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DFO investigating critical fish habitat destruction in B.C.’s ‘Heart of the Fraser’

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The federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans has ordered the owners of two islands in B.C.’s Fraser River to take « corrective measures » after they allegedly destroyed fish habitat in a crucial area for the survival of salmon, steelhead, and endangered white sturgeon.

Carey Island and Herrling Island are owned by two B.C. companies that want to develop farmland and grow crops like blueberries on the islands, which are in the middle of the Fraser River between Chilliwack, B.C., and Hope, B.C.

Environmental groups have been railing against the development, saying the companies have already significantly clear cut cottonwood forests that previously covered the islands which they say are crucial to the health of dozens of species of fish that migrate, feed and spawn there.

Watch drone video of clear cuts on Carey Island:

Drone video from BCIT Rivers Institute shows areas recently logged in the ‘Heart of the Fraser.’ 0:53

DFO launched an investigation in late November, but because the case is still active officials won’t share details of the extent of the damage or what measures they are forcing the islands’ owners to take.

« Failure to comply with the corrective measures issued by DFO is a serious matter that may result in further investigation by fishery officers and possible prosecution, » Leri Davies, a spokesperson for DFO, said in a statement emailed to CBC News.

« Fisheries and Oceans Canada regards this occurrence as very serious and will take every measure possible to ensure that non-compliance incidents like this are not repeated. »

Satellite images before and after the clear cutting on the 3-square-kilometre Herrling Island, near Hope, B.C. (Mark Angelo)

‘Heart of the Fraser’

The 80 kilometre stretch of the Fraser River between Mission and Hope, B.C. has become known to conservationists as « the Heart of the Fraser. » It’s a unique ecosystem that’s home to a complex network of gravel bars and a number of large, undiked islands which are naturally flooded with water every spring, becoming a nursery for fish.

« Hundreds of millions of young salmon rear in and around these islands, but in high water the islands actually become habitat themselves, » said Mark Angelo, rivers chair of the 100,000 member Outdoor Recreation Council of B.C. He lead a CBC News crew on a recent hike through Strawberry Island  another spot in the middle of the Fraser River that’s been significantly clear cut over the past two years.

The 67-year-old Angelo, one of B.C’s most celebrated conservationists, is a recipient of the Order of B.C. and Order of Canada in recognition of his work on river issues.

He calls this part of the Fraser » … the most productive stretch of river in our entire country and one of the most productive on our planet. »

Mark Angelo is the founder of World Rivers Day and a recipient of the Orders of B.C. and Canada. (Chris Corday/CBC)

As Angelo trudged in rubber boots through a muddy zone of the remaining forest on Strawberry Island, he pointed out its grassy ponds and quiet channels that become a safe refuge for fish during the spring.

Most of the banks of the lower Fraser River have been permanently diked to prevent flooding in the spring, so conservationists say these islands are particularly rare and important habitat for marine life.

Angelo worried clear cuts on the three islands have become so massive they could destabilize the land and cause sloughing into the main river. He warned any more of this kind of development could ruin the Fraser River’s immense environmental value.

« When you look at the extent of the damage being done right here… that qualifies this is the most urgent river issue in our country, » said Angelo, overlooking the vast part of Strawberry Island that’s already been logged.

Strawberry Island near Mission, B.C., was largely clear cut by its owner in 2016. (Western Watershed Design, Inc.)

Bridge proposals to islands under review

The most significant islands in this part of the Fraser River, Herrling and Carey near Chilliwack, B.C., and Strawberry Island, near Mission, B.C., have all been heavily logged and cleared over the past few years.

The islands were at one point tree plantations owned by Kruger Pulp and Paper. They were logged to produce toilet paper and other products and then replanted.

The two farm developers purchased the islands from Kruger, but since they are within B.C.’s Agricultural Land Reserve, special permission wasn’t needed to clear cut and convert them to farmland.

But it’s another kind of proposal that’s again raised the ire of people opposing the development. Two companies, Klaasen Farms Ltd. which owns Herrling Island, and Carey Island Farms Ltd. are each asking for permission to build private bridges across the Fraser so they can grow crops like blueberries and corn on the islands and have year-round permanent access to them.

Groups like the B.C. Wildlife Federation say bridge construction would further damage already-threatened fish habitats and species. They’ve been pushing the provincial government for a full environmental review.

In an email, the B.C. government told CBC News it’s still reviewing the bridge proposals, and it will consider the concerns over potential impacts on marine life.

Carey Island often floods during the spring. (BCIT Rivers Institute)

‘Do we want all our food coming from California or China?’

