Dredging Grohman a bad idea

I can’t believe that BC Hydro would even consider trying such a scheme again

Your March 13 paper contained an article which informed us that BC Hydro is considering dredging Grohman Narrows in order to reduce flooding upstream (“BC Hydro investigates widening Grohman Narrows”). I heard this story a few days earlier on CBC radio and had a hard time believing that they would consider such a thing in this day and age.

This channel was dredged before, by Baillie Grohman, the man who also almost diverted a good part of the Kootenay River into the Columbia system at Canal Flats in the early part of the 20th century, back in a time when man’s right to manipulate rivers was considered sacrosanct and therefore relatively unfettered by pesky questions about the destruction of the natural environment. Grohman Narrows is a highly productive area for fish and dredging the bottom would clearly be destructive to the fishery.

I can’t believe that BC Hydro would even consider trying such a scheme again, 100 years later. Haven’t they done enough to destroy this once productive salmon spawning system already?

It also occurs to me that as a resident of Glade my access to my farm might very well be compromised by any additional water flow during the spring flush. We lost one of the cables on our three cable ferry last year when the water was so high, and luckily the other two held out until the broken cable could be repaired. We have lost all three cables before, and seen our ferry take a trip downstream. One more ounce of flow, and the ferry would have to be shut down.

I know that there was some flooding in the flood plain along the West Arm last year as we did see some flotsam floating by, including plastic pink flamingoes, but I believe that our right to access our homes is more important that the loss of a few bushes and lawn ornaments.

Dredging the bottom of the river does not seem like 21st century thinking to me.  I vote to leave it alone.

Rod Retzlaff



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