Author Archives: Chris Harkness

My Friend the River

We are pleased to announce a new artistic project! During these difficult times of health and Environmental crisis, we believe that it is important express our feelings and externalize our emotions. My Friend the River is a project that will connect participants with the Environment and guide them in expressing their thoughts and feelings around that theme. A series of 3 online workshops (via Zoom) are offered to the public.

-Round table discussion around the Environment and Watershed health issues
-Poetry with Mandy Huser
-Photography with Amy Allcock

All of these will be offered in a fun and relaxed environment! Participants will be actively involved, and creative exercises will be offered. All 3 workshops will be delivered to 3 different groups, Youth, *Seniors and a group open to the public. SWSS will collect photos and poems during summer 2020 and will produce a printed version of a booklet.

***Spaces are limited so participants must sign up in advance.***

*An in-person group session with a projection of the workshop will be available for seniors who do not wish to use their own device. Seniors can also join via Zoom.

For more info or signing up contact Nghia Tran at:
(418) 805-4281
Or visit…/my-friend-the-river/

Flood risk: Spring 2020

With strong thunderstorms forecasted for late Saturday followed by significant rainfall on Sunday and a snowpack that is still above average for this time of the year, we received many concerns about flood risks. Here’s a little article summarizing the current situation and how we can mitigate future risks. This article also includes very informative links.

Have a great weekend, stay safe and stay dry!

***Click here to read the article.

Earth Day Celebration Goes Online

Unfortunately for this year we will not be able to physically gather and celebrate the beauties, wonders and gifts of our mother Earth. Don’t worry! have put together a list of online screenings, speeches, Q and A and many more, all available for free! Tune in on April 22nd for messages, performances and call to actions from world renowned personalities. You can browse and Find Digital Earth Day events. You can even filter events by types, age groups, and date ranges so we are sure you will find something you like! Follow this link to start browsing!

Columbia River Treaty Community Meetings

A series of community meetings will be hosted in several locations to discuss about the Columbia River Treaty. The renewal of this treaty is one of the greatest opportunity to make a real change and improve our ecosystems. If you cannot make it to any of these dates, a livestream will be hosted tonight (Novembre 12th, 2019) and will be available later on Youtube.
Click this link for more info.

SWSS’s stream restoration project is going full swing!

Last week SWSS received an important shipment of logs that will be used for stream restoration projects in the Salmo River. These will be used to build bank mounted structures to stabilize banks and enhance fish habitat. Some of the logs have been washed out by the River and were collected at the Seven Mile Dam. So in a way, these pieces of wood will be returned to their home land! Construction at the mouth of Erie Creek is scheduled to start this week and more projects are expected to start next year.

Sourcing wood for this project was not an easy task and we are grateful to our partners. We would like to thank Government of Canada – Environmental Damages Fund, ATCO Wood Products Ltd., Monticola Forest Ltd, BC Hydro and Custom Dozing.

Water is Life – Courthouse rally

Water is Life. It truly is. It is also a fundamental right threatened by inaction and greed. Fortunately, people like Jessica Dawn Ogden have the courage to stand up for our rights and fight to secure clean water and healthy ecosystems. Her actions and courage is taking her in court where she will explain why she, and others, needed to take direct action to stand up and defend the Balfour Watershed, and all watersheds, from further risks and impacts due to destructive logging practices and lack of legislation.

You can support this cause by showing up on Monday, July 22nd, before 9:45am at the Nelson courthouse. Jessica is set to arrive at the courthouse at 9:45 am for her hearing at 10:00 am. Her hearing is expected to take 2 hours.

For more info follow this link.

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Fishy Art Mural at the Salmo Valley Youth & Community Center

Isn’t it beautiful!? We just finished installing this beautiful mural at the Salmo Valley Youth & Community Centre. Chad Thompson, a local artist and long time SWSS friend painted this beauty for Streamkeepers. The fish on top of the mural were painted by Salmo residents during our Salmon painting activity at the Salmo Fall Fair. If you have a chance to see it in real life, pay a close attention to details… you’ll be amazed by the life in this piece of art.

