As the last of the fall colours fade away here in Tatlayoko Valley, and community members are busy preparing for Winter’s chilly arrival, my mind drifts back to the warm (and sometimes wet) adventures of the SLLP this summer. What an incredible experience! The Fraser River flows through so many different landscapes and we were privileged to experience each of them up close and personally.
We started in the Rocky and Cariboo Mountains, camping and hiking in thick, wet, ancient forests and canoeing the pristine clear headwaters of the River.
We shifted to rafts at the fascinating First Nations Heritage Village in Xat’sull, and explored the epic canyons and arid grasslands of the Fraser Plateau, bounding through wild rapids and drying-out on secret beaches.
Finally, we made our way through the towering walls of the Lower Canyon (including Hell’s Gate) and spilled out into the Lower Mainland, returning to our Voyageur canoe to experience the beauty of the Fraser’s Estuary and Delta, contrasted with the intense industrial and urban activities.
Each day, the River taught us potent and powerful lessons, inspiring us to become better stewards of the natural world and more committed advocates of sustainable living. The SLLP reignited my passion to help conserve and protect this mighty lifeline of our province.
For the first part of my community project, I will be creating a summary report of land use and conservation patterns in the mid-section of the Fraser Canyon from Xat’sull to Lillooet. I am honored to have received a generous $1000 post-SLLP project grant from RSBC, which will allow me to start the research, assessment, and mapping, while I seek additional funding to cover the full project costs. I’m looking forward to talking with a diversity of community members about their visions and concerns for the Fraser, and exploring how both the conservation and economic values of the mid-section of the Canyon can be sustained into the future.
The second part of my SLLP project is to assist in the delivery of future Rivershed leadership programs, including identifying ways the SLLP could be expanded and/or improved. I’ve started to do this, and am thoroughly enjoying this meaningful and exciting volunteer work with Fin, Doug, Jacquie and the rest of the amazing RSBC team!