The purpose of this project is to help protect the 35,000 hectare Goat River watershed, which is one of the largest undeveloped, relatively pristine watersheds in the Fraser River basin.
The Goat River watershed provides vital habitat for grizzly bears and mountain caribou (an endangered, red-listed species), as well as chinook salmon and bull trout. The forest in the lower Goat is part of B.C.’s unique inland rainforest, consisting of some of the oldest and largest red cedars in the interior of the province, with individual trees of up to 2,000 years old. The Goat is unprotected, and under threat from logging. The ultimate form of protection for the watershed would be its establishment as a park or a protected area.
My project will focus on raising public awareness of the importance of the watershed to increase support for its protection. To do this, I will support the efforts of the Fraser Headwaters Alliance (a local conservation group) to restore and upgrade the historic Goat River Trail---in order to bring the broader public into contact with the natural beauty of the Goat--- and engage in efforts to market the Goat River to the public. Project components will include:
1) Trail upgrades: I am working with the Fraser Headwaters Alliance to submit applications to the BC component of the Canada 150 fund as well as to the Impact! Fund to support trail construction and upgrades such as signage, interpretive kiosks, and campsites.
2) Marketing: I will be contacting Barkerville Brewing (a local micro-brewer) to determine its interest in a marketing campaign that would see Barkerville Brewing create a "Goat River" beer. Barkerville could donate a portion of the proceeds from sales towards conservation of the watershed. Patrons who could show (via GPS coordinates) that they have completed the length of the trail (~55km, or 3 days) could receive a complementary pint when visiting the brewery.
I will also be applying to the federal component of the Canada 150 fund for funding to make a documentary about the history of the Goat River Trail. Partnering with Destination BC (BC's tourism marketing organization) on a story about the Goat River is also a possibility. Destination BC produces the BC Magazine which is very popular with tourism/travel agencies around the world.