First Nation blockades water intake construction over salmon impacts

First Nation blockades water intake construction over salmon impacts

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First Nation blockades water intake construction in Lillooet, BC
Cayoose Creek, where construction of a municipal water intake may be harming salmon habitat (Jim Upton)

LILLOOET, B.C. – Members of a First Nation in Lillooet, B.C., have set up a blockade near that Fraser River district to protest work they believe is destroying fish habitat on disputed land.

Sekw’el’was Chief Michelle Edwards says the blockade on Cayoose Creek (a.k.a Seton River), on Lillooet’s southern outskirts, began at 7 a.m. Friday.

There’s no indication when it could be removed, but Edwards says traffic on nearby Highway 99 is not affected and members are only halting hired contractors at the work site.

construction-cayoose creek
Early construction of a water intake on Cayoose Creek Thursday (Michelle Edwards)

She says the District of Lillooet has fast-tracked construction of a water intake on land claimed by the Sekw’el’was, although it knows the project will be appealed to the provincial Environmental Appeal Board.

Edwards says damage is not yet irreversible, but warns the work has the potential to wipe out spawning beds and incubating eggs in a section of Cayoose Creek used by coho, steelhead, chinook, pink, sockeye and bull trout.

She says many First Nations along the Seton and Fraser rivers rely on those salmon runs and, as caretakers of the watershed, the Sekw’el’was must protect the fish.

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3 thoughts on “First Nation blockades water intake construction over salmon impacts

  1. well done, you dont start screwing around with salmon nursing grounds this time of year .much better to do it when water levels are down. this is what happens when you remove protection of the waterways and lay off fisheries workers

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