
Suite 200, 10428 153rd Street
Surrey, BC V3R 1E1

Julia Berardinucci
Land and Water Officer, Land and Water Management Division
Land and Water British Columbia Inc.
Suite 200, 10428 153rd Street
Surrey, BC V3R 1E1

Steve Olmstead
Squamish Lillooet Regional District
PO Box 219
Pemberton, BC
V0N 2L0

Ian Sutherland
District of Squamish
City Hall - PO Box 310
Squamish, BC, V0N 3G0

John Turner
Squamish Lillooet Regional District
PO Box 219
Pemberton, BC
V0N 2L0

Some things that make the Ashlu a spectacular creek worth saving as it is:

  • easy road access to a number of spectacular paddling runs
  • an incredibly long season
  • varied opportunities for various skill levels
  • there are easy intermediate runs
  • there are challenging more difficult runs
  • this is a place you can paddle at any time
  • the Ashlu has beautiful clear water
  • amazing bedrock exposures, and incredible canyons
  • aesthetics that are unmatched by any stream in this area
  • paddling reaches that are entirely runnable
  • short portages for those that wish to do the runs without doing the hardest drops
  • fantastic well-defined features
  • easy access off paved roads
  • a world-class paddling destination
  • that you do not want more power lines in the Elaho/Squamish Valley's
  • that YOU DO NOT WANT ANOTHER PLAY PARK like the Rutherford
  • that YOU want a free flowing river

To make your point to local council, also emphasize:

  • you live and work in this area
  • you chose this area because it is the Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada - and the Ashlu is a supporting player in the town of Squamish claiming this
  • that local business depends on recreational draws to this area
  • that you earn your living in this area from recreational interests - particularly whitewater
  • that you come to this area to recreate because of the opportunities that streams such as the Ashlu offer

The NWPD, and Land and Water BC need to hear this. More importantly you need to tell the Squamish Council and the Squamish Lillooet Regional District. These people are saying NO to other projects near Pemberton. Ask them to say NO to a project on the Ashlu.

Please let me know if you need any more information.



Stuart Smith
WKABC River Projects Coordinator
Phone/Fax:(604) 815-4113

Associated Projects

Protecting the Ashlu (BC)

A hydropower project is now being constructed on this wonderful creek in Southwest British Columbia.

Read More
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