The Tsolum Celebrates Another Year in the Right Direction

The Tsolum River Restoration Society is celebrating a positive year of conservation and restoration work in the Tsolum River watershed, Comox Valley, British Columbia. Water quality continues to improve, our understanding fish is improving and we have  small improvements in pink and coho salmon and cutthroat trout numbers.  In addition we have been active with bank stabilization, riparian zone replanting. Our knowledgeable membership grows with dedicated volunteers and landowners throughout the 260 sq. km watershed.

Confluence of Dove Creek and Tsolum River
The confluence of Dove Creek and Tsolum River.

Many problems continue to plague this once bountiful river. With the support of corporations such as TimberWest and Marine Harvest Canada, local supporters such as Muchalat Construction Ltd., Connections Group, Shelterwood Forest Management, Dr. David Morwood Inc., and our many donors, supporters, members and volunteers we are getting a much better picture of what we need to tackle next.

Mount Washington Mine Site
The abandoned copper mine on Mount Washington near Courtenay, BC is now completely capped, resulting in a dramatic improvement in the water quality of the Tsolum River. Photo courtesy of Tsolum River Restoration Society.

Water quality, of course, was the single-most limiting factor to the health of the Tsolum River but with the complete sealing and capping of the abandoned copper mine in the upper watershed water quality is no longer a serious issue. Thanks to a $4.5 million dollar allocation of BC taxpayers money to remediate the old mine we have effectively seen the end of 44 years of acid rock drainage.

Now the Tsolum River Restoration Society will tackle the remaining issues. Among these however, one issue rises quickly to forefront. Siltation causes water quality problems, unstable banks cause siltation, over-wide and shallow river and creek beds allow water to create erosion that in turn causes more siltation. The shifting gravels loosens the salmon eggs and they are lost to predators and crushing. Tackling this intertwined series of issues presents a daunting task.

Fortunately, the Tsolum River Restoration Society has faced daunting challenges with the old minesite and through collaboration and partnership building we have been successful. We have begun to build the partnerships needed to tackle this next major issue and invite everyone in the Comox Valley to become a part of our next big success.

Join us on the journey back to the health and diversity of a river badly battered by human activity. By becoming involved you learn how to lighten your footprint while helping to repair our small corner of our world. This is your opportunity to become a part of the solution! Another way to get involved with the Tsolum River is to become a donor, member and/or volunteer.

Harold Macy to speak at Annual General Meeting on Saturday January 21, 1 – 3 PM at the Dove Creek Hall

Harold Macy
The always entertaining Harold Macy is the guest speaker at this year’s Tsolum River Restoration’s Annual General Meeting. Photo courtesy Tsolum River

Attend the Tsolum River Restoration Society AGM on Saturday, January 21st between 1-3 pm at the Dove Creek Hall on (3400 Burns Road, Courtenay, BC)  where you will hear where we are and where we are headed.  Meet the Board of Directors for 2012, be entertained and learn about forestry by our humourous and extremely knowledgable guest Speaker, Mr. Harold Macy.

Harold Macy has lived in Merville for more than thirty years.  He has worked for the BC Forest Service Research Branch, been a silviculture contractor for a local forestry company, fought wildfires, had rain in his lunchpail heli-logging up in the mid-coast inlets, and for many years was the forester at the UBC Oyster River Research Farm, where he wrote and delivered on-line and weekend courses in small scale forestry and agroforestry.  Harold served as an Area “C” Regional Director and he and his family presently operate a four-hundred hectare woodlot forest where, that which he writes in this book, is practiced on the ground

Harold, remains an old hippy, an unrepentant socialist and an equally unapologetic Christian.  He is a member of the Black Creek Mennonite Brethren Church and a founding Director of the North Island Woodlot Association and the Comox Valley Farmers Market.

Harold’s talks are always entertaining.

Getting there:

Use the Google Map below to attend the AGM at the Dove Creek Hall, 3400 Burns Road, Courtenay, BC on Saturday, January 21. The meeting starts at 1 pm.


Article submitted by the Tsolum River Restoration Society