Ken Stewart is back for another year as president of the Alouette River Management Society. (The News files)

Ken Stewart is back for another year as president of the Alouette River Management Society. (The News files)

Stewart returns as ARMS president, Maple Ridge conservation group holds AGM

Dealing with issues including riverfront development, fish ladder, boosting group’s profile

The Alouette River Management Society is starting a new year of conservation work, with mostly the same board of directors.

ARMS held its annual general meeting on April 14, and returned Ken Stewart as president, Cheryl Ashlie past president, John Dale vice-president, and Doug Stranger as treasurer.

The executive is mostly the same, with John Kelly, Matt Adams, Gavin Roache, Gerry Miller, Geoff Clayton, Craig Speirs, and Victoria Farahbakchian, and BC Correction officers Lance DiSalvo and Chris McMillan.

The board will be setting its priorities, but there are obvious issues to be dealt with, said the president.

Stewart said the group has concerns about new residential developments along the waterway that have come before the City of Maple Ridge for approval, and is in the process of drafting a response.

The conservation group had worked to oppose a controversial subdivision on the banks of the Alouette at 240th Street for the past two years, before the plans were stopped by the provincial government. Stewart said the city is looking at new building plans that raise similar issues, but said the group is still formulating its response.

READ ALSO: Landslide buries plan for riverfront subdivision in Maple Ridge

Stewart said the issue of fish passage remains a priority for the group, and there is slow progress by the provincial government toward a fish ladder to allow spawning salmon past the BC Hydro dam at Alouette Lake.

And after two years of dealing with COVID-19, the organization will get back to fundraising, recruiting new members and volunteers, and running educational programs and summer camps.

“We’re going to be boosting our profile,” said Stewart.

READ ALSO: New report suggests Alaskan fisheries are overharvesting plummeting B.C. salmon stocks


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