Bulkley Valley Research Centre - Science in the Public Interest

BVRC celebrates 10 years conducting research in the valley

February 28, 2013

On Monday, Feb. 25, the Bulkley Valley Research Centre hosted 66 people at its 10th annual general meeting, awards ceremony and anniversary celebration at the Aspen Riverhouse.

The event attracted Smithers mayor Taylor Bachrach, who spoke to the centre’s beginnings and ongoing role in the valley, a slate of award-winner researchers, and a handful of new members to the local research organization. Research program manager Rick Budhwa said he feels the event marks a new era in the BVRC’s evolution.

“For the past decade, the centre has been facilitating important research in the Northwest. My feeling is, that’s just going to increase over the next decade,” Budhwa said. “We are expanding into more diverse areas of research and our role becomes increasingly important as we strive to balance development and sustainability. Good science informs that balance.” 

At the event, the centre handed out three awards. The Jim Pojar Award honours a recent publication that contributes to natural resource sustainability in the Northwest. This year, a joint nomination resulted in two forestry books, both published by Island Press in 2008/09 and authored by local forest scientists, being awarded the honour. The award was accepted by Salvage Logging and its Ecological Consequences co-author Phil Burton and A Critique of Silviculture, Managing for Complexity co-author Dave Coates.

Two nominees for the Irving Fox Award both spoke this fall at the Enbridge Northern Gateway hearings in Prince George. The winner, Dave Bustard, has over 40 years experience as an aquatic biologist and one of the original members of the Association of Professional Biology of B.C. Bustard recently prepared a report on the potential fisheries effects of an oil spill from the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline. According to the nomination, he undertook this task realizing that government agencies, such as DFO, were no longer able to provide comments on the effects of a pipeline rupture on fish and habitat.

Also nominated for the Irving Fox Award was Pat Moss, who has worked on local environmental and cultural issues since the late 1970s. Although she did not receive the award, the selection committee strongly recommended Moss be nominated again in the future. The Irving Fox Award is given for lifetime achievement. 

Since 2009, the BVRC has honoured community engagement with the Volunteer Award. This year’s recipient was Bob Henderson, who has been involved with the local Community Resources Board and the Recreation Access Management Plan (RAMP). Henderson accepted the award on behalf of all who have worked hard on the RAMP process.

Sadly, Buckey the Beaver did not resurface for this event, despite efforts by the Bulkley Valley Research Centre and the Aspen Inn to locate him. Instead, the centre presented Aspen staff with a replacement Buckey.