Monday, June 26, 2006

Mining Minister Responds to Tyee Story on Land Disputes

. . . and their reporter replies to his letter.

The Tyee is outstanding in its encouragement of discussion and debate. It's encouraging to see a cabinet minister addressing challenging questions (see my previous post) even if Kendyl Salcito's rebuttal that follows is, in most cases, pretty convincing. The readers' comments that follow (below the reporter's comments) are pretty strong too.

Read the story

Thursday, June 15, 2006

BC land-owners vulnerable to prospecting miners

It appears that mining rights to much of BC's land has been bought up - thanks, at least in part, to the provincial government's online staking system. According to Kendyl Salcito in The Tyee, this system:
allows anyone with internet access and $25 to acquire a miner's license and then, at $0.17 an acre, buy mineral rights to land. It doesn't matter whether that land belongs to a neighbour, the Crown, or the "miner" himself. Once you own the mineral rights, you are free to "explore" your claims, wander the property, "poke at a few rocks," in the words of MP Tom Christensen. And once you decide to start drilling and digging, even the landowner's dwelling and buildings are at risk.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

BC Grasslands at risk

Will one of Canada's most endangered ecosystems receive National Park status?

by Heather English
The DominionKobau_sage_web.jpg

The South Okanagan Valley contains more ecological diversity than any other in British Columbia.
photo: Dick Canning

When driving along Highway 3 in southern British Columbia, you’ll find yourself looking out over the South Okanagan Valley; a landscape made up of a mosaic of green, yellow and brown shades, each a different ecosystem. From the bunchgrass ecosystem in the lower elevations to the alpine tundra in the mountaintops, this region contains more ecological diversity than any other in British Columbia. The valley bottoms support more than just ecological diversity; they also support a booming tourist economy, cattle ranching, agriculture and vineyards. The opposing interest groups in the region have made the proposal for a national park reserve controversial and the region’s future uncertain.

Read on

For more images and information on the BC Grasslands, read Chris Harris' Grasslands photo journal.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

New Photo Journal from Chris Czajkowski

Chris CzajkowskiPut a camera in the right hands and a new world opens up for a lot of people. Chris Czajkowski has had a digital camera for a few short months and already she has generated some striking images of her world in the Chilcotin wilderness of BC. Many wilderness lovers know her through her books and slideshows. They will be delighted at this more expansive view of her world, presented though her online Photo Journal. For those who don't know Chris, this is a very good introduction to her and the world she knows and loves.

As her web designer for over five years, I've edited and placed many pictures on her web site but these carry a heightened immediacy. With Chris living off the grid and far from photo-processing labs, this is a classic example of the value of digital technology: high-tech in a low-tech setting.

Chris Czajkowski