The provincial Ministry of Water, Land and Resource Stewardship (MWLRS) and the Office of the Wet’suwet’en (OW) proposed their new Widzin Kwah water sustainability project to the board of the Regional District of Bulkley Nechako (RDBN) on Oct. 12.
The project was named as a priority in the tripartite memorandum of understanding that the OW entered into with B.C. and Canada in May 2020 and the mission is to improve watershed health and water quality for cumulative effect on fish inhabitants.
David deWitt Natural Resources Manager from the OW and Ryan Holmes Director of MWLRS attended to represent this project.
During the presentation, Holmes said the project will effectively manage water and watersheds.
Therefore, conducting engagement on multiple perspectives will create an environment for new water bodies, objectives, and ultimately a water-sustainability plan.
“Throughout this process, we’re also aiming to weave certain laws, values and governance, into resource management and decisions.”
Holmes also added that there will be number of pilot projects revolving around the water sustainability project and the lakes resiliency project is one of them.
“Going forward, our management direction is to better represent the health and wealth needs of the community.”
Director Gladys Atrill, who is also the mayor of Smithers was interested in the relationship between water and forest lands.
“I may not be saying this in the most elegant way, but I am thinking about systems that are reliant on healthy water systems, which is the water that is not directly in the river, but the water that might eventually reach the river.”
Holmes answered that the watershed reflects into climate change resilience which can be seen across British Columbia.
”The world is in need of future realities of climate that can be created and designed into a manageable realm of ecosystem that is more resilient to temperature and climate effects.”
At the end of the presentation, deWitt and Holmes have requested for an RDBN representative to be present on their board and provide staff time to oversee the project.
RDBN chair Mark Parker resolved to have more discussions about this project and bring it back to the board meeting on Oct. 26.