Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 3, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta
Thursday, February 3, 1972 THE IETHBRIDGE HERALD 5 W. D. Addison Park s or power in Canada's north? Mr. Addison, a forester and biologist, spent buven weeks in Smith Nahanni coun- try in IMG. He teaches school in Thunder Kay. COUTH NAHANNI. What vi- sions does that name con- jure up? To most it will be legends involving mystery, scenery beyond compare, a wild river and perhaps a Cana- dian Shangri-la. To some it means harness- ing this unique river to gen- eral electric power. To others it is a vision of a unique part of Canada preserved forever as a national park. These latter dichotomons viewpoints have been quietly building into a controversy for at least 10 years. The South Nahanni remains one of the most inaccessible of low flow. The Ingledow re- port discusses the feasibility of generating power at 12 sites on the Nahanni watershed, arriv- ing at two final plans for de- velopment of the river. The first plan, recommended by Ingledow, would see devel- opment of a 10 MW (1 MW equals 1 megawatt equals 1 million watts) power plant at Virginia Falls. This low-capac- ity plant will utilize only run- of-river flows. During the win- ter virtually the entire flow of the river would pass through the power plant. In the sum- mer, however, the plant would use only a fraction of the total flow. This leads Ingledow to con- clude a plant "utilizing only run-of-river flows would not in- fringe upon the natural beauty parts of Canada. The cost of of the falls as it will not rc- reachirig it has protected it from most travellers, except civil servants and geologists on official business. The controversy of parks versus power has been largely confined to the civil service. Furthermore, it has been al- most entirely confined to the department of Indian affairs and northern development, un- der Jean Chretien. The north- ern economic and development branch presents power and mining viewpoints to Mr. Chretien, while the national and historic parks branch gives him the parks view- points. This pills Mr. Chretien in the unenviable position of resolving strong conflicts of m- Icrest within his department. Environmentalists, particu- quire construction of a dam across the South Nahanni River." This is nonsense. Ths view of Virginia Falls will be ruined by a powerhouse on the south bank beside the falls, by transmission lines running up the gorgeous limestone cliffs, by a surge tower and by a transformer and switchyard. The Ingledow report raises other questions. The ultimate capacity of a run-of-river flow plant at Virginia Falls is given at 28 MW. Using the data from the Ingledow report and meth- ods outlined therein, NPPAC determines the ultimate capac- ity to be 20 MW. Where do the extra 8 MW come from? The initial 10 MW larly the national and provin- plant" is load cial parks association of Can- estimated at 8 MW which was ada have been criti- cal of the conflicts in Mr, Chretien's department. NPPAC requeued Hie national expected to develop between 1970 and 1979. The Ingledow re- port is not explicit as to where Ihis load will develop, bu! it is parks branch be moved lo En- at 1Vo are mentioned. Power can be delivered at an estimated cost of mills per KWH (kilowatt hour) to Tung- sten, N.W.T., 100 miles north- west of Virginia Falls. Here Canada Tungsten Mining Corp. operates a small but rich tung- sten ore body, It has supplied its own pow- er from diesel generators. The Ingledow report suggests a have any validity and they usually do; and if 137 neo- phyte lawyers are representa- tive of their peers and they probably are: and if lawyers vironrr.cnt Canada under Jack Davis. It has received strong editorial and public support. It has received equal support for its suggestion that civil service reports and recommendations on existing and proposed na- tional parks be made public. Requests for access to these documents have been denied by the government. Thus the public has often had to argue from a poor factual base. Such is the case for the proposed South Nahanni National Park. In the case of the South Nahanni, NPPAC was aware of a document outlining power proposals for the Liard River basin. The Soulh Nahanni is tributary to the Liard. The re- port entitled Power Survey of the Liard River Basin, Yukon and Northwest Territories, was prepared by T. Ingledow Asso- ciates, consulting engineers for the northern and economic de- velopment branch. I was sent a copy through the prime min- ister's office as a result of ex- pressing interest, in the Nahan- ni. The South Nahanni is a river of spectacular scenery. It drops 316 feet over Virginia Falls, then drops another 600 feet in the. next 80 miles as it flows through canyons up to 500 feet deep. Obviously, it has significant p o w o r potential. Thc river has some interesting flow characteristics as well. From Slay to October, 90 per cent of its water flows down- stream. This means that dur- ing winter the Nahanni is a minor river. Large-scale power generation requires that this disparate flow pattern be _ ........