Disappointed in negative reporting

Letter writer saw the meeting as a positive first step


I was very disappointed to see the negative reporting by Trevor Hewitt regarding the salmon conservation meeting held on April 24 (“Salmon conservation talk devolves into blame game,” Interior News, May 1, 2019, Page A9). It seems he was at a very different meeting from the one I attended.

Mr. Hewitt did not mention that there were presentations by two very brave young people, Bailey Espersen and Bailey Hinchcliffe, who described to a group of over 150 people what the rivers and the salmon have meant to them growing up in our area and how concerned they are about the rivers and fish.

He didn’t mention the thought-provoking presentation by Mark Beere, the regional fisheries biologist, who described, among other things, the impacts of our very dry summers and climate change.

He did not mention that many of the speakers at the meeting are interested in doing whatever is necessary to conserve the salmon resource, even if it means cutting back on limits or even stopping fishing for some species in the short term, hoping for long term rebuilding of stocks.

He did not mention the excellent presentations of Tom Espersen, particularly in his closing comments, where he stressed the need for all user groups to work together right now toward salmon conservation and habitat maintenance and restoration, including First Nations, to carry a unified message to Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.

READ MORE: Salmon conservation talk devolves into blame game

Instead, Mr. Hewitt described the meeting as “devolving into a debate over Indigenous versus non-Indigenous access to salmon.” There certainly were comments by some members of the audience who criticized First Nations fisheries practices, but the responses from elder Violet Gellenbeck and others tactfully calmed the waters, and the meeting moved on.

While actual suggestions for next actions were few, others who attended have told me that they found the meeting to be a very positive first step.

VOTE ON THE POLL: Do you think restrictions on recreational salmon fishing are fair to anglers?

It is a massive undertaking to bring together all user groups and develop a comprehensive plan for salmon conservation and habitat conservation, but one has to start somewhere.

As a community and a region, we should be supportive and proud of the handful of people who are passionate and concerned enough to have made this meeting happen and to take this first step.

Mary Lou Walker



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

UPDATED: 12 Wet’suwet’en supporters arrested by VicPD

Protesters rallied against Coastal GasLink pipeline

Protesters block entrance to government building in support of Wet’suwet’en First Nation

A letter with four demands was delivered to the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources

Indigenous LNG supporters chide human rights advocates over pipeline comments

Coastal GasLink has signed agreements with 20 elected First Nation councils along the pipeline’s 670-kilometre path

B.C. premier talks forestry, service needs with handful of northern mayors in Prince George

Prince George meeting completes premier’s tour of Kitimat, Terrace, Fort St. James and Quesnel

Unist’ot’en requesting Environmental Assessment Office withhold CGL construction permits

The camp says CGL never mentioned healing centre in report to Environmental Assessment Office

Four things ‘not’ to do if you run into Prince Harry and Meghan in B.C.

Here is a list of some things you definitely should NOT do, according to the BBC

B.C. RCMP spent roughly $750K on massive manhunt for Port Alberni men

Manitoba RCMP helped with 17-day search through the province’s northern terrain

Future space homes could be made of mushrooms

NASA explores use of fungi to build structures in space

Man killed by police in Lytton called 911, asking to be shot: RCMP

Howard Schantz, also known as Barry Schantz was killed following a standoff at his Lytton home

Canadian public health agencies ramping up preparations in response to new virus

Health officials have said there are no confirmed cases of the emerging coronavirus in Canada

‘Naughty boy’: Monty Python star Terry Jones dies at 77

The comedian has been suffering from a rare form of dementia

Theo the 800-pound pig trimmed down and still looking for love on Vancouver Island

“He’s doing really well, lost quite a few pounds and can run now.”

Horgan unveils B.C. cabinet shuffle changes

Premier John Horgan has made three major changes to his cabinet

Most Read