The missing 40,000

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“We’re actually missing about 40,000 fish,” Elizabeth MacDonald, executive director of the Yukon River salmon sub-committee, told The Narwhal.

The amount of Chinook salmon in the Yukon River has been a question of great concern for several years now as the species is in a precipitous decline.

A number of factors determine how many of these Chinook — which undertake one of the world's longest salmon migrations from the Bering Sea, through Alaska and into the Yukon — end up in Canadian waters.

But the missing 40,000 signal something MacDonald finds very distressing: a massive pre-spawn die off. The culprit? It could be warmer river waters.

You won't want to miss this in-depth feature from journalist Lori Fox, who visited Dawson City to hear how the disappearance of Chinook is affecting the traditions and culture of First Nations communities.

And boy, do we ever have more for you this week. From an on-the-ground account of a 40-year effort to bring a Vancouver Island river back to life to the 'Mom and Pop' clean energy producers who can't sell their power in B.C., we've got powerful tales to carry you through these last, darkest days of the year.

From the depths,
Carol Linnitt
Managing Editor

P.S. Our membership coordinator, Kathryn, just finished the monumental task of shipping out more than 200 toques to our new members! And our favourite volunteer-in-chief, Patricia Gilchrist, aka Mama G, hand wrote all the new thank-you cards. We are so grateful to you two doves for all you do (they're pictured below!). Hope that taste of envelope glue doesn't linger too long...

P.P.S. Oh you want to become a member too? Why sure! It's easy peasy. Every penny goes towards making our original, people-powered and 100% non-profit journalism a reality.

Why ‘Mom and Pop’ green energy producers can’t sell their clean power in B.C. anymore

By Sarah Cox

Family-run green power projects — that for decades have supplied electricity to remote communities and the provincial grid — now face bankruptcy as BC Hydro favours big dams and big producers. Read more.

Three years of mining, 40 years of taxpayer clean up for river downstream of Vancouver Island copper mine

By Andrew Findlay

After being abandoned by Japanese backers in the 60s, the Mount Washington copper mine was left to pollute the Tsolum River, which is slowly being brought back to life after decades of patient reclamation work and millions of taxpayer dollars. Read more and see the photos from Taylor Roades.

Why the proposed Frontier oilsands mine is a political hot potato

By Sharon J. Riley

The Teck Frontier mine would cover 24,000 hectares — an area twice the size of the City of Vancouver — and would produce 260,000 barrels of bitumen each day at its peak. The proposal includes plans to produce oil starting in 2026, and to continue on producing right through to the 2060s. Having been under review for several years, the mine’s fate now rests in the hands of the federal government.

And as the February deadline for a final decision approaches, pressure is mounting on all sides of the issue. Read more.

In the wake of Indigenous rights declaration, B.C.’s lawyers make ‘distasteful’ arguments in First Nations title case

By Judith Lavoie

The province is arguing the Nuchatlaht, who have never ceded control of their traditional territory in Nootka Sound on Vancouver Island, abandoned their land — while the nation reminds the court their land was stolen. Read more.

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