_ equalized by building large abortion should be legalized" second tungsten ore body in MacMillan Pass, 100 miles north of Tungsten, may be de- veloped into a mijie by anolher company. The cost of Virginia Falls power delivered to this sile is never specified but the extra distance should raise the cost to about 25 mills per KWII. This estimate is competitive with thc estimated cost of 2C.3 mills per KWH for diesel pow- er. The cost of Ihe Virginia Falls power plant is amortized over a 40-year period in the Ingle- dow estimates. Will the mines operate that long? If not, then the amortization period must be shortened, thus further rais- ing power cosls, perhaps to tha point where they become com- petitive with diesel power. The- Ingledow report esti- mates that a 28 MW plant, built at Virginia Falls at a cost of will produce p o w e r at S.S mills per KWH, excluding transmission costs. The cost for the proposed 10 MW plant is not given, but it is estimated lo produce power at 7 mills per KWH or ]5.5 mills per KWH delivered at Tung- sten. The costs for these plants were estimated as follows: "Costs resulting primarily from labor and equipment were increased by 25 per cent over equivalent cosls in the more remote areas of southern Canada. Freight costs were es- timated separately and added to those items requiring signifi- cant amounts of imported ma- terials." Cost estimates "allow for r e s e r v o i r-clcaring, con- structing access roads, prelim- inary site investigations, engi- neering, construction supcr- vi-ion. oonirnc' admipistr.-.tion and interest, during construc- tion. A cxmiiiigencY rllowanre of 25 per cent of direct.costs is included.'1 To reach Virginia Falls, about 100 miles of access road must be built from the exist- ing ro.-dhcad at Tungsten. Hydro access roads in north- ern Ontario cost to 000 per mile. Therefore costs for the Virginia Falls road should fall in the range of to per mile using dam development at 934.6 MW, the criteria of the Ingludow re- port. Thus the road alone should cost between and ?8.8-miLUon. Some of the road will be through mountains and permafrost, ensuring the costs will be above the base figure. Tile Ingledow report doesn't contain the methods or data used to arrive at costs. There- fore accurate checks on its Virginia Falls. The report di- eost figures arc impossible. But it seems that with this much money being spent on roads alone, it would be for- tunate if it could stay within its cost estimates. There arc a number of other minor features of the Ingledow report which the critical ob- rectly recommends proceeding with lire full development of the South Nahanni. Damming the South Nahanni River raises another interest- ing but important problem. The South Nahanni River car- ries an extremely heavy silt load. The Ingledow report server may find unusual. How- notes this, and goes on: "Pre- ever, the truly interesting part gently there is no sediment data of the report is the section de- voted to full development of the South Nahanni River. Ingledow identifies five sites in the South Nahanni water- shed to be developed in an in- tegrated fashion. Large water- storage dams are proposed at Virginia Falls and on the Flat ivailable for rivers and streams in the Yukon and Northwest Territories." It goes on to recommend sedimenta- tion studies. NPPAC has developed a crude estimate of sedimema- tion based on some data col- lected In I960. It suggests the River (Upper Seaplane capacity of the Virginia Falls the major tributary of the dam to store sufficient water South Nahanni. While these for purposes outlined in the dams, particularly the Virginia Ingledow report will begin Falls dam, will generate sig- nificant quantities of power, their main purpose is to store the large summer flow of wa- ter. Three other dams, whose prime purpose is to create a head of water, will be con- structed below the Virginia Falls dam and the Upper Sea- plane dam. These latter three dams will all be located in the magnificent canyons of toe Fouth Nahanni. One will be ?.t The Gate, where the river nar- rovs to aijout 150 yards ;mrl flows between vertical walls nearly 1.050 feet high. The oth- er two dams will be located at the upstream (Ram Creek) and downstream (Lafferty's Riffle) ends of the First Can- yon on the South Nahanni. The First Canyon is the most spec- tacular and scenic of the Na- hanni's three canyons. Ingledow estimates the com- bined power output of the five- Winds of change still blowing By DON' OAKI.EY, NBA Sen-ice JF opinion or attitude polls favored legalizing marijuana, but most advocated stronger penalties for organized crime and pushers. The prevailing view was that drug addiction should be treated as a social will continue lo play a pred'om- problem and not a criminal out inant role in the governance of society as they always have in the past, then the social changes we have witnessed in recent years are mere zephyrs By a majority of 72 per cent, the law students call- ed for the abolition of capital punishment. As indicated by other major- ent society, the students were asked to rate a list of well- known public figures. Tile man "least admired1' was Attorney General John Mitchell. Over 50 per cent of the students characterized the nation's chief law enforcement officer as "repressive" and "to- talitarian." By far the "most admired" public figure was Ralph Nader, Ira-aiding hurricane