Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and B.C. Premier John Horgan attend Cascadia Innovation Corridor Conference in Vancouver, Oct. 10, 2018. (Facebook)

B.C. and Washington pledge to protect habitat for orcas, salmon

Premier John Horgan vows logging review for Manning Park zone

B.C. Premier John Horgan and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee pledged Wednesday to do their part to protect chinook salmon habitat, the main diet for southern resident killer whales that have been a focus of concern on both sides of the border.

“We are united in our efforts to save our orca population, and we are going to be active in that regard, and we are glad British Columbia will be an ally in that effort,” Inslee told reporters at a conference in Vancouver on developing the Cascadia region that includes both B.C. and Washington.

Horgan said their next stop is a meeting with Fisheries Minister Jonathan Wilkinson, who has jurisdiction over tidal waters, salmon and ocean fishing in Canada. Horgan and Inslee pledged to continue work on inland areas, including logging protection for the Skagit River and the Columbia, which lost most of its salmon runs due to hydro dams on the U.S. side of the border.

Horgan said he has given assurances to Inslee and Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan that the B.C. government will carefully review the impact of logging in an excluded area between Manning Provincial Park and Skagit Valley Provincial Park on the B.C. side of the Skagit River watershed. B.C. Timber Sales, the province’s harvesting company, received permits under the previous B.C. Liberal government to log in the so-called “doughnut hole” area of the park, which was opened to industrial use for a mining claim more than 30 years ago.

Inslee referred only briefly to his state’s biggest salmon challenge, the devastation of chinook and other runs due to damming of the Columbia River. U.S. speakers at a recent conference on the Columbia River Treaty described the upper Columbia as a “sacrifice zone” of flooding and salmon destruction by the U.S. government to protect downstream urban areas in Washington and Oregon.

RELATED: B.C., U.S. negotiators want changes to Columbia River Treaty

RELATED: B.C. pitches in for Vancouver-Seattle high-speed rail study

Inslee praised B.C. for its increasing carbon tax, and decried the U.S. administration of President Donald Trump for dismantling climate change efforts.

“We can do all the things we can about chinook, habitat in the upper rivers, eelgrass efforts, flows in the Columbia River,” Inslee said. “And all will be for naught if climate change swallows us whole by making the rivers too hot for spawning salmon, the oceans too hot to supply the food chain they depend upon, and acidifying the waters.”

At the conference, Horgan and Inslee signed a memorandum of understanding to develop the “innovation economy” with partnerships in life sciences, financial and retail innovation and new technologies like artificial intelligence.

In March, B.C. contributed $300,000 towards a business case study of a high-speed rail link between Vancouver, Seattle and Portland.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Only steps away: Gutsy Walk returns to Kelowna

The walk to cures for Crohn’s disease and colitis comes June 2

Sharp-eyed boater catches South Okanagan road crumbling

A portion of Eastside Road, south of Penticton, appears to be crumbling into Skaha Lake

Okanagan Regional Library hosts famous author

Author of The Woo Woo, Lindsay Wong will be in Kelowna Tuesday

Mainly sunny Victoria Day in Okanagan-Shuswap

The South Okanagan is the hottest spot to be in the province for Victoria Day

Five youth-led “positive change” projects in South Okanagan receive $9,500

Central Okanagan Foundation for Youth and United Way’s GenNext give money to projects

VIDEO: It’s warming up across the Okanagan Valley

Grey skies are expected to fade and the sun looks like it’s here to stay

Update: Plan to see more smoke from South Okanagan wildfire

Richter Creek wildfire, 12 kilometres west of Osoyoos, is an estimated 400 hectares

Marriage proposal on the big screen at Enderby drive-in

Kelowna man gets engaged in front of hundreds to Vernon sweetheart

Take-home drug testing kits latest pilot to help curb B.C.’s overdose crisis

Researchers look to see if fentanyl testing could be a useful tool for those who use drugs alone

Firefighters respond to bus fire on Highway 1

Smoke in coach bus reported to have been caused by overheating, driver and passengers safe

North Okanagan tattoo fundraiser draws record support

Lineup around the block for start and beginning of Five Fathoms Tattoo event for Children’s Hospital

Caravan Farm Theatre holds outlaw themed fundraiser

Caravan Farm Theatre hosts its western outlaw themed fundraiser, Hands Up! June 1

Police watchdog investigating motorcycle crash in Kamloops

A Kamloops Mountie had stopped the driver for speeding, but they raced off from the 0fficer

Most Read