Fraser Basin Council
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Other Regional Work

Here's a look at some of our past work in the Upper Fraser region:

NEWSS

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The Nechako Environment and Water Stewardship Society (NEWSS) is a non-profit organization that is building stewardship partnerships with landowners and water stewards across the Nechako River Basin. The NEWSS vision is to improve the health of the watershed, particularly in the agricultural belt. The society is working to build on the success of restoration work that members undertook in the Murray Creek watershed.

The Fraser Basin Council assisted on the Murray Creek project, facilitating First Nations youth participation and employment. Since then, we have helped NEWSS in its start-up as a non-profit and on education initiatives, with funding from Rio Tinto Alcan and the BC Living Rivers Trust Fund

The group is active in streambank restoration, environmental stewardship and education, with interest in watershed planning and aquifer mapping. Learn more on the NEWSS website.

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Climate Change Adaptation in Prince George

The City of Prince George is preparing for the impacts of climate change. To support the City in its efforts, and help others learn from the experience, the Fraser Basin Council prepared a case profile, funded by the BC Regional Adaptation Collaborative program.

The City identified 11 major areas of climate change impacts. These centred on:

  • forests and forestry (fires and insect outbreaks)
  • flooding (greater frequency, property damage)
  • transportation infrastructure (freeze-thaw cycles, need for more road maintenance and repairs)
  • severe weather emergency response
  • water supply (shortages)
  • slope stability
  • stormwater management
  • buildings and utilities
  • health
  • agriculture and
  • population growth from migration.

Priorities actions included:

  • designing flood-resilient buildings, and planning development away from flood-prone areas
  • designing roads to be more resilient during freeze-thaw cycles
  • incorporating climate change adaptation into the City’s emergency response strategy.

The City considered climate adaptation in different aspects of planning, as reflected in the myPG Plan and the Official Community Plan.

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Youth and Healthy Living

Youth and Watersheds

FBC has helped lead several mentorship projects to connect young people with local watersheds and community groups.

One of these was hosted in the Upper Fraser region from September 2011 to March 2012, thanks to the Fraser Salmon and Watersheds Program. It was called Northern Fraser Youth Capacity-Building for Watershed Governance.

There were 15 participants, aged 18-24, from the Prince George and the Stuart-Nechako regions. They gathered for a training and skills retreat in the fall, followed by individual mentoring placements, and a final wrap-up session with the mentors in 2012. Mentoring partnerships were created with the Murray Creek restoration project, Nechako White Sturgeon Recovery Initiative, Exploration Place, City of Prince George, Northern Bear Awareness Society, Northern Health, and the Potato House Sustainable Community School.

Youth and host organizations were enthusiastic about the experience. For a closer look, see the full project report.

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Air Quality and Youth

In 2011 a group of Prince George Aboriginal youth explored air quality issues in the region and opportunities to promote good air quality and healthy lifestyles. FBC hosted the project, including a tour of an air quality monitoring station and a look at Canfor Pulp and Paper Mill operations. Participants arranged for a discussion of air quality issues between Aboriginal youth and Elders at the Native Friendship Centre. Partnership support came from PGAIR, BC Ministry of Health, Canfor, the City of Prince George and Northern Health.

Are you involved in the education of BC youth? Check out the Air Quality Resource Package for Teachers.

Living Life Fully: Local and Traditional Foods

 “Living Life Fully” offers northern youth the chance to develop projects on healthy living. When FBC worked with program participants in 2011, the project of choice was FOOD! The challenge was to learn about traditional plants and other locally grown foods — and how to pull these together into scrumptious meals.

To share the experience, participants also organized a baby food prep workshop for young parents, developed signage on traditional plant uses, and maintained a community garden plot. The centrepiece of their efforts is the Local and Traditional Food Recipes booklet, available on the BC Healthy Communities website.

This Living Life Fully project was funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), TD Friends of the Environment, and Enhance Prince George. Participants were supported through a collaboration of the Fraser Basin Council, Dakelh Elders Society and Future Cents, with support from BC Healthy Communities.

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Bike to Work Week

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The Fraser Basin Council teamed up with Bike to Work BC in 2009 to organize Prince George’s first-ever Bike to Work Week, showing that cycling can be a safe, viable means of transportation in the city. The event drew over 70 workplace teams and 325 cyclists. Of these, 86 cycled to work for the very first time!

