Local podcast chronicles climate impacts in the Bulkley Valley

54 Degrees North: Climate Chronicles of the Bulkley Valley was recorded by Nikki Skuce

Skuce pictured with one of the microphones she used to record 54 Degrees North: Climate Chronicles of the Bulkley Valley. (Trevor Hewitt photo)

Skuce pictured with one of the microphones she used to record 54 Degrees North: Climate Chronicles of the Bulkley Valley. (Trevor Hewitt photo)

One environmentally-minded Smithers woman is trying to learn more about the climate impacts currently facing the Bulkley Valley.

In her new podcast series 54 Degrees North: Climate Chronicles of the Bulkley Valley, Nikki Skuce took it upon herself to learn about the unique impacts of climate change in the region.

The podcast, recorded by Skuce between August and November, has six episodes.

They range in topic from glaciers to salmon sustainability to wildfires and include interviews with Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chief Na’Moks (John Ridsdale), Research Climatologist with the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development Vanessa Foord and former MP for Skeena-Bulkley Valley Nathan Cullen.

Discussing the inception of the podcast, Skuce said she has been interested and aware of climate change for as long as she can remember.

READ MORE: Enbridge lobbied government officials

More recently she pointed to an anecdote this past spring.

“When my son and I looked at all the leaf miners at the window back in May, it made me curious as to what climate change impacts were already here and how we will need to adapt,” said Skuce.

She said that while climate change has always impacted the region, its effects have been more clearly seen in recent years.

“The previous two years have had extreme droughts in the region which have impacted everything from forest health, to insect infestations to river water levels. Salmon runs have also been low with Skeena sockeye runs 75 per cent lower than during historical times,” said Skuce.

It’s something she said is particularly damaging to a region which historically had frequent abundances of salmon.

“Salmon have always been a unifying force throughout the watershed and this time should be no different. We need to do what we can within our control such as reducing cumulative effects, conserving and restoring fish habitat throughout the watershed.”

In addition to the direct affect of climate change on the region, the podcast’s last episode — Act and Adapt — focuses on some local initiatives that aim to reduce emissions and advocate for more action locally.

“Given existing impacts from the climate crisis, we are going to need to both act and adapt to the changes. Community resilience will be an important part of adaptation and working together in times of extreme weather events and changes.”

For her part, Skuce said she hopes the podcast will help educate and open people’s eyes to the reality of climate change within the Bulkley Valley and motivate them to take action.

READ MORE: It’s Christmas hamper time

She added the experience was a learning experience for her too.

“I learned tons, including that we have 35 per cent less precipitation in the winters; that we knew of a pathogen impacting forest health as a result of climate change in the late [1990s] and yet did little to integrate climate change into forest management practices; that leaf miners are unlikely a result of climate change but are an added stress to aspen during droughts; and that the changing timings of salmon runs and berries ripening may impact names given in the Wit’suwit’en culture.”

54 Degrees North was made possible with funding by Wetzin’Kwa Community Forest Corp. and Northwest Institute.

It can be found online and will be aired on Smithers Community Radio CICK 93.9FM starting at the end of January.



trevor.hewitt@interior-news.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Gareth Manderson, general manager BC Works, and Bandstra’s Zach Runions and Steve Collins. Photo supplied
Smithers family-owned business institution sold to publicly-traded company

Bandstra Transportation and Babine Trucking acquired by Mullen Group

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

The Quesnel RCMP Detachment is one of seven northern police buildings which can now connect directly to Prince George for daily bail hearings. (Observer File Photo)
Bail hearings going virtual in B.C.’s north

A court pilot project will see virtual courtroom cameras set up in seven RCMP detatchments

FILE – Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have agreed to sign a memorandum on rights and title with B.C. and Ottawa, but elected chiefs are demanding it be called off over lack of consultation. (Thom Barker photo)
Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, Lake Babine Nation get provincial funding for land, title rights

Government says it’s a new, flexible model for future agreements between Canada, B.C. and First Nations.

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

FILE – The Instagram app is shown on an iPhone in Toronto on Monday, March 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Judge acquits B.C. teen boy ‘set up’ on sex assault charge based on Instagram messages

The girl and her friends did not have ‘good intentions’ towards the accused, judge says

Kai Palkeinen recently helped a car stuck on the riverbed near the Big Eddy Bridge. While the car could not be saved, some of the driver’s belongings were. It’s common for vehicles to get stuck in the area due to significantly changing river levels from Revelstoke Dam. (Photo by Kai Palkeinen)
“I just sank a car’: Revelstoke resident tries to save vehicle from the Columbia River

Although it’s not permitted, the riverbed near the city is popular for off roading

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, walks down the street with an acquaintance after leaving B.C. Supreme Court during a lunch break at her extradition hearing, in Vancouver, B.C., Thursday, April 1, 2021. A judge is scheduled to release her decision today on a request to delay the final leg of hearings in Meng Wanzhou’s extradition case. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rich Lam
B.C. judge grants Meng Wanzhou’s request to delay extradition hearings

Lawyers for Canada’s attorney general had argued there is no justification to delay proceedings in the case

B.C. Premier John Horgan announces travel restrictions between the province’s regional health authorities at the legislature, April 19, 2021. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sees 862 more COVID-19 cases Wednesday, seven deaths

Recreational travel restrictions set to begin Friday

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson is photographed following her budget speech in the legislative assembly at the provincial legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. budget lacks innovative drive, vision during uncertain times, say experts

Finance Minister Selina Robinson’s budget sets out to spend $8.7 billion over three years on infrastructure

Using panels kept cold by water circulating within them, B.C. researchers compared thermal comfort in 60 of the world’s most populous cities, including Toronto. (Lea Ruefenacht)
B.C. researchers use air conditioning to combat spread of COVID particles

Dr. Adam Rysanek and his team have proven a new worthwhile system – a mixture of cooling panels and natural ventilation

Police road checks are coming for people travelling between regions while COVID-19 travel restrictions are in place. (Black Press file photo)
B.C. clarifies COVID-19 travel restrictions, Lower Mainland a single zone

Vehicle checks on highways, at ferry terminals to start Friday

Most Read