The Sproat River weir, taken in September 2017. PHOTO COURTESY BOB COLE

The Sproat River weir, taken in September 2017. PHOTO COURTESY BOB COLE

LETTER: Bureaucratic log jam is real cause of danger

I would like to personally thank all the bureaucrats and company management…

To the Editor,

I would like to personally thank all the bureaucrats and company management that have once again allowed procedure to block logic and safety.

After months of lack of and mis-communication, one plate was finally removed from the weir at the outlet of Sproat Lake on Nov. 6.

Since that time, $8 million more gallons of water a day has flowed from the lake. 128,000,000 gallons in the past 16 days.

The first problem is this should have been done in mid-September and a half a billion gallons more would have flowed out to keep the level of the lake lower for when the rains arrived. And they have arrived.

The second problem is that with Catalyst, the two downstream First Nations, DFO, the Regional District and Island Timberlands involved, but not connected in any meaningful way, the sweep, which collects floating debris, logs, wharves, boats, windfalls and stumps from going down the river, was supposed to be cleaned out at the same time. It still hasn’t been done. DFO and Island Timberlands couldn’t come to an ACCESS agreement so that the work could be done in time to make a difference.

Now we are faced with a very dangerous situation where the debris buildup restricts the surface water outflow and if too much debris builds up, and it is coming down the lake from Dog Mountain and flooded shorelines everywhere, the sweep could break and send hundreds of tons of big debris down the river.

The bureaucratic log jam is the cause of the real danger log jam at the outlet.

Let’s get on with the necessary hydrology study and blast the rock that was supposed to be taken out to offset the weir footprint when it was installed back in 1956 and eliminate this problem.

Bob Cole,

Port Alberni

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