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

UPDATED: Demonstrators plan to shut down Pat Bay Highway Wednesday afternoon

Adam Olsen, MLA, says issue should be taken to province, not communities

Wear your rose-coloured glasses for the second annual Pink Shirt Gala

Anti-bullying event promises pink drinks, food and shirts

Pink Shirt Day originator to speak at Monterey school in Oak Bay

Travis Price continues anti-bullying movement with Island tour

Pink Shirt Day uplifting for West Shore RCMP

Members of the West Shore RCMP have scheduled a variety of activities with students Feb. 26

Rail disruptions expected to continue after new protest sites emerge

Nationwide rail and road blockades have been popping up for weeks

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 25

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

51 health professionals send letter to Trudeau, Horgan panning northern B.C. pipeline

They point to studies about the health and climate change risks from pipeline

Fake meat and a latte? Starbucks adds Beyond Meat in Canada

The Seattle roaster has talked about introducing plant-based patties in the U.S., but has yet to do so

Groundhogs got it wrong: spring isn’t coming soon, Weather Network says

The only part of B.C. to warm up early will be Victoria

Protecting privacy key to stopping spread of COVID-19, B.C. health officials say

The number of coronavirus cases in B.C. remains at seven

Toffoli scores OT winner as Canucks beat Habs 4-3

Demko makes 37 saves for Vancouver

Most Read