Salmon, Salmon, Salmon!

The Salmo Watershed Streamkeepers Society will be at Tiny Lights Festival on Sunday, June 9th for a Salmon painting activity. Come by our booth and paint a Salmon. Everyone is welcome and the activity is FREE! This is part of our Imagine Salmon campaign which aims at bringing back Salmons in the upper Columbia River and the Salmo River. We will also be displaying a wonderful Salmon sculpture made by local artist Chad Thompson.

One River: Ethics Matter Conference

An important conference centered around a sustainable, ethical and respectful management of the Columbia River Basin will be happening at the Selkirk College – Castlegar college on May 30-31th. The 2019 One River, Ethics Matter conference will explore remedial options through respectful dialogue and further public education specifically regarding the Columbia River Treaty by the following considerations:

  • adding a third Treaty purpose co-equal to existing Treaty purposes of hydropower and flood control, and
  • new approaches to ethical governance of the river that strengthen river and community resiliency, restore salmon and other fisheries, and right historic wrongs done to the Upper Columbia River region, indigenous peoples, and other citizens of the watershed.

SWSS’s coordinator, Gerry Nellestijn will be one of the guest speakers. Many experts, First Nation representatives and other influential people will be present for what should be a very constructive and insightful conference.

This a FREE event and is open to the public. For more information and FREE registration, visit this link.

Here is the schedule of the event. For a full description of the schedule, visit this link.

Thursday, May 30
10 – 1 p.m. Field Trips (Rain or shine) (Meet at front entrance of the College)

  • Option 1: History Tour
  • Option 2: Hiking Ecology Tour
  • Option 3: Canoe paddle through the navigation lock at Hugh Keenleyside Dam

1 – 2 p.m. Lunch Break – Bring your own
2 – 4 p.m. Spotlight on Youth Program (all ages encouraged) – Staff Lounge
4 – 4:30 Walk to River
4:30 – 5:30 p.m. Blessing of the Salishan Sturgeon Nose Canoe (at water’s edge)
6 p.m. BBQ at the Mir Centre for Peace ($15, pre-registration required)
7 p.m. Circle Introductions around fire (Mir Centre)

Friday, May 31
8 – 8:30 a.m. Registration (front entrance) & Coffee (outside Sen-113)
8:30 – 9:15 a.m. Opening, Prayer & Welcome (Sen-113)
9:15 – 10 a.m. Panel – Rivers of our Moment (Sen-113)
10 – 10:15 a.m. Break
10:15 – 12 p.m. Panel – Rivers Through our Memory (Sen-113)
12 – 1 p.m. Lunch
1 – 2:15 p.m. Break Out Groups – Rivers of our Vision

  • Room A: Treaty and Governance (Gathering Place)
  • Room B: Ecosystem Function (Staff Lounge)
  • Room C: Salmon Recovery (Kok-11)

2:15 – 2:30 p.m. Break (The Pit)
2:30 – 3:45 p.m. Panel – Rivers as our Responsibility (The Pit)
3:45 – 4 p.m. Closing (The Pit)

Salmo elementary students create a community action project

Earlier this week, we had the opportunity to welcome grade 2 and 3 students from the Salmo elementary school. This was an initiative by Emily Newberry, a local resident and student of the teaching program at the University of Victoria. As part of her 6 weeks practicum, Emily and her student built a community project. Together, they choose to act on the loss of wetland habitat in the Salmo River Watershed. In April, they organized a bake sale at the Salmo Village Grocery and raised 177.15$. The money was used for the purchase of willow cuttings which they planted around SWSS’s wetlands. The students also attended a presentation on the importance of wetlands. This was a very fun experience and will greatly contribute to our wetland restoration effort. We would like to thank everyone who have supported this activity. Many volunteer parents were also present and were very helpful in making this a success. On the picture bellow, a student is handing the money to SWSS’s coordinator, Gerry Nellestijn.