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SkeenaWild Conservation Trust The Stream: Your Regional Update

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August 2014

Beauty surrounds us in the Skeena.  What better way to spend a hot summer afternoon than to hang out on top of the world, soak up stellar mountain views and cool off in a pristine alpine lake? 

The Skeena watershed is one of the world's last remaining large intact wild salmon ecosystems and it is right here in our backyard.  Today the watershed faces many challenges and threats including loss of habitat, over-harvesting, environmental contaminants, emerging diseases and climate change.  We are working to minimize the impacts of each one.  Read on and learn how you can help too.

Protect Our Air Quality

Lis Stannus and Emily Toews, two outdoors-loving Kitimat teachers, have been working with SkeenaWild Conservation Trust to appeal the BC Ministry of Environment’s (MOE) decision to permit Rio Tinto Alcan (RTA) to increase sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions from its Kitimat smelter by 56 percent--up to 42 tonnes per day.  SO2 is a pollutant that impairs peoples' ability to breathe and causes acid rain. In April, 2013, six appellants took their case to the Environmental Appeal Board (EAB), only to have their standing to bring the appeal challenged.  The EAB eventually granted standing to Lis and Emily, but denied it to the remaining four, including SkeenaWild and Lakelse Watershed Stewards Society.  The appeal is scheduled to be heard during most of October 2014 in Kitimat. 

Find out more and DONATE NOW to fund the travel and expenses of the legal team and the expert witnesses.  Much of the legal work is being done at no expense to the appellants by the University of Victoria’s Environmental Law Centre.  They will need to be in Kitimat for four weeks for the appeal hearing.



KSM Mine Poses Serious Risk of Tailing Dam Failure

The recent Mount Polley tailings dam failure provides a warning of the risks of the Ker Sulphurets Mitchell (KSM) mine proposed for the headwaters of the Nass & Unuk Rivers. If built, KSM would have a tailings lake much deeper than Mount Polley, and Its tailings dams would be 6 times as high, a size unprecedented in Canada. The dam would be built using the exact same construction style and material.

On average there is one catastrophic tailings pond failure per year. When one considers that these tailings facilities will need to be in place for thousands of years the chances of a failure over its lifetime is substantial.

Watch our video on the Impacts of the Proposed KSM Project to learn more.
Watch Polluted Waters:  What the Mount Polley mine spill means for BC, Globe and Mail



Film Camp Produced Creative Works

For those approaching their first films and looking for a little guidance before jumping headlong into it all, the SkeenaWild Film Camp was the place to be last month.  Nine young filmmakers came together under the mentorship of Rod Brown, Quinn Barabash aka Captain Quinn and Geoff McKay to write, direct and edit a number of short films over the course of a week.  Film themes centred around the Skeena with each group putting their own creative spin on their work.  Be sure to check out these films and meet the filmmakers at the upcoming 5th Annual SkeenaWild Film Festival.



5th Annual Film Fest Deadline Fast Approaching

Get Your Stoke On and Get Writing, Shootin' and Editing to Enter the 5th Annual SkeenaWild Film and Photo Contest!  There are so many WILD People, Places and Things out there in the Skeena.  We want to hear your stories and see your images as we take the show on the road in November.

Final deadline for submissions is September 1st, 2014!  Check out our *New Categories* for 2014.

Learn more and submit your creative work here.



"Apres Skeena" Fundraiser Banquet Coming to Smithers

On Saturday, September 27th 2014, SkeenaWild will be hosting our very first fundraising banquet dinner in Smithers, BC. This is an effort to reach out to those who love the Skeena and Bulkley Rivers as much as we do. You can expect silent and live auctions with an array of big and small items, a masterfully crafted gourmet dinner featuring local fare, live local music and a surprise keynote speaker. Please stay tuned for more details in September!  Tickets are available at SpeeDee Interior Stationary and Bulkley Valley Research Centre in Smithers and SkeenaWild in Terrace.



Donations Take All Forms - Big & Small

Kids do the darndest things ... like instead of getting birthday presents, young Oscar Leggat requested his party-goers contribute to SkeenaWild.  Kids really do care and even at age three they understand the importance of a healthy environment.  Thanks little man - here's to you and your birthday buddies for your donation of $90.  And a huge thanks to Oscar's Mom, Cheyenne for her continued support of our work.  It is families like the Leggats and the love of wild salmon that keeps the wind in our sails.

All donations big or small count at SkeenaWild.  There are many different ways to donate from volunteering with us to recurring contributions to one-time financial gifts.  Donate today.  


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