“If the dam goes ahead, it would have numerous environmental impacts, including the loss of key wintering wildlife habitat,” he argues. “Recreational values would also be severely diminished, many sacred cultural sites would be lost and the only class 1 agricultural land north of Quesnel would be flooded.”
Angelo also alleges that there is widespread local opposition to the dam, and claims B.C. Hydro has shown “no existing domestic need” for the power it would generate. As for the potential need to power the several proposed LNG plants on the northwest coast, Angelo believes alternative forms of energy should be pursued.
“Given the dam’s adverse impacts, the extensive local opposition and the current surplus of power recently documented by B.C. Hydro, the case for the dam has largely vanished,” he contends.
The ORC normally names the 10 most endangered rivers in the province, but this year chose to only name the top three, including the lower Fraser River in second place and the Elk River near Fernie in third. The abbreviated list, which also includes two “rivers to watch”, is meant to tighten focus on the issues deemed “most imminent”.
The Peace River was ranked third in 2012, and has been included in the list since 2008