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

Okanagan fire captain stepping aside after 35 years of service

Penticton Fire Department Capt. Ken Younghusband is retiring after three-plus decades of service

Penticton high school field hockey teams do battle

Teams from Pen High and Princess Margaret squared off in girls field hockey action

Strong showing at Okanagan swim club meet

Members of the Penticton KISU Swim Club turned in a strong showing at their weekend meet

Oktoberfest always a crowd-pleaser

Ninth annual night of fun, music and brews

John Vassilaki takes Penticton mayor’s chair

Vassilaki is back on Penticton city council, but now he’s mayor

The Valley Votes: Your election results

The results are in from the 2018 municipal election.

VOTE: Nature in Focus reader’s choice photo contest

The Penticton Western News Reader’s Choice photo contest

South Okanagan RCMP campaign issues several cannabis violations

One marijuana impaired driver, multiple violation tickets, six alcohol imparied drivers found

B.C. Youtuber to seal himself ‘in a jar’ to demonstrate impacts of climate change

Kurtis Baute wants to see how long he can last in a 1,000 cubic foot, air-tight greenhouse

One of Taiwan’s fastest trains derails, killing at least 18

The train was carrying more than 360 people

Scheer marks one-year countdown to federal election with campaign-style speech

Conservative Leader insists that it will be Justin Trudeau who ‘makes it personal’

Canada Post union announces rotating strikes in four Canadian cities

Mail will still be delivered but it will be delayed

Most Read