It has been thrilling to see Bike to Work Week continue to thrive and grow.

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Rivers Day

The BC Rivers Day Music Festival in Prince George is a free, fun-filled community celebration that takes place on the last Sunday each year in September at Fort George Park. The event attracts hundreds of visitors who enjoy a sparkling showcase of musical performers and dancers, as well as displays by local groups to honour watersheds and community stewardship.

FBC was proud to have served on the planning committee between 2002 and 2012.

Watch for details on this year’s event at www.riversdaymusic.org.

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Naver Creek Restoration

naver_creek.jpgAn ambitious multi-year restoration project on Naver Creek near Hixon has been underway since 2006. The work was needed because of a serious ice jam in January 2005 that put residents and their properties at risk, along with railway, hydro-electricity transmission lines, natural gas pipelines, oil pipelines and Highway 97.

Several sites along the creek have needed rehabilitation to minimize the risks of future of ice jams, floods, soil erosion and property damage, and to protect fish and wildlife habitat.

Coordination of this project is through FBC’s Upper Fraser office.

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UNBC-Northern Health
“Ecohealth and Watersheds” Knowledge to Action

With more attention now focused on the “upstream” determinants of health, health researchers and practitioners are being asked to work together, even beyond the traditional domain of health.

FBC participates in the UNBC-Northern Health “Ecohealth and Watersheds Knowledge to Action” project. The project is aimed at intersectoral action to improve the water-related determinants of health in Canada. This approach is particularly valuable in northern, rural and remote communities where it is important to address multiple health impacts and to optimize limited resources.

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Nechako Watershed Council

nwc.jpgAmong FBC’s early efforts in the Upper Fraser region was helping to establish the Nechako Watershed Council (NWC) in 1998.

This multi-interest group — with representatives from industry, business, community and governments, including First Nations —worked for many years to enhance the long-term health and viability of the watershed with consideration for all interests.

The NWC offered advice and assistance on enhancements downstream of the Kenney Dam and use of the Nechako Environmental Enhancement Fund.

The Kenney Dam was built in the 1950s by Alcan to divert water out of the Nechako River to generate power for its aluminum smelter in Kitimat. In 1997, the Province of BC and Alcan (as part of a settlement package relating to the Kemano completion project) agreed to contribute up to $50-million to a Nechako Environmental Enhancement Fund.

An important, longstanding issue — and the subject of years of studies — is whether a water release facility will be built to help stabilize flows on the Nechako River and help restore aquatic ecosystems, especially the Murray-Cheslatta system.

The NEEF Management Committee carried out consultations in the early 2000s and made initial recommendations. In a 2012 review, it held a series of hearings and events to identify different options and allocations for some of the NEEF fund: see www.neef.ca. The Nechako Watershed Council has supported a water release facility to benefit the Nechako and the Murray-Cheslatta system. The NEEF Management Committee, however, flagged high cost as one barrier. The Cheslatta Carrier Nation has proposed that the facility could be funded through complementary hydroelectric dam that feeds into the BC Hydro grid. The NWC encouraged a serious look at this option.

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Our Vision

Social well-being supported by a vibrant economy and sustained by a healthy environment.

About the Fraser Basin Council

The Fraser Basin Council (FBC) is a charitable non-profit organization that brings people together to advance sustainability in the Fraser River Basin and throughout BC. Established in 1997, FBC is a collaboration of four orders of government (federal, provincial, local and First Nations) along with those from the private sector and civil society. We work with people in multiple sectors, helping them find collaborative solutions to today’s issues through a commitment to the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainability. Our focus is on healthy water and watersheds, action on climate change and air quality and strong, resilient communities and regions.

FBC Project and
Partner Sites

Plug in BC:
www.pluginbc.ca

BuySmart Network:
www.buysmartbc.com

BC Rural Network:
www.bcruralnetwork.ca

Rethinking our Water Ways:
www.rethinkingwater.ca

ReTooling for Climate Change:
www.retooling.ca

Climate Action Toolkit:
www.toolkit.bc.ca

Contact Us

FBC has offices in Vancouver, Kamloops, Williams Lake, Quesnel and Prince George. We also have staff located in Abbotsford and Vernon.

To reach us, see FBC Offices and FBC Staff.

Our main office is:

Fraser Basin Council
1st Floor, 470 Granville Street
Vancouver, BC V6C 1V5

T: 604 488-5350
F: 604 488-5351
E: