One of the most tragic and unnecessary stories of the Columbia River Treaty is the flooding of a ten-acre, high value food farm located in Nakusp, BC – the Spicer Farm. Just a little less money, just a few vertical feet less storage, would have saved this farm, so many of the other dry-land farms and orchards, and much of the ecologically rich bottomland riparian in the Arrow Lakes Valley. The land was permanently and I believe cruelly destroyed – for the sake of money and power.
The “Conservation Plan” that I write about in A River Captured, would have preserved the valley. But the dealmakers lived too far from the affected areas to have any heart for the land itself. As a society and culture, we have a lot to make up for, having been complicit in this level of destruction. I know, most of us weren’t there at the time. But we are here now, and we can make a difference. We can be more compassionate. We can give back to the natural world. And I hope that we do.
I first met Janet Spicer in 2004. She and her sister Crystal grew up on the farm and understand emotionally and ecologically what was lost. In 2018, I worked with Janet’s remarkable collection of family slide images, to create a visual record. Thank you, Janet, for your sensitivity, your passion and your integrity.