winds of itics, there was little sympathy who was praised by 67 per cent change to come. The poll, conducted by the Gallup organization for' Red- fa o o k magazine, was taken among 137 graduating law stu among the seniors for laws against pornography for adults. They were concerned, in all parts of the country, against the use of the law and law en- dents at 20 of the nation's top forcement to repress minorities law schools last spring. and dissenters, and about the The just published results inability of the poor to get a reveal that only 7 per cent of fair shake under the law. As one means cf determining approval or disapproval of pres- of the students, both conserv; lives and liberals, for his cru- sades on behalf of the Ameri- can consumer against big cor- porations. These students are now grad- uated and embarked on their to be impaired within 20 years. As less water is stored, because of the silt accumulation behind the dam, the more costly pow- er becomes. Ingledow assumes an arms- tization period of 40 years for the power plants. However ing is probably going to neces- sitate a decrease in the amor- tization period, thus increasing power costs. In the case of the South Na- hanni, there is no question as to whether the reservoirs wilt fill with silt, it is just a ques- tion of when. What use or value will Canada's most magnifi- cent wild river have when it travels through canyons par- tially blocked by silt-filled dams? This is a question which should be dealt with be- fore any damming of the South Nahanni is undertaken. The full development of the South Nahanni, as outlined in the Ingledow report, raises a number of other questions which can't be dealt: with here. Some which should be are the ecological ramifications. It was not the purpose of the report (o consider ecological prob- lems, but considered they must be. The experience with the Bennett dam and its effects on !hs Athabasca delta suggests one problem. Will British Co- lumbia's damming the Liard, -and the federal government's damming the South Nahanni produce similar but. less ob- vious effects in the much larger and more important Mackenzie delta? Will the gradual cquilization of the flow of the Mackenzie, by dam- ming 01 its tributaries, alter the Arctic climate as has been the case with the Soviet Union s large north-flowing riv- ers? The Ingledow report is based the students planned careers in a large corporation, while 40 per cent preferred "lo serve the needs of all people" in a small general firm. Next most popular career choice was the faculty of a law school, follow- ed by (lie Legal Aid Society. A large majority 66 per careers. Some will go into pol- raUrely ffll previously collected hut unpublished civil service data. Therefore, It So They Say itics, taking seats in state leg- islatures, and eventually Con- press, where they mil write t ,he viows of thc the laws a future generation of n 0 r t h n cctmomic devclop. Americans will live under. In ment branch and that branch's The wind and the ocean had a quarrel, but he who paid the price was the sailor in the boat. they will pass judgment a few years, others will begin submissions on pmver devclop. moving onto benches in local mcnfa Mr_ Cm'.cticn is and stale courts, and eventual- ly the federa] system, where cent favored easier divorce M. Baroody, Saiidf Ar- laws, and an even greater num- ber 84 per cent thought dams to store water which will then be released during periods On the subject of drugs, 77 per cent of the law students abia's ambassador to the U.N., quoting an Arab pro- verb after Russian and Red Chinese delegates exchanged verbal insults. on those laws and on lawbreak- ers. This is a real revolution, a continuation of the revolution that was begun in America more than 180 years ago. L.C.I. Presents Their Second Annual GIRL'S INVITATIONAL TOURNAMENT THIS WEEKEND February 4th and Sfh! Travelling into the city to foin Catholic Central's Cittens, Winston Churchill's Griffins and the reigning champions, the L.C.I.'s Clipper Queens are representative teams from Cran- brook. Eastglen and Strathcona (Edmonton) Lindsay TViurber (Red Deer) and the Grassy Lake Pantherettes. Tickets are available at the L.C.I. Tourney Ticket for 10 games and Friday night's clanco featuring Billy Nichol "BE no indication Mr. Chretien has adopted any part of the Ingle- dow report. However, it, will un- doubtedly influence his views on whether Uie South Nahanni will be used for power or be- come a national park. The prime minister's office has indicated in writing that "full public hearings may be held, if wan-anted, so that all concerned can express their view's on the future of the South Kahanni watershed." Mr. Chre- tien has given similar assur- ances. The time for full public bearings has arrived. Hearings are needed for another reason. Proposals for the South Nahanni National Park have not been made pub- lie. There can be no question of the suitability of the South Na- hanni area for a national park. II has Canada's only major canyon country. It contains unique geological features, in- cluding important hot springs. mountain scenery is beyond compare, particularly the Rag- ged Range. It contains animal species such as the Dall sheep which, as yet, have no part of their