Cornelis Guliker, the director of Carey Island Farms Ltd., defends his small company’s move to develop a farm on the 472-hectare island that it owns. 

In a note to CBC, Guliker said the land is important for agriculture because it’s some of the most fertile in the region, and one of the best climates in Canada to grow a variety of fruits and vegetables.

« There is no more land being made and the good land we have is being taken up by industry, » wrote Guliker, who cited the recent construction of a large Molson Coors brewery in Chilliwack as an example.

« Local food is important. Do we want all our food coming from California or China? »

Guliker said there are already hundreds of hectares of unprotected land along the Fraser that flood during the spring freshet and are currently being farmed.

« We can protect fish habitat and farm, » he wrote. 

The owner of Klaasen Farms did not return calls from CBC. 

Klaasen Farms Ltd., a Chilliwack, B.C., company, owns Herrling Island and wants to convert it to a blueberry and corn farm. (Chris Corday/CBC)

‘There is nothing more sacred to me than this entire river’

People who rely on the river for food and work say the cost of converting these islands into farms is too high.

As fishing guide Dean Werk leads a crew of journalists up a stretch of river he’s known for 50 years, he shook his head at what he calls the degradation of habitat on this part of the Fraser.

« I’m astounded that the world is not listening or watching or Canadians are not in outrage in regards to how much destruction we’ve done in these critical spawning areas, » said Werk.

« There is nothing more sacred to me than this entire river and all its habitat. » 

Dean Werk stands in a small remaining area of forest and natural wetland on Strawberry Island that becomes prime fish habitat in the spring. (Chris Corday/CBC)

Werk, who’s also President of the Fraser Valley Salmon Society, is hopeful the public will get behind the campaign to preserve and restore the « Heart of the Fraser. »

The group leading the effort, including Mark Angelo, is planning to meet with provincial and federal ministers in January to express what they call the « urgency » of the issue.

They’re also looking into the potential of working with donors to purchase the islands back from the developers, and restore the clearcut areas to their original status.

It’s an idea the owner of Carey Island said he is still open to considering.

« If we can find a way to protect this area, that will be one of the great conservation milestones in the history of our country, » said Angelo.

« If we fail, that would be like a shot to the heart of this great river. » 

Mark Angelo with a white sturgeon in a catch and release-only fishery in the Fraser River. It’s a threatened species that Angelo says is being jeopardized by development in the ‘Heart of the Fraser.’ (Danny Catt)



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These US entities partnered with the Wuhan Institute of Virology — time for a criminal investigation?

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(Natural News) The Wuhan Institute of Virology from which the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) is believed to have “escaped” has a number of questionable partnerships that are worth looking into in light of the pandemic.

Most of them are universities, including the University of Alabama, the University of North Texas, and Harvard University. There is also the EcoHealth Alliance, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the National Wildlife Federation.

While the relationships between these entities and the Wuhan Institute of Virology may be completely innocent, there is no way to really say for sure without a proper investigation. And this is exactly what Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is calling for, as is the nation of Australia.

Pompeo and the folks down under, along with millions of Americans, would really like to know the true origins of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19). An increasing number of people simply are not buying the narrative that the novel virus originated in bat soup at a Chinese wet market, and this even includes mainstream media outlets like Fox News.

The only way to really determine what was going on at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and who else might have been involved. is to open the place up for an international investigation. But communist China is against this, of course, accusing Australia of “petty tricks” and collusion with the United States.

“Overnight, I saw comments from the Chinese Foreign Ministry talking about a course of activity with respect to Australia who had the temerity to ask for investigation,” Pompeo is quoted as saying in response to China’s aggression against a proposed investigation.

“Who in the world wouldn’t want an investigation of how this happened to the world?” he added.

As the U.S. aims to get back on track economically speaking, Pompeo believes that now is the time to hold communist China, the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and whoever else may have been involved accountable for unleashing this pandemic on the world.

“Not only American wealth, but the global economy’s devastation as a result of this virus,” Pompeo further stated. “There will be a time for this. We will get that timing right.”

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New U.S. analysis finds that lab in Wuhan, China was “most likely” origin of coronavirus release

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(Natural News) While American Leftists and most of the Democrat Party continue to serve as apologists for the Chinese Communist regime over its role in creating and then perpetuating the coronavirus pandemic, a new U.S. government analysis concludes that COVID-19 “most likely” escaped from a lab near Wuhan city.

The Washington Times reports that the analysis cataloged evidence linking the outbreak to the Wuhan lab and has found that other explanations for the origins of the virus are not as credible.

