Conserving the Mighty Fraser

Conserving the Mighty Fraser

Conserving the Mighty Fraser

Cariboo-Chilcotin’s Ford Awarded $1,000 Rivershed Grant

October 27, 2016
Williams Lake, BC

The Rivershed Society of British Columbia (RSBC) is pleased to announce that it has granted $1,000 to Ms. Candice Ford for her SLLP community sustainability project.

This summer, Candice completed the RSBC’s 13th annual Sustainable Living Leadership Program (SLLP): a 25-day, 1,400km journey by canoe and raft from the headwaters of the Fraser River in the Rocky Mountains, through the majestic Fraser Canyon to the shores of Vancouver. SLLP participants learn about stewardship, work with the RSBC’s network of community leaders throughout BC, hone their leadership skills, and develop their own sustainability project to implement in their community after the trip.

“My participation in this summer’s SLLP reignited my passion to help conserve and protect this lifeline of our province,” said Ford. “I am honored to receive this generous contribution from the RSBC, which will allows me to start the research, assessment, and mapping, while seeking additional funding for the rest of the project.” Ford’s community project is to create a summary report of land use and conservation patterns in the mid-section of the Fraser Canyon from Xat’sull to Lillooet.

Ford said she is “looking forward to talking with a diversity of community members about their ideas and concerns, and exploring how both the conservation and economic values of the mid-section of the Fraser Canyon can be sustained into the future.” Ford starts her project this fall, with the goal of having a summary report completed by the Spring of 2017.

“Two thirds of British Columbia’s population lives in the Fraser River Basin, and 80% of BC’s economy is generated within the Basin. The health and resilience of the Fraser’s land, water and fishery resources are thus central to the overall sustainability of our province,” said Fin Donnelly, Chair and founder of RSBC, and Member of Parliament for Port Moody-Coquitlam.

“While much good work is being done by many people, the trend for many sustainability indicators along the Fraser is worsening, with salmon stocks being of particular concern. I am inspired to see a local leader like Candice rolling up her sleeves and doing the work necessary to conserve and protect the Mighty Fraser.”

The mid-Fraser River features a geologically dramatic canyon with great chains of rapids, akin to the great canyon lands of the American mid-West. The extreme topography, coupled with a hot, dry, semi-desert climate, creates an extraordinary ecological richness:  seven of BC’s sixteen biogeoclimatic zones are found here, as are globally significant populations of California big horn sheep and mule deer. This section of the Fraser also provides critical habitat and refuge for many species of salmon and other freshwater fish, and is a key source of freshwater for people, animals and plants throughout the southern interior and into the Lower Mainland.

Background Information

Candice Ford, a 2016 SLLP participant, has a 120-year family history in the Cariboo-Chilcotin region, reaching back to the Fraser River Gold Rush era. She was born in Quesnel and grew-up in Prince George, spending much of her youth exploring the Fraser River Basin by foot, boat, bike, ski and snowshoe. Through these experiences, she developed a strong relationship with the River and the diversity of ecosystems it supports. Candice has a background in conservation, environmental policy and counselling psychology. She is passionate about protecting BC’s natural heritage and improving the health of our communities. Candice currently lives in Tatlayoko Lake.

The RSBC is a non-profit charitable organization with a mission to conserve, protect and restore the health of BC’s riversheds. The RSBC works with numerous watershed stewardship groups, First Nations, government and community advocates throughout the Fraser River Basin and British Columbia. Find more information about RSBC at, and about the Sustainable Living Leadership Program (SLLP) at

Contact Info:           

Richelle Giberson                  The Rivershed Society of BC
(604) 992-4769                     (604) 949-0045
334A Evergreen Drive
Port Moody, BC, V3H 1S3

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Links to Press Photos

Candice Ford in stern of Voyageur canoe during the 2016 SLLP.  Photo by Doug Radies.
Candice Ford in stern of Voyageur canoe during the 2016 SLLP.
Photo by Doug Radies.

Mid Fraser Canyon. Photo by Simon Zukowski.
Mid Fraser Canyon.
Photo by Simon Zukowski.