Joan Boxalls's poem on fracking
Young Leaders Embark on Fraser River Adventure
July 30, 2012 (Valemeount) - Seven young men and women from across British Columbia leave this Thursday, August 2, on the trip of a lifetime down the Fraser River.
They have been selected to take part in the Sustainable Living Leadership Program, a twenty-five day journey by canoe, raft and foot from the Fraser River’s headwaters near Mount Robson to where it meets the shores of Vancouver some 1,400 km away. The program is run by the not-for-profit Rivershed Society of BC with the goal of fostering sustainable living and responsible community and resource development.
Participants convene in Mount Robson Provincial Park, near Valemount, where the Fraser River, and their journey, begins. Now in it’s ninth year, the program has developed an incredible curriculum.
In the river’s upper reaches, participants learn about the relationship between forests, riversheds and the logging industry with a hike on the Goat River trail. They also visit an ancient cedar forest grove east of Prince George—home to some of the province’s last remaining old-growth—and tour a pulp mill in Quesnel.
In the Fraser Canyon, they learn about the importance of the Fraser for fishing and water in the dry interior plateau. Participants stay at a traditional First Nations village, visit sites that have been used as summer camps by First Nations for centuries, witness salmon dip-netting techniques, and see a demonstration by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
Through the Fraser’s lower stretches they tour Glen Valley Organic Farm and learn about sustainable agriculture in a region that boasts some of the best soil in the country. They get to see firsthand the impacts of urban development on the river.
The program’s founder, Fin Donnelly, has swum the Fraser River twice to raise awareness about river ecosystems, and what can be done to protect them.
“There’s no better way to learn about sustainability than to be out there in the environment, on the river, going from community to community and witnessing the issues,” says Donnelly, who also serves as MP for New Westminster, Coquitlam and Port Moody.
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Interview and photo opportunities are available before the participants depart on August 2, or at the following stops along the way:
Saturday, August 11 – Morning hike through Ancient Cedar rainforest, Prince George
Saturday August 11 – Afternoon Tour of Pulp Mill, Quesnel
Sunday, August 12 – Day at Xatsull village, Quesnel
Monday, August 13 – Afternoon at Sheep Creek Bridge for a DFO fish demonstration
Saturday, August 18 – Afternoon at Cayoosh Creek, Lillooet
Thursday, August 23 – Morning tour of Glen Valley Organic Farm, Langley
Friday, August 24 – Lunch at the Fraser River Discovery Centre, New Westminster
Saturday, August 25 – Afternoon arrive at Jericho Sailing Club, Vancouver
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For more information and for photos and video of previous trips, visit the Rivershed Society’s website at www.rivershed.com