Mine option leaves lake alone

by Heather Nelson

by Heather Nelson

100 Mile Free Press

Last month, the BC Wildlife Federation (BCWF) introduced the Outdoor Passport, an educational program that improves access to private lands for hunting, angling and other outdoor recreation activities.

“This program has been in the works for four years,” says BCWF past-president Mel Arnold.

“The holders of the outdoor passports are active hunters who learn more about conservation and outdoor recreation ethics.”

The passport includes an identity card to introduce members to landowners and an access pass that records conditions the landowner may have. A copy of the access pass with contact information is left with the landowner to ensure ease of follow-up with both parties.

“The bonus of participating landowners is that not only do they have assurances the passport holder will treat their land respectfully, but there is a third-party liability insurance that landowners can get at no charge.”

According the BCWF website, landowners who participate in the program can apply free of charge for $1 million third-party legal liability protection to cover the exposure of passport holders using their land for hunting and fishing opportunities.

“This should work out well; we’ll wait and see,” says South Cariboo Regional Cattlemen’s Association president Tal Pincott.

“It will help with a better working relationship between hunters and ranchers, and the local [land] owners will be more comfortable having the hunters’ names and contact information.”

The Cariboo area has a serious predator problem, says Arnold, and the passport members can assist farmers and ranchers to mitigate crop and livestock loss.

“It is a voluntary program for the landowners to be a part of. We see the benefits for those who participate, but it is their choice,” says Arnold.

“We are working on trying to connect them better. The next step is advancing our website to directly connect hunters and landowners.”

For more information visit the BCWF website at www.bcwf.bc.ca or call Arnold at 250-833-1155.

Williams Lake Tribune

Taseko Mines Ltd. has confirmed it is “examining alternate ways to build Prosperity.”

Brian Battison, vice-president of corporate affairs for Taseko, noted because there is some ambiguity with the federal government’s concerns on the project, in its re-engineering, the company is addressing the “stated concerns.”

It is unknown when the project re-engineering will be completed. However, due to the current price of copper and gold on the world market, Battison thinks the economics could be such that Fish Lake could be removed from the equation.

“There were always alternate ways to build the project that would mean no impact to Fish Lake but none of them were economic,” he says.

“Under the previous long-term copper and gold prices, it was not possible to have both the mine and the lake … but given those significantly higher gold and copper prices it may now be possible for the first time to have both the mine and the lake.”

Battison could not say how long the re-engineering would take but indicated the company would need to have a “high degree of certainty” that it could meet the federal government’s concerns prior to resubmitting the proposal.

How the provincial and federal government’s would assess the project for a second time is unclear.

“We’ve got to have a project first and then once we have a project the governments can figure out how they’ll review it. We’re optimistic,” he says.