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COMMENTARY · 10th December 2011
Merv Ritchie
‘A picture is worth a thousand words’ is a common phrase and in this case a picture is worth the preservation of not only all Northwest life but maybe all life. Words are not enough.

The above picture is of a BC Government produced map. (See a larger image size by opening the attached file below) It shows the details of the source of all the major Northwest BC rivers. The Stikine, known as the “Grand Canyon of the North” is one of the last great unspoiled salmon producing rivers. Two others, the Nass and the Skeena Rivers have their origins here, at the Spatzizi Wilderness Plateau and Mount Klappan.

All the rivers flowing off of Mount Klappan and the Spatzizi Wilderness Plateau, which run east, flow into the Stikine River. The Stikine then wraps around this region in a huge arc flowing east, then north then west then south into the North Pacific waters of Alaska.

The Little Klappan River captures all the North and the West flowing waters from Mount Klappan and the Spatzizi Wilderness Plateau, which joins the main Klappan River flowing directly into the Stikine, in its westward arc, just east of Highway 37 north of Iskut, BC.

The Skeena River originates along the southern and eastern edges of Mount Klappan capturing all the remaining waters flowing West and South not captured by the Little Klappan River.

Just to the west of the Little Klappan and Skeena Rivers is a small mountain range of peaks in the Skeena Range which defines the border of the Regional District Kitimat Stikine and the Regional District Bulkley Nechako. This range is called the Slamgeesh range and the northern end on these peaks is called the Groundhog. Like the peak of the roof of a home the waters run off each side. To the east these waters run into the Little Klappan and the Skeena River. To the west the waters flow into the Nass River and the main Klappan River and there is a small lake at the origin of these two rivers. The North end of this lake flows into the Klappan River and the south end of the lake flows into the Nass River. This region is truly the top of our world.

It is this entire region, detailed and defined above, which the BC Government has identified and labelled as the Provincial Government Coal Reserve. The mineral exploration and lease holders have for decades called it the Groundhog. Today two Companies are actively preparing to disturb this territory.

Royal Dutch Shell is preparing to employ a method to extract the Methane gas trapped and contained within the coal fields by using an extremely poisonous and polluting activity called Fracking. Fortune Minerals is planning to simply tear down Mount Klappan and the surrounding territory to take the coal away.

Reason and logic demonstrate a simple truth, this is nature's water filter for all life. As can be shown by using an aquarium water filter or even a counter top Brita water filter, coal and charcoal are the highest premium water purity and filtering systems.

The Klappan region, the Ground Hog and the Spatzizi Wilderness Plateau are at the height of the Northwest. All waters flow from this high point into every river and every water source. It is this natural ‘Coal Bed’ field that provides the purity for all the salmon bearing streams and rivers. The Klappan is the incubator, the nursery, the life source of every living thing. To disturb this region is to sacrifice all life on Planet Earth. This might sound dramatic but it truly is this important. All North Pacific waters, this means most marine life, depend on the Salmon originating from the pure Klappan waters. All Northwest Rainforest habitats depend on the returning spawning salmon for their nutrients, from the Bears and Wolves to the trees which derive a significant portion of their nutrients from rotting salmon carcasses left in the woods by the carnivores who have already fed on them. These forests produce the oxygen we all need to breathe.

The Klappan is the origin of the life cycle. Today the BC Liberal Party and the associated BC government is urging the completion of a rail line through to the Klappan to assist Fortune Minerals and others to extract the Coal. Royal Dutch Shell is now pursuing their gas extraction plans pushing the BC Government to allow them to proceed.

Any and every person who encourages and facilitates this proposal is quite bluntly a traitor to humanity and all life. There is no excuse, nothing to excuse, no manner in which to justify such an abhorrent attack on the blood stream of all Northwest life. In a reasonable world those who participated in destroying such an indispensible, essential and even mandatory system for survival would not just be expelled they would be executed. What would be a reasonable action to take against an individual or corporation that destroyed your food source for hundreds of years?

This concept is an all out attack on everything life sustaining. It is imperative that all peoples take all action to prevent any incursion into these regions. Anything less is not just cowardly it is unforgivable.
The location of the Provincial Coal Reserve
The location of the Provincial Coal Reserve
Fortune Minerals pilot plant. photo from Fortune Minerals
Fortune Minerals pilot plant. photo from Fortune Minerals
Astoundingly, these rivers are attempting to deliver a message to humanity by forming the profile of a human face looking east as if to warn humanity of our folly.
Astoundingly, these rivers are attempting to deliver a message to humanity by forming the profile of a human face looking east as if to warn humanity of our folly.
The activity has already been initiated.   Klappan Mountain site exploration.  Photo from Fortune Minerals website
The activity has already been initiated. Klappan Mountain site exploration. Photo from Fortune Minerals website
learning curve
Comment by al on 14th December 2011
as a kid, we would put a glass to our mouths and suck in the air till the glass stuck to our face, this created a vacuum and sometimes left a bruise on our face, certainly an embarassment when we went to school in front of our friends, now as adults we suck the resources from our planet, forgetting what we learnt as children, simple math, the more you take away, the bigger the bruise. I know I am proud to fight for nature, my kids deserve the right to have what I have, mother nature should never be folklore
just sayin
Comment by al on 14th December 2011
way back when I saw a bumper sticker that said
earth first, whos next
seems like my grass burnin ancestors were on to something
just sayin
Comment by Linda Halyk on 10th December 2011
So if they don't kill us and the whole of British Columbia with oil, they will use coal, to destroy us and the rest of the world. We will sell it to China for less than world market value expecting I'm not sure what, in return. I do know what the world will get, more toxic like Bejing. The Chinese just admitted Bejing has a problem, you didn't know that, maybe not, they just can't see or breath.

I don't understand these politicians, they have children, do they not want them to grow up happy and healthy. You can't eat money and if there is no clean water or air, your buck stops there.

The Stikine Canyon is absolutely gorgeous, what a shame if we allow them to destroy it. It should be made into a National Park. I wonder if Harper or Clark have ever seen it? I don't see how they could let it get destroyed, but then again, I guess all they see is $$$$$$.

Why is Canada going backwards? Why are we mining and drilling the most filthy fuel sources and why for crying out loud are we mining asbestos and shipping it out of this country. The people of the world's health is already in crisis, so just add a little more. Everyone knows how deadly asbestos is, yet Mr Harper just smiles. How much more manure is he going to shovel?
Maybe Mr Harper you would like to watch someone die of an asbestos related lung cancer and leave his wife and two young kids behind. You are suppose to be our protector do what's right for all Canadians, not the USA & multinational banks/big oil companies.
When you deal with them get us the best deal, what kind of negotiator are you? They all must be just belly gut laughing behind your back, oh here comes Harper, goody more for us. Those Canadians I bet we could sell them an igloo.