range protected in Can- ada. H contains endangered animal species such as Uio grizzly bear and thc largo wolves of Canada's northwest. It has a mixture of both Arctic and more southern plants, plus plants which survived in areas which were not covered by re- cent glaciation. It, is an area of hi-slorical and ex- ceptional legendary interest. Tlioso features, plus the fact, thai, if is almost unaltered by man, mako this n most, impor- tant arra lo be dedicated as a p.irk. (The Toronto lilobo and Mail) costing Tire cost of power at the site, not yet delivered, is estimated to be 3.2 million per KWII. In the Ingledow report, 15 limes as many pages are de- voted to a discussion of the full development of the South Na- hanni as are devoted to the low capacity development of Indecision on the Nahanni The Toronto Globe ami Mril in the department of north- cm development arc full of assur- ances. There almost certainly will be a national park established along the wilder reaches of the South Nahanni Hivcr. Al- most certainly it will be a wilderness park in which no attempt ivill be made to harn- ess the Nahanni for hydro-electric power. Almost certainly the Ingledow Report on the feasibib'ty of harnessing the river will be rejected by cabinet. Almost, almost, almost. The history of government policy on the Nahanni has been a history of. almosts. The same assurances have been given before. The same doubt remains. Will the government firmly com- mit itself to barring forever the develop- ment of the Nahanni? If it established a park how big will it be? The 870-square- ir.ile section over which the cabinet has placed a freeze on the exploitation of min- ing claims? Or the area urged in another repart to the government by two members of the Canadian Wildlife Service? Last May Northern Development Minis- ter Jean Chretien said that personally he favored a park. But he refused to be tied down on whether he would recommend a wilderness park. He wanted reports on hydro-electric potential, he said. The Ingle- dow Report has been in his hands for two years. He hasn't said what other reports he has received, if any. Nor has he made a further statement on park policy for the Nahanni. So Mr. Cliretien's position remains in question, despite assurances from his staff that IK now unreservedly supports a wild- erness park. And even if he does recom- mend a wilderness park lo cabinet, there is no assurance that cabinet will accept his recommendation. There are western repre- sentatives in the cabinet who will fight aci'iinst a policy that would out all future power development on the Nahanni. With each consideration Uie almosts loom larger. Departmental officials will agree with many of the holes picked in the Ingle- dow Report by W. D. Addison on this page today. There may be those among them who are absolutely convinced that a wild- erness park is needed. That certainly seems to be indicated by the fact that the federal parks branch will be showing a movie of tlie Nahanni across Canada to in- terested groups. But the fact remains that Mr. Chretien has scrupulously avoided a personal com- mitment and the government has express- ed no policy. Moreover, txxi often public officials have hedged on the issue. What makes it so tremendously impor- tant is that the Nahanni is the wildest river left untouched in North America and is cast in exquisite beauty. Never again, any- where on this continent, will there be an opportunity to preserve for future genera- tions a legacy so magnificent. If the 870-squarc mile section were desig- nated a wilderness park Virgina FaU-s, twice as high as Niagara Falls, would be preserved along with soir.e of the lower reaches of the Nahanni. If the 2.000-square- mile site were chosen Canada's answer to the hot springs of Yellowstone National Park in the United States, RabWtkettle Hotsprings, would also be preserved. A decision to exclude the larger area would have to be justified on the strongest of terms. And in detail. At the moment such justification is not apparent. The questions raised by Mr. Addison are all good. Why the need for power from the Nahanni when there are other rivers in tlie Northwest that can supply power? Transmission costs would be substantial, up lo half the cost of producing the power. Why even discuss such a marginal opera- tion when alternatives are available and, on the other side of the balance, is a herit- age so important to the people of Canada? Why dam the Nahanni when its heavy silt load would soon fill in a dam and render it useless? What ecological chain reactions would follow on power develop- ment? The Ingledow Report didn't ask but Mr. Addison's questions ranging from, fish to the effects on the Arctic climate give an indication of the importance of asking first instead of regretting later. Mr. Chretien holds a heavy trust on be- half of Canadians. lie should declare pre- cisely where he stands. Xo equivocation. No qualification. Only then Canadians know what to expect of him in cabinet for Mr. Chretien is one of those oddities: a minister who holds conflicting obligations. As minister for northern development his duty is to seek development of (lie North. As responsible for parks his duty is to fight against development whero parks should be