Being a Cherryville water steward, I feel compelled to alert the public of an event that took place at the Sugar Lake dam Aug. 15.
The gates were locked and a “Notice of Herbicide Use” sign was posted. The notice said, “Treatment is necessary to provide worker and public safety, prevent fires and contribute to the safe and reliable supply of electricity to B.C. Hydro customers.”
I had to go and investigate since knapweed was the culprit they were after and I wanted to see how bad the infestation was. I found less than 20 plants in the area and two-thirds of them were still alive. But it was very obvious where huckleberry bushes and clover didn’t survive the dousing, so it seems they weren’t spraying in a site-specific manner either.
And as far as spraying down the bank, doesn’t B.C. Hydro have to adhere to the riparian regulations that were enacted to protect our fish habitat, let alone all of the swimmers that spend their time there?
The noxious weeds that were there could have been pulled in less than an hour and had Hydro alerted the community and the water stewards, we would have pulled them out by hand at half the price they paid to do it chemically. We would have also had the opportunity to voice our objections to this process .
Adding insult to injury, The Morning Star published an article from B.C. Hydro Aug. 16 headlined, “Hydro offers Reservoir Safety Tips.”
The article was basically encouraging the public to visit these sites while they still reeked of what I consider to be a very toxic poison.
My question is, where is the Ministry of Environment, Interior Health and all of the other governing bodies that are supposedly here to protect us, the birds, insects, animals, and fish from these type of events?
Is B.C. Hydro exempt from the rules?
Whatever the answer is, I personally am outraged that ordinary citizens have to be watchdogs and spend endless hours to try and protect an area that they want to call home from a continuous onslaught of environmental degradation.
The Hydro article ended by writing, “To learn more about how to be safe around the water visit bchydro.com.”
To end my letter, I would suggest B.C. Hydro learn how to keep us, the animals and the water safe from them.