Bulkley Valley Research Centre - Science in the Public Interest

Skeena Salmon Habitat Workshop

Project Reference Number: 2009-18

Project Status: Complete

Led by: Rick Budhwa, Bulkley Valley Research Centre, Smithers

Amanda Follett, Communications Coordinator, Bulkley Valley Research Centre

Funder: Driftwood Foundation; Moore Foundation

In September, the Bulkley Valley Research Centre hosted the Skeena Salmon Habitat Conference, the first event of its kind to bring together a diverse set of stakeholders from throughout the Skeena watershed. The conference created important linkages and garnered such a positive response that the Centre, with support from the Driftwood Foundation and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, immediately arranged a follow up workshop on Dec. 3, 2009 to continue the conference’s momentum and discuss what next steps should be taken toward effectively managing this important ecosystem.

The Skeena Salmon Habitat Workshop, which was held at the Driftwood Lodge near Smithers, included representation from various levels of government, First Nations, research consultants and NGOs. While the workshop brought together a diverse group of people with differing ideas about how to proceed from the conference, discussion focused on the B.C. Pacific Salmon Forum’s recommendations, which were submitted to the provincial government earlier in the year. The recommendations, which were produced at the request of Premier Gordon Campbell and took three years and $5 million taxpayer dollars to complete, have not yet received a response from the provincial government. With no response forthcoming from the provincial government, the workshop explored potential for future collaboration in the Skeena watershed and examined the possibility of making the it a pilot for the ecosystem-based management outlined in the forum’s final report.

Themes that emerged from the workshop included the question of jurisdiction, the role of government, possible outcomes and monitoring. As the workshop closed, the Skeena Habitat Project Working Group was formed, consisting of Richard Overstall (Babine Watershed Monitoring Trust), Greg Knox (SkeenaWild Conservation Trust), Don Morgan (Bulkley Valley Research Centre and Ministry of Forests, Research Branch) and Rick Budhwa (Bulkley Valley Research Centre). It was also agreed that a suitable provincial representative would be identified and asked to participate on the working group. The Bulkley Valley Research Centre would serve as the primary contact point for the working group on an interim basis and the Driftwood Foundation said it would fund the group in the short term. The working group plans to put together a proposal summarizing discussions to date and outlining options for moving forward. The goal is to complete this proposal by January 2010.

Summary Notes: Skeena Salmon Habitat Workshop

Related Reports

Publication Date Report Title Authors
January 2010 Summary Notes: Skeena Salmon Habitat Workshop Bulkley Valley Research Centre & Dovetail Consulting Inc.