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Pemberton grizzly population dwindles

By Ted Chernecki
Global BC TV

July 23 - In the Squamish, Lillooet area, which includes the Pemberton Valley, there were once more than 400 grizzlies. Today there are just 59. Allen McEwan: "This particular group of bears in the upper Lilliooet, and the Ryan and whatnot, is considered the nursery for a potential grizzly bear recovery plan that we're waiting and hoping for the provincial government to do so. They are absolutely essential to any hope of recovering bears in the areas to our south."

Pemberton grizzly population dwindles

Keystone falls on the upper Lillooet, a fishbearing stream, site of a proposed power project that would affect grizzly bears.

In the Squamish, Lillooet area, which includes the Pemberton Valley, there were once more than 400 grizzlies. Today there are just 59.

"This particular group of bears in the upper Lilliooet, and the Ryan and whatnot, is considered the nursery for a potential grizzly bear recovery plan that we're waiting and hoping for the provincial government to do so. They are absolutely essential to any hope of recovering bears in the areas to our south," said Allen McEwan of the Pemberton Wildlife Association.

Mining and forest projects have already encroached on grizzly bear habitat here and now its hydoelectric's turn. Keyhole falls ...it is this powerful flow of glacier fed water that a private company wants to harness in what it and the provincial government call a run of river project but what conservationists call a river diversion project.

"There are places where it does make sense to have river diversion projects, and that would be not in a fishbearing stream, and not in areas where you have species at risk, including threatened grizzly bear populations." - Louise Ludham-Taylor of Keep Pemberton Wild

Watch the 3 minute news piece in full.

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