What is at stake: Cayoosh Creek

This is a video of a day trip we did to a section of Cayoosh Creek just outside of Lillooet in July 2016. It is mainly a class IV section but the biggest rapid in the middle of the run is very dangerous and no easier nor any less dangerous to portage than to paddle. There aren’t really any older videos or many descriptions of this river around, which is odd since jut next to it runs a highway. It is such a gorgeous section and I would love to see more people running it. I hope this video helps show that this is another one of those special places that only kayakers can reach, film, and thus show the value it has to us and share it with the rest of the world.

I don’t see a lot of British Columbia residents questioning the epidemic of new small HPPs (hydropower projects) being built all around. Even though some of the best articles I have ever read on the subject were in local BC newspapers. BC is big and there are still a lot of beautiful natural river sections all around. Maybe that acts as a distraction to general public? Central Europe is a bit different. People living close to beautiful undammed river sections are getting increasingly aware of how lucky and how much a minority they might be. Especially if those sections have whitewater that is suitable for water sports. Just look at my home river Soča. There are no dams on its upper section and the whole valley there flourishes on tourism. Soča attracts kayakers, rafters, fishermen and people that just want to see this untouched gem of nature.

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Watersport tourism flourishes in the upper Soča Valley

On the other hand, its lower canyons and rapid sections have been flooded for decades, while the river sections in between the dams hold barely any water. I often drive past those sections. There are barely any reasons to stop there at all. Those river sections look dead:

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Cayoosh creek is gorgeous but I wouldn’t bet on that alone keeping it safe from hydropower interests. Just look at some of the rivers that have been affected in Whistler. That area flourishes on tourism but not many locals beyond kayakers see what they have lost with the HPP on Rutherford Creek, or what they might lose with the proposed HPP on Callaghan Creek.  There is so much value in untouched rivers of this area. A lot more than just electricity potential. Thus, I hope more videos and photos of these rivers get shown and shared around so more people realise what there is at stake.

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