The paper reported:

The document, compiled from open sources and not a finished product, says there is no smoking gun to blame the virus on either the Wuhan Institute of Virology or the Wuhan branch of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, both located in the city where the first outbreaks were reported.

However, “there is circumstantial evidence to suggest such may be the case,” the paper says.

“All other possible places of the virus’ origin have been proven to be highly unlikely,” said the report, a copy of which was obtained by the Times.

ChiCom officials have claimed that the virus’ origin is unknown. However, Beijing initially stated that coronavirus came from animals at a “wet market” in Wuhan where exotic meats are butchered and sold in disgusting conditions.

Chinese officials claim that COVID-19 went from bats to animals sold in the market last year, then infected humans.

U.S. intelligence officials have increasingly dismissed that explanation, however, as attention has begun to focus on evidence suggesting that Chinese medical researchers were working with coronavirus in the country’s only Level 4 facility, which is in Wuhan.

U.S. Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has said that intelligence agencies are investigating whether the virus escaped from a lab or was the result of a naturally occurring outbreak, but that analysts have ruled out reports that COVID-19 was manmade.

‘The most logical place to investigate the virus origin has been completely sealed off’

“At this point, it’s inconclusive, although the weight of evidence seems to indicate natural,” the general said on April 14, “but we don’t know for certain.”

The analysis said that the wet market explanation does not ring true because the first human diagnosis of coronavirus was made in someone who had no connection to the wet market in question. And according to Chinese reports, no bats were sold at that particular market.

At the same time, several questionable actions and a growing paper trail provide clues that the virus actually escaped from a lab, even as China begins to clamp down on those information streams.

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The biggest media lies about the coronavirus: Origins, treatments and vaccines

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(Natural News) If there is one thing that most everyone can agree on concerning the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it is the fact that there is no shortage of conflicting information out there about the nature of it. And the mainstream media is certainly doing its part to steer the narrative as part of a larger agenda, using plenty of misinformation along the way.

The following are among the most commonly parroted lies about the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) that aim to distort the facts and deceive you into believing falsehoods about this pandemic:

Media LIE: The virus is not man-made

From the very beginning of this thing, the official narrative was that the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) came from a Chinese wet market where bats and other “exotic” animals are sold as meat. But the world later learned that it actually more than likely “escaped” from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

The mainstream media and social media platforms went nuts trying to censor this information and even called it  “fake news.” But eventually it became undeniable that bat soup was not responsible for spreading the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) around Wuhan and eventually to the rest of the world – hence why we continue to call it the Wuhan coronavirus rather than just COVID-19.

We have even seen attempts by the media machine at making the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) a racial issue because there are supposedly more “people of color” coming down with it than people with fair skin, which further detracts attention away from the source of this virus.

Media LIE: Hydroxychloroquine is extremely dangerous and doesn’t work

The minute that President Donald Trump announced that hydroxychloroquine may be an effective, and very inexpensive, remedy for the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19), the mainstream media immediately began decrying this claim as fake news, even though Anthony Fauci himself praised hydroxychloroquine back in 2013 under Barack Obama as being some type of “miracle cure” for SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome).

There have even been studies conducted that were designed to intentionally smear the drug as both ineffective and dangerous, though one in particular purposely left out zinc, which appears to be a critical co-factor in supporting the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine – in other words, politics as usual.

Media LIE: Only a vaccine can save us from coronavirus

Many politicians and public health officials are parroting the lie that the only way America can come out of lockdown and go back to “normal” is to get vaccinated with some future vaccine for the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) that does not even yet exist. A vaccine, we are repeatedly told, is the only thing, or perhaps some new “blockbuster” antiviral drug, that can cure the world of this scourge and make everything happy and wonderful once again.

Meanwhile, not a peep is being made about things like intravenous (IV) high-dose vitamin C, which is being successfully used in other countries to stem the tide of infections without the need for new drugs and vaccines.

By omission, nutrition is pointless

Speaking of natural approaches to overcoming the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) that are being systematically ignored by the mainstream media and most in politics, have you heard anyone mention the importance of nutrition in all of this? We did not think so, and this is intentional.

Regular readers of this site over the years should know by now that the single-most important thing you need to do to stay healthy besides exercising regularly is to feed your body the nutrition it needs to naturally ward off illnesses, including those associated with the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19).

Research compiled by the Lewin Group reveals that nutritional remedies such as calcium, vitamin D, folate, omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zeaxanthin, and more all play a critical role in fortifying the immune system, which, if properly nourished, should have little problem fending off disease.

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