established. The public- will not be well served if he goes to net ambivalent. He should decide now, pub- licly, and in favor of a South Nahanni Na- tional Park. Perspective on Rhodesia's peril By Charles King, in The Ottawa Cilizcn 'THERE'S an 80-year-old lady in town who shuns personal publicity, but sin- cerely believes The Citizen is the expres- sion of the devil. She writes frequently always marking her comments "personal" to tell me Die paper prints the lies it does only be- cause our chain owners will not permit us to tell the truth. But when I telephone to offer her the opportunity of stating her convictions in print, she shies away. "I just she says, "to let you know what I think." Her great hangup is Africa, and black- v.'hite relations in particular. She keeps closely in touch with the Rhodesian situa- tion through correspondence with friends there, and not surprisingly disagrees strongly with our editorial point of view. "Most journalists she explains, "simply refuse to admit that there is a conspiracy to hand over Hie governments of both Rhodesia and South Africa, and their method is to stir up tire blacks. Then of course these faceless men can move in and grsb all the riches in those two coun- tries. They would find the blacks much easier to deal with than white men who understand their aims." Well, that's a convenient explanation for the racial unrest in those unhappy coun- tries, especially from the white minority point of view: Blame it all on the inter- national Communist conspiracy. But if a mere youngster may presume to disagree with an octogenarian, I contend there is more to it than that. A reading of Rhodesia's relatively brief history it's only as old as our corres- pondent herself indicates quite clearly that the black-white confrontation began to shape up long before communism took root in modern society. Seventy-five years ago, when this con- cerned lady was about to start school, Rho. dcsia's blacks slashed out at whites in what probably was the bloodiest rebellion against colonial rule in the history of Africa. Far more whites were killed in that cn- cotuiter than in any other African uprising, including the Mail Man rebellion in Kenya half a century later. The grim facts are spelled out in what is regarded as the most important histori- cal study of the rebellions. "Revolt in Southern by T. 0. Ranger of the University of California at Los An- geles. Curiously perhaps ironically the book is available for sale in Rhodesia today. But the rebel regime of Ian Smith has banned its paper jacket, which shows a photograph of a captured black rebel in chains superimposed over another photo- graph of whites in a laager, or square of wagons, fighting off a black attack. Ap- parently it is considered too graphic for the tastes of white power. The whites first occupied Rhodesia in 1890 when Cecil Rhodes, under a charter from the British government, sent a pioneer col- umn of 180 settlers and 500 police to take Mashonaland the northern and eastern portions of what, is Rhodesia today from the Sbona Until 1893 the rest of the country, known as Mataheleland, remained in the hands of a warring tribe led by King Lobengula. But the whites invaded and took it over. Three years later the blacks struck back, and within five months 367 whites more than 10 per cent of the total white popu- lation were killed or presumed dead. Britain dispatched troops to the area from South Africa, and the killing increased. By October, seven months after the uprising began, the blacks surrendered. The whites came out cf the rebellion angry at the British for leaving them un- protected and moving too slowly to rescue them. They determined to look after them- selves. Deep hatreds between the races persist to this day. Although relations have been relatively peaceful for 75 years, the recent rioting in Rhodesia's towns and cities is a warning o( what could take place again if the black majorily continues to be denied equality with the ruling minority. The story may not he palatable to thore who prefer to believe that UK Africans are happy in their semi-slave slate, and would remain so if the evil hand of Communist agitation were kept away. But it just isn't so. And history Is there to prove it, if we will but opsn our eyes to the realitv. Bad Dream? By lion 'TWERE was a day recently when the sharing of had dreams seemed to be in order. Helen Kovaes had dreamed that their cat Rave hirth lo pips. We guessed thai all Ihose reports hy Kic Swiharl on Ihe ling marketing proposal had laken her past her salnralion point. Then our ,Jmli related a droam about lier mother having ,1 heart jidaek and her extreme, annoyance, at me for being slow .-'haul selling a eall in lo our doctor It is difficult lo figure out why Judi would ig Walker have a dream like that especially the part that puts me in such a poor light. My dream was a really bad one. I dreamed I was golfing. My tee shot went a mile up and landed behind me. Then after a couple of dub shots, 1 whacked one into the trees. At lli.il point 1 told com- panions lo credit me with n dozen and I'd try again on Ihe second hole. My hope is thai the dream was a u-play of some of my uorsl moments of the pns! and no! a premonition of this year's golfing if wo have one!