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General · 22nd February 2010
Lannie Keller
Hello People,
No news might be good news. It also might mean we’re busy and FOBI needs a newsletter editor! It's time for an update, though, because there’s news to report – and we have some ACTION requests.

BUTE DELAYED

Plutonic has postponed submitting their Environmental Impact Statement to the Environmental Assessment Office. Citing need for additional info and studies, Plutonic’s EIS for Bute is now not expected before 2011.When their EIS is submitted, it will trigger both the provincial and federal environmental assessments. So some things are now in a holding pattern, but we can be sure this will come back full-on when it does! There are no specific reasons stated for Plutonic’s delay, but there are several likely issues, including an unexpected return of Coho to Bute Rivers. Plutonic’s Toba Inlet project is also behind schedule and providing environmental challenges that need to be addressed. And the high level of public concern about Bute is giving Plutonic/GE cause for careful strategy.

GREEN ENERGY TASK FORCE
Thanks to the many of you who responded to requests for letters addressing the BC government’s Green Energy Task Force. The government has refused to make GETF submissions or any Task Force deliberations available to the public. GETF will soon issue sweeping pronouncements about BC’s energy future.

FOBI VOICE
Four Fobis were panelists at the West Coast Environmental Law dialogue at Vancouver in in mid January and others joined as vocal audience. Our message is consistent and we are being heard in these and other places where it’s important to speak out. ACTION: Write a letter to your local paper or any place your message will be shared. If we each send one letter, our collective impact will make a difference.

FOREST PRACTICES BOARD INVESTIGATION
At the request of FOBI and Sierra BC, the Forest Practices Board has undertaken an investigation of the transmission lines, roads and other impacts associated with the Plutonic/GE Toba Montrose IPP presently under construction at Toba Inlet. This will be a be a very comprehensive investigation and we won’t know more for several months. ACTION: If anyone has information or specific concerns about activities at Toba, please reply to FOBI , or phone 250-285-2846.

DFO REPORT
At a recent meeting in Campbell River, DFO presented information about IPPs and pictures of the Toba Montrose project. The scale of this large industrial project shocked the audience. There have been numerous construction mishaps, failed engineering, culvert and road washouts, and unacceptable impacts to fish habitat. DFO has extremely limited budget for oversight of the project, and no money for independent study of environmental baselines or impacts.

CALIFORNIA
We continue to monitor and input as the CA legislature (so far) resists corporate, utility and government lobbies to reduce renewable energy standards. So far, so BC’s ‘run of river’ energy does not qualify as ‘green’ in CA because BC environmental standards are far below CA requirements. .

NEWSPAPER ADS that support protection of Bute Inlet are running in the Campbell River Courier Islander. The ads are clever parody of similar advertising by Plutonic - and they are causing a stir. This is a citizens’ initiative unaffiliated with FOBI.

ACTION
Your contributions can help keep the citizen ads happening. Visit the newspaper office or mail a donation to the CR Courier Islander, 1040 Cedar Street, Campbell River, BC V9W 7E2. (Label your donation “Save Bute ads contribution”)

ACTIVIST THEATRE
Trickster Theatre and FOBI offer a weekend of fun at Quadra Island Community Centre, February 27 and 28. Trickster’s renowned director, David Chantler leads a fast & fun physical theatre process to help us develop community action-statements. We’ll expose issues and contradictions of our time in innovative, irreverent, thought-provoking style. Some of our acts will be crafted specifically for YouTube; we’ll also document the process of creating community theatre. Cost: bring your good energy. Register with David Chantler davidtrickstertheatre.com or Anita 250-285-2656.

BUTE STORIES

We’re still collecting stories about Bute Inlet adventures and life experiences; as well as observations about Bute’s flora, fauna and idiosyncrasies. Send your stories to buteinletgmail.com

BUTE SUMMER TRIPS are continuing in 2010! Watch www.buteinlet.net for dates & details about Bute Inlet easy-adventure tours with Rob Wood. There will also be other local events this spring and summer.

NOMINATE BUTE INLET ACTION

Submissions deadline March 6th, 2010.
The most Endangered Rivers in BC: Mark Angelo and the Outdoor Recreation Council of BC (ORC) are once again requesting your nominations for British Columbia's top "Endangered Rivers". Each year, the Endangered Rivers List is compiled by ORC and released to media outlets across BC and Canada. It receives significant media attention, highlighting the rivers and issues that are most important to British Columbians. ACTION: Please submit one or two paragraphs describing the river in your region and the issues that are impacting the health of the waterway. The 2010 list is expected to highlight anywhere from 5 to 10 rivers. It will be released in late March. ACTION: Nominate Bute Inlet Rivers. Send your submissions via email to Mark Angelo at Mark_Angelobcit.ca

WHAT'S AT STAKE?
Plutonic Power and General Electric are planning the largest private hydroelectric development in Canadian history at Bute Inlet. 17 rivers dammed with up to 95% of their flow diverted into into 88 km of pipelines, 144 km industrial roads, 110 bridges, 16 powerhouses, substations and 443 km of high voltage transmission lines will change this wilderness forever; also damaging precious habitat for threatened wildlife including grizzly bear, mountain goat, 5 species of salmon, anadromous trout, marbled murrelets and countless other species. Impacts will prevent public access and dramatically reduce the world-class recreation values of BCs highest mountains, wild glacial rivers and ocean.

Bute after Toba will continue the domino effect, connecting watershed developments up the coast. Watch for the next outrageous IPP application, Klinaklini at Knight Inlet, expected very soon...

The upside is that FOBI will be active and staying in touch with you for a while longer... We hope you will contact us if you have information or concerns or ideas to share. We intend to get more active in the Campbell River community in the near future. If you can participate (or take an active role) in CR, please let us know.

Sincerely,
Lannie Keller
For Friends of Bute Inlet