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BC’s wild Pacific Salmon run from rugged mountain streams to spectacular coastal waters, and poignantly reflect our spirit of strength, resilience and survival. Salmon feed us, inspire us, and provide the nutrients that our forests and wild animals depend on for life. Fraser Salmon & Watersheds Program sought to inspire individuals, organizations and government agencies to “Think Salmon,” i.e. to contribute to the best possible conditions and environment for British Columbia’s Pacific salmon. What is good for salmon is good for us. If we all play a part in helping salmon to thrive, we protect beautiful BC for future generations.
Living Rivers was established by the government of British Columbia to create a legacy for the province based on healthy watersheds, sustainable ecosystems and thriving communities. The Living Rivers Advisory Group has used the $21 million fund to support innovative programs in the Fraser Basin, in the Georgia Basin and Vancouver Island and in the Skeena River watershed. Recognizing the need to change how people work together, these Living Rivers programs address the health and sustainability of water by fostering collaboration and an attitude of stewardship within communities.
The Living Rivers approach can provide leaner plan implementation that integrates policy with community concerns and local knowledge. With this approach, government is a partner that sets priorities and provides basic funds for communities to strategize about those priorities. This engages communities to apply the priorities in their local context and to participate in whatever ways make sense, including co-funding and outreach to other partners.
Equally important but not as easily quantified, FSWP projects have facilitated new relationships and capacity among the watershed stakeholders throughout the basin. This provincial-federal partnership takes a unique approach of enabling communities to identify and address the issues for their water and watersheds. The approach has been a powerful catalyst for money and participation throughout the Fraser Basin, delivering projects with less bureacracy and expense than would otherwise be possible.