Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 9 > Page 11 - Wreck Cove Hydro-Electric Investigation

Page 11 - Wreck Cove Hydro-Electric Investigation

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1974/10/1 (1409 reads)
 

Rege Sweeney: One personal concern after travelling these rivers • like Indian Brook is one of the last natural rivers in Nova Scotia. That's an expression I have • nattiral river • there's no industry, there's no cottages, there's very little fishing except at the mouth • which is one thing I would like to see preserved. If you want to go up Indian Brook you've really got to work at it. You've got to be a serious hiker • which is one thing I really appreciated when we came down it. I've worked on a lot of rivers. You're going along and you see a campfire built here, beer cans scattered around • but you start from the headwaters of the Indian Brook and you come down and there's no beer cans, no trees chopped for firewood etc • the wildlife is fairly tame and the birds are sitting around your camp at night. You see deer, moose. If it was . more settled they'd be pushed back into the interior* I feel this will be a real loss. You're going along and you turn a bend and see a 150 foot dam and a two-lane highway • you lose something that way* The esthetics. And to me, that's valuable. And I feel it is to a lot of other people too, who want to get to a place that hasn't been spoiled* The Cheticamp River is unspoiled but it's in the national park so you.expect it. Cheticamp Lake is technically not part of the national park. It was at one time • on the old topographic maps the park boimdaries take in the whole lake area • but this has changed. The dam will not be built on park territory. But part of the system a- bove the lakes is still in the park and what the park is going to decide on this I have no idea. Part of the catchment basin is in the park and everything below the dam • the Cheticamp River, which is in the park • will be affected. Reduced flows, etc* The dam is on the main Cheticamp River, fairly high up, which i think is taking • don't take this as exact • 2o to 25 percent of the watershed area. So one way or another you will be losing that much water input in the Cheticamp River. They have a lot of trouble with it right now, you know. Low flows in the summertime. 20 per? cent of the flow at the mouth doesn't sound like very much but in some parts of the river it might be all the flow. Even now it gets really low for fishing, salmon mi? gration, this sort of thing. v The major watershed systems over the vrfiole province have slowly been developed to hydro-electric. The Annapolis system, the Nictaux, the Gasperaux, the Tusket, down in Yarmouth County, up through the valley-all these have been built and developed and are producing it at what I presume is peak capacity now. Now you're getting into Cape Breton. That is not a renewable resource, these rivers. Wheij you run out of these rivers you've got to go to something new. Fossil fuels are another limited factor. The answer I think is going to be the nuclear power. Perhaps it isn't worth destroying these places which can never be recovered. Is it worth wasting one of the last wild systems in Nova Scotia for the sake of the time span you're going to have before nuclear power is going to come anyhow? CAPE BRETON'S MAGAZINE/ll
Cape Breton's Magazine
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