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.

BC legislatureOrca

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: Robert Bateman celebrates 90th birthday

Trudeau, Margaret Atwood and more appear in ‘happy birthday’ video

Greater Victoria’s first BC Cannabis Store could open at Saanich shopping centre

Store application for Uptown Shopping Centre headed for public hearing

Royal B.C. Museum reopens in phases, some galleries remain closed to start summer

Victoria museum and archives open first galleries June 19

Study looks at feasibility of Vancouver Island abattoir

South Island Prosperity Partnership funds study looking at local meat processing

Homeless shelter at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre creates 40 jobs

The arena can house 45 people in pop-up pods

B.C. records no new COVID-19 deaths for the first time in weeks

Good news comes despite 11 new test-positive cases in B.C. in the past 24 hours

Tahsis opens its gates to visitors to save local economy

Seasonal local businesses that rely on tourism hope to survive despite drop in tourist numbers

BC Corrections to expand list of eligible offenders for early release during pandemic

Non-violent offenders are being considered for early release through risk assessment process

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Fraser Valley driver featured on ‘Highway Thru Hell’ TV show dies

Monkhouse died Sunday night of a heartattack, Jamie Davis towing confirmed

Island city cancels plan for homeless camp; exploring alternative option

The plan heard strong objection from neighbouring residents and businesses

B.C. visitor centres get help with COVID-19 prevention measures

Destination B.C. gearing up for local, in-province tourism

36 soldiers test positive for COVID-19 after working in Ontario, Quebec care homes

Nearly 1,700 military members are working in long-term care homes overwhelmed by COVID-19

Most Read