Invitation to visit the Peace River Valley
Right Honourable Premier and B.C. Cabinet Ministers,
I am extending a personal and individual invitation to each of you during this year, 2006, to make a one day visit at your convenience with me touring the Peace River Valley between Ft. St. John and Hudson Hope.
The specific area to be looked at in depth contains approximately 43,000 acres which would be flooded should the proposed Site C Dam be built. This is the area that I and my neighbors call Home. It is also home to many important archeological sites, some with continuous habitation histories dating back several thousand years.
It is also home to the oldest white settlement in British Columbia dating back to when the Spanish were still mapping the Straits of Juan de Fuca.
It is home to the only land base with class 1 climate and soil capability for agriculture in the North. It also contains the four large alluvial river flats which are suitable for the production and mechanical harvesting of vegetables, enough land to satisfy the needs of all northern British Columbia well into the next century.( My family produced more than 2000 tons of potatoes per year on just under 100 acres of this land with irrigation back in the 70?s).
It is also prime habitat for Ungulates such as moose who rely on the valley for wintering grounds throughout the entire Peace River Drainage.
It is also home to unique protected species of flora and fauna such as prickly pear cactus found along the northern slopes,and he bull trout who treat and use the drainage area from the mountain tributaries to the delta like salmon.
It is also home of our ?old growth conifer and deciduous timber stands, the majority of the area?s high quality gravel deposits, and large flowing natural springs.
It is of significant importance to First Nations People both in practical and spiritual meanings, the very heart and life blood that has sustained their way of life for thousands of years is represented by what is left of the Peace River nd it?s valley.
It is not only one of British Columbias most important scenic heritage treasures but one of singular importance to Canada and indeed the entire world.
Anyone seeing the valley joins with me in exclaiming it is one of the most beautiful river valleys they have ever seen. I have lived and travelled in more than 60 countries througout my 60 years and continue to marvel at such natural beauty as we view the river and it?s valley daily from our home.
Oh what a privelege it is to live here and what a sacrilege it would be to sacrifice it unnecessarily for 70 years of power production. The responsiblity and decision will ultimately rest upon you and subsequent B.C. Cabinet Members to determine the fate of this valley and I sincerely invite you to accept my humble invitation to come and visit our home in the Peace River Valley.
Larry Peterson – Farmer and resident of the Peace River Valley,
Ag consultant Larynda Enterprises.
Former Landowners Committee Chairman for Site C,
Former Heritage Conservation Officer for the Peace,
Former Alternate Director for Area C to PRRDistrict Chair Karen Goodings,
Former Director of The North Peace Airport Society,
Vice Pres. Cusodians of the Peace,Director and founding member
of The Coalition for Open Government Society. (COG),
member of the Peace River Environmental Association,
Licensed Travel Agent with Global Travel International,
and Owner partner of Peace River Farm and Ranch Sales Ltd.
(have listed and sold over 800,000 acres in the Peace since 1981.
In the mid 1970?s BC Hydro aggressively studied the feasability of building a third dam on the Peace. They chose a dam site just south of Ft. St. John near where the Moberly River enters the Peace from the west. The major landwowners in this 80 km stretch of river all the way back to Hudson Hope organized a Landowners Committee to oppose it and I was elected chairman. We owned and farmed 1810 acres in and near the valley and ran a 250 head cattle herd and had a commercial potato operation. After lengthy studies and hearings before the B.C Utilities Commission wherein Hydro applied to get the approval to build the dam it was not allowed to proceed and put on hold until just recently when the new Integrated Energy Plan and subsequent meetings were introduced. At our local meetings it was proposed by us that coal fired generation with appropriate environmental technology is a preferred option and to stop flooding our river valleys. Provincially there is a lot of support for building this dam as it is not in their back yard. Ultimately after the IEP process ends the B.C. Cabinet has the final vote on whether or not to proceed with the construction of the dam. It is more a political decision than a BC Hydro decision. I want the Cabinet Ministers to really see up close what building that dam would do to the valley and our area. I do not feel that they really know the consequences of building that dam. It is hard to find any benefit to our area to do so.
Sincerely Larry Peterson
P.S. Hydro put most of us under duress and much of the Land was sold to Hydro back in the late 1970?s The hearings were in 1981-1982 If the dam is cancelled we can buy the land back at the original purchase price. This has been going on now for over 30 years.