I applaud the residents of the Upper Squamish Valley and their refusal to continue to participate in Ledcors dance for control of the Ashlu River Canyon. As part of the persuasion process, one thing Ledcor will never do is invite you to speak to the residents of the Pemberton Valley about our experiences with two IPP sites, the Millar Creek and Rutherford River projects. We hear often that IPPs are a source of "green energy" but we do not hear anything about the social and environmental impact of the construction process.
There is nothing "green" about the construction of these projects. I am inviting the people who treasure the Ashlu to visit the wasteland of an IPP construction site. Come and see for yourself the Rutherford River project. Not only is there an ugly, intrusive building but re-arrangement of the environment continues along the banks of the Rutherford to complete a kayaker's Disneyland i.e. paving paradise and putting up a parking lot. We look still at piles of gravel, cranes, noise, dust and a massive parking lot full of heavy equipment. The inconvenience and unsightliness of IPP construction is not inconsiderable.
Come see the gash on the mountainside at the completed Miller Creek project and speak to the people who put up with its construction process. Ask them how many tons of gravel were trucked past their doorsteps and if they have observed any changes in their fields, streams and view. Take a moment to admire the new set of power poles and overhead power lines along the Meadows Road that the residents had no idea would be part of the process until it was a done deal.
The long-term economic benefit of an IPP does not come to the local community but its construction process and continued existence will change that community forever. No Sea to Sky tourist will ever drive by our IPPs and say it is commendable that we established not one but two alternate energy sources. They may look at the overhead power lines, the kayak park, the building and wonder what we were thinking, but more than likely they wont look at all because there is no longer anything beautiful to see on those sites.
To Sylvia Dolson, Whistler Bear Society
Re.: Letter requesting our assistance in reducing landscaping that attracts bears residential areas.
A letter was received by my employer, Ecosign Mountain Resort Planners, recommending to remove all plants that are bear foods from landscaping in residential areas. The list of plants provided included almost all indigenous plants that grow in Whistler backyards, if nature is left to its own devices. Grasses and dandelions were also included as a "bear food" to be removed from residential neighbourhoods.