B.C. Environment Minister Barry Penner on Tuesday asked United States regulators for intervenor status on a proposal by a Washington State utility to flood 3,650 hectares of the Similkameen Valley for a hydro dam.
The threatened land includes two aboriginal reserves, two provincial protected areas, a potential national park, and "valuable agricultural land," according to a six-page letter from Penner to the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (or FERC).
The Okanogan County Public Utilities District has applied to U.S. regulators to build a dam ranging in height from 27 to 80 metres at Shanker's Bend on the U.S. portion of the Similkameen River and create a 7,300-hectare reservoir — half of which would be on the Canadian side of the valley in southeast B.C.
The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society vigorously opposes the project, which would destroy land now used by more than 20 provincially declared blue and red listed species as well as a proposal for a national grasslands firstname.lastname@example.org
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