Haida Gwaii will most likely need an on-island solution to getting off diesel power.
Mike Racz, the director for Graham Island, recently asked BC Hydro for a ballpark estimate of the cost to connect Haida Gwaii to the mainland electricity grid.
The answer? Somewhere between $300 and $600 million.
“I don’t think we’ll be doing it anytime soon,” Racz said at the June 15 meeting of the North Coast Regional District.
“They said it would be about a 150-year payback.”
Support is high for boat ramp improvements and more campsites at Rennell Sound, but the $1-million project still needs to line up funding.
On Friday, June 15, directors of the North Coast Regional District voted to apply for a B.C. Rural Dividend grant to get the project rolling.
If that grant and others come through, Graham Island Director Mike Racz said organizers hope to start work on the new Rennell Sound campsites and breakwater for the boat ramp early next spring.
Urs Thomas, the mayor of Port Clements, said the new breakwater is key, noting that the Rennell Sound boat ramp is badly exposed to westerly wind and waves, and the lower part has already filled up with gravel since it was cleared in April.
Walk in the woods
Members of the Moresby Island Advisory Planning Commission say a Mosquito Lake youth camp is currently used too little to justify the loss of nearby timber harvesting.
The non-profit Mount Moresby Adventure Camp Society is applying to expand its tenure so it can protect nearby trails and rare ecosystems as well as replacing a dock on Mosquito Lake.
However, A&A Trading, the company that now manages harvesting in the area, has since withdrawn its cutting permit for the block and offered to help the camp with its replacement dock.
Still, members of the Moresby planning commission point out that MMAC was not authorized to build trails in the timber-harvesting area, and suggested that over the next five years, the camp should instead develop new trails in the rare ecosystems closer to the lake.