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Southwest BC / Lower Mainland Regional Issues

bcregion mainland
With 2.8 million people, this dynamic metropolitan area is B.C.’s most populous region. It is home to one of the most ethnically diverse regions in Canada. It offers economic opportunities, a mild climate, an active lifestyle and all the amenities of a vibrant urban centre. Major industry sectors include trade and financial services, transportation, education, secondary manufacturing, tourism and agriculture.

Tetrahedron Provincial Park and Chapman Lake are under threat - The Forthcoming Amendment to Tetrahedron Provincial Park

The Sunshine Coast in 2015 and 2017 experienced Stage 4 drought in the Chapman system, the highest severity level of drought which bans all outdoor tap water use. The Chapman system provides water to 85% of the Sunshine Coast water users and the system refers to the watershed containing Chapman Lake and Creek. The lake and upper reaches of the creek are inside Tetrahedron Provincial Park.

The current surface area of Chapman Lake is given as 345,518 m2 at lake full. At 8 meter drawdown, the area is reduced to be 194,445 m2. That is 56% of lake full surface area. The northeast stream is classified as high quality fish habitat suitable for all stages of fish life cycles (spawning, rearing, overwintering, migration, and spawning/holding). It contains 240 meters of good habitat that is critical in sustaining fish. During drawdown the northeast stream would flow onto dry lake bed leaving fish exposed without a channel, cover or streamside vegetation. The drying mud flats would extend 137 meters from the outflow to the lake at 8 meter drawdown. It is unlikely any fish would survive the transit and access to Dolly Varden spawning areas would not be possible.

The SCRD timetable has Chapman Lake removed from the park by a boundary amendment in fall of 2018 and construction in summer of 2019. The construction plan is to install an almost 1 meter diameter pipe at 9 meters below the lake full water level with the ability to drawdown the lake by 8 meters.

Your reference: 315780 June 5, 2018 Honourable George Heyman Minister of Environment & Climate Change Strategy The Executive Council Victoria PO Box 9063 Victoria BC V8W9E2 Dear Minister Heyman: Re: Tetrahedron Provincial Park consultation process I received Mr. Jim Standen's reply with reference no. 315780 on May 2nd to my earlier letter regarding the public consultation process on proposed changes to Tetrahedron Provincial Park. I attended the May 2nd open house in Sechelt. I...

Reference:  315780 May 2, 2018 Paul Kubik Dear Mr. Kubik: Thank you for your email of April 29, 2018, regarding the proposed changes to Tetrahedron Provincial Park. Let me begin by acknowledging and thanking you for your strong commitment to Tetrahedron Park as well as the broader BC Parks system. You clearly care deeply about BC’s natural spaces. With respect to Tetrahedron Park, it may be helpful to summarise the history of this particular park and the associated management plan...

I spoke with a statistician friend of mine today about the Tetrahedron Provincial Park survey. The survey was prepared by BC Parks to gauge public support for three options to enable additional water extraction beyond what is currently allowed in the Class A provincial park. The options would re-designate the park as a conservancy or protected area with lesser protection. Thee designations would allow development of additional water infrastructure and perhaps ancillary infrastructure and...

April 28, 2018 It's no longer far-fetched to think the Tet could be roaded and logged. The BC NDP government is proposing to declassify Tetrahedron Provincial Park to a "protected area" under the Environmental Land Use Act. As an ELUA protected area, the declassified lands would be managed for maximum beneficial land use. The designation would allow Sunshine Coast Regional District to proceed with its contentious plan to further drain Chapman and Edwards lakes. By fall 2019, a new 1-meter...

April 8, 2018 Water wars on the Sunshine Coast have begun. We normally think of coastal B.C. as having too much rain. Wry humour on the Sunshine Coast says that it is liquid sunshine. But climate statistics show that we have dry summers brought on by the east Pacific high pressure area which dominates in the summer months. Lack of convective rain and thunderstorms means that the west coast is much drier than the east coast of North America. Snowmelt is a major contributor to stream...

For Sunshine Coast Regional District, it is full steam ahead for deleting Chapman Lake from Tetrahedron Provincial Park. Their timeline for it to occur is the fall of 2018, about 6 months from now. I asked Jennie Aikman, South Coast Regional Director of BC Parks, for a map of the park amendment. She said she didn't have anything to share publicly until uncertainty in her office regarding the project is resolved. Considering that the issue has been on the radar for BC Parks since at least 2016...

Click on the link to view the document: Chapman Lake water works: Tetrahedron Outdoor Club letter to BC Parks (2016-03-15)

Chapman Lake siphon pipes installed summer 2107. Photo date: September 30th, 2017. backcountryBC is still trying to find out if a park use permit and water license were issued prior to development. The photos appear to show the lake at the 3 meter drawdown level. SCRD is proposing to draw down the lake a further 5 meters. Or perhaps raise the dam and flood 5 meters of old growth higher.  

Updated: April 4, 2018 The timeline below is showing troubling lack of oversight from some of our government agencies. 2010: Sechelt Official Community Plan states "Sechelt has far more residential land than is needed to meet future demands." Buildout is claimed to be 14,000 units and current build is less than 4,000 units. That leaves 10,000 units available under current zoning to be built. It continues to say that one of its growth strategy principles is to protect natural habitats,...

The Chapman watershed provides of 90% of the water supply within the Sunshine Coast regional district's water service area. The SCRD projects up to 2% population growth rate to 2036. The SCRD advocates for "intensive demand management", i.e. curtailing water use. Even with IDM, by 2036, the SCRD theorizes that it's goal of having adequate water storage capacity for a 1 in 25 year drought return scenario will not be met. It projects only having sufficient water capacity for 14 out of every 15...

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