Friends of Morice-Bulkley

About FOMB

We are a group of local Bulkley Valley residents, your friends and neigbours, and we’re deeply concerned about the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline.

We believe Enbridge’s plan for a crude oil pipeline through our salmon rivers, and oil tankers on our coast, would eventually lead to a catastrophe that would forever change our region.

In July 2010, an Enbridge pipeline in Michigan broke and spilled 4 million litres of crude oil into the Kalamazoo River. A resident reported he smelled oil and 16 hours later Enbridge reported the spill to authorities. It’s the worst environmental disaster in Midwest U.S. history.

Our group is the Friends of Morice-Bulkley and we invite you to join us in protecting our region from the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline. Check out our What You Can Do page.

 

FAQ: Why do you call yourselves Friends of Morice-Bulkley instead of Morice and Bulkley? The Father Morice Story.

The Morice and Bulkley are really one river, which was given two names in a mapping error a century ago. Father Adrian G. Morice (1859-1938), for whom Moricetown is named, was both a missionary and scientist. In his 19 years in the Central Interior, he explored and described the headwaters of the Bulkley River; the name Bulkley had been established by earlier explorers. His map was accepted by the provincial government as the first official map of the area and was printed in 1907.

It was Morice’s contention that the river that now bears his name was the true Bulkley River, and in his original map, he so labeled it. He assigned his own name to the smaller tributary stream that enters from the east near present-day Houston.  Much to Morice’s disappointment, the provincial government, for unknown reasons, switched the names on subsequent maps.   Despite considerable historic controversy, the province has never corrected the error.

So, today, we are left with the Bulkley River, inexplicably changing names near Houston to the Morice River. The smaller river east of Houston is often referred to as the ‘Upper’ Bulkley River to distinguish it from the larger mainstem.

Sources: Morice, Adrian G. 1906. The History of the Northern Interior of British Columbia. Reprinted 1978 by Interior Stationery, Smithers, B.C.
                Large, R. Geddes. 1957. The Skeena- River of Destiny.  Mitchell Press Ltd. Vancouver