Nechako Watershed Roundtable Public Open House Sessions:
Update on the Nechako Watershed Strategy
June 23, 2016
The Gathering Place
University of Northern BC, Prince George
Room 5-123, Geoffrey R. Weller Library Building
Photo courtesy of Ian Picketts
The Fraser Basin Council, in partnership with the Nechako Watershed Roundtable (NWR), hosted two public open house sessions on June 23, 2016 for people to learn about the development of the Nechako Watershed Strategy and to share their ideas
About the Open House Sessions
Each public open house session offered:
- An update on the activities of the NWR Core Committee
- An update on the development and progress of the Nechako Watershed Strategy
- Key highlights from the latest draft of the Strategy and next steps
- Opportunities for dialogue and to provide input on key areas of the Strategy
- Opportunities for networking and sharing of knowledge and experiences.
Those attending shared their thoughts on:
- Additional issues and concerns respecting the Nechako watershed
- Projects and actions that would benefit the health of the Nechako watershed and its communities and ecosystems
- Commitments that would advance these actions and projects
Background: NWR Public Open Houses Agenda
Other 2016 Community Meetings
FBC and the Nechako Watershed Roundtable hosted three other community meetings about the Nechako watershed in May 2016 at Fraser Lake (May 9), Fort St. James (May 10) and Burns Lake (May 11). A big thank-you to all participants!
The meetings were aimed at:
- Introducing the Nechako Watershed Strategy process
- Presenting the key findings and recommendations of the Nechako Watershed Health Report and online Atlas
- Facilitating dialogue and input on issues and concerns in the Nechako watershed
- Raising awareness about current projects and actions underway and discussing new actions to advance the health of the Nechako watershed and its communities and ecosystems
- Providing opportunities for networking and sharing knowledge and experiences.
The Fraser Basin Council and Nechako Watershed Roundtable also engaged in a dialogue with residents across the Nechako region on:
- Priority issues and concerns in the Nechako watershed
- Projects and actions currently underway across the region
- Other projects and actions could benefit the health of the Nechako Watershed and its communities and ecosystems.
Background on the Nechako Watershed and the Nechako Watershed Roundtable
British Columbians recognize water as one of our most precious natural resources, and that healthy watersheds are critical to our long-term social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being. Yet the Nechako Watershed – a magnificent river system in north-central BC – is facing significant challenges, including impacts of the mountain pine beetle epidemic and salvage logging, climate change and diversion of water out of the Nechako watershed, to name a few. Effective stewardship of the Nechako Watershed today is critical for the health and well-being of current and future generations.
In light of these challenges, there is a need to enhance awareness and collaboration to help ensure the long-term environmental health and wealth of the Nechako watershed while addressing today’s needs for responsible resource development and resilient communities.
Although several organizations have worked and continue to work on improving the health of the Nechako watershed, various activities could be better coordinated and limited resources could be pooled more effectively. In addition, increased opportunities are needed for decision-makers and the public to become more aware and engaged with respect to the current status and possible future for the watershed.
The Nechako Watershed Roundtable (NWR) formed to address some of these challenges and opportunities through a collaborative approach. The NWR is a group of representatives from a diversity of organizations, local governments, First Nations, and other government agencies with a shared commitment and concern to protect and improve the health of the Nechako watershed.
An early priority of the Roundtable is to develop a comprehensive strategy to advance the long-term health of the Nechako watershed, including priorities for early, medium and long-term actions. This initiative aims to engage the communities of Prince George, Vanderhoof, Fort St. James, Fraser Lake, Burns Lake as well as the First Nations communities within the watershed. We will also be engaging with representatives of non-government organizations and the private sector to seek input from a diversity of perspectives and build a sense of shared ownership for watershed health and a shared
 McAllister Opinion Research. (2014). Freshwater Insights BC 2013: A Survey of British Columbian Attitudes on Fresh Water.