The Fraser Headwaters Alliance: a brief history
The origin of the Fraser Headwaters Alliance dates back to 1988, when a group of Robson Valley residents came together to form one of the area’s first conservation organization. Under the name Canoe-Robson Environmental Coalition (CREC), this group took on a variety of conservation issues including pesticide use and the conservation of old growth forests. CREC had neither staff nor office space, but provided a strong voice in opposition to an expansion in the Annual Allowable Cut (AAC), and in support of the community-based recycling initiative that later became Valley Recycling. When the BC Government began its Land and Resource Management Planning Process (LRMP) in 1993, Debbie Ladouceur represented CREC’s interests at the planning table and participated through three trying years of meetings.
CREC became incorporated as a non-profit society under the BC Society Act in June 1997. The organization’s original mission statement was "to maintain and restore the ecosystem health and natural scenic beauty of the Canoe and Robson Valleys and all the watersheds associated with them." Keith Berg, Jane Houlden, Roy Howard, Seth Macdonald, Debbie Ladouceur, and John Grogan made up CREC’s first official Board of Directors.
In March 1998, with funding from the Brainerd Foundation, CREC hosted a meeting in Dunster, with representatives from the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Silva Forest Foundation, Cariboo Mountain Wilderness Coalition, Quesnel River Watershed Alliance, BC Wild, Save the Cedar League, and Valhalla Wilderness Society present. At this meeting, a new group, the Fraser Headwaters Alliance, was formed to serve as an umbrella organization for groups concerned about conservation issues in the headwaters of the Fraser. In 1999, CREC officially adopted the name Fraser Headwaters Alliance and later that same year hired Roy Howard as FHA’s first full-time coordinator.
Today, FHA has an annual budget of around $150,000 (still fairly modest, but something we are proud of nonetheless). Our Board of Directors normally meets on the first Tuesday of every month, and we hold frequent general meetings for our entire membership. Many of the people currently involved in FHA have been with us since 1988, while others have joined our ranks more recently. All of us share a love for our home place and a commitment to preserve in perpetuity the natural and cultural legacy of the Fraser Headwaters bioregion.
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