B.C. group fights for Peace, lower Fraser and Elk Rivers April 8, 2013Posted by admin in : Wildsight , add a comment
When the Outdoor Recreation Council of British Columbia first came out with a list of the province’s most endangered rivers, the idea was to spark government action to save threatened watersheds.
Publication of the most recent list, to be released Monday, makes it clear that 21 years later, B.C. still has a lot to learn about managing its watersheds. Some of the most beautiful and environmentally productive rivers on the planet are being terribly abused, or threatened.
More Related to this Story
This year, instead of naming the top 10 endangered rivers, as it usually does, ORC has tightened the focus to just three: the Peace, lower Fraser and Elk.
In part, the short list was done because so many participants in the selection process highlighted those three. But it was also done in the hope that a shorter list would help drive home to government the need for urgent action.
“We recognize there are other threatened rivers out there,” said ORC spokesman Mark Angelo. “But these are the most imminently threatened. They need action now.”
The Peace is threatened by BC Hydro’s proposed Site C dam, which would flood more than 80 kilometres of rich valley bottom, backing up the Moberly and Halfway rivers in the process. It would destroy the habitat of moose, deer, elk, black and grizzly bears and cause the loss of 5,000 hectares of boreal forest and 5,000 hectares of productive farmland.
Migratory Arctic grayling would be affected in the Moberly River, as would bull trout and mountain whitefish in the Peace.
Native burial grounds and prehistoric sites where dinosaur footprints can be found embedded in rock formations would be drowned.
ORC’s report contains a list of Site C impacts that goes on for an entire page. It ends with this item: “Essential destruction of one of the most visually attractive and much-visited landscapes in the province.”
And what would B.C. get in return? Power that it doesn’t need right now, because there is already an excessive amount of electricity being generated around the province.
“Given the dam’s adverse impacts, the extensive local opposition and the current surplus of power recently documented by BC Hydro, the case for the dam has largely vanished,” says Mr. Angelo, who recently retired as chair of the Rivers Institute, at the B.C. Institute of Technology.
The second river on the list is one that Mr. Angelo has spent much of his life trying to protect. He calls the lower section of the river “the heart of the Fraser” and has long called on government to properly manage it.
It is, he says, “one of the most productive stretches of river in the world,” because of the huge salmon runs it supports. But there are myriad problems threatening the health of the river, from the excessive use of fertilizer on farmland in the Fraser Valley, to a city plant that spews out sewage near the mouth, bathing migrating salmon in a sickening mix.
“This discharge contains high levels of traditional contaminants that can be toxic to aquatic life such as copper and zinc but there are also concerns around … emerging contaminants … that are not filtered out, or contained, by current sewage treatment practices,” writes Mr. Angelo.
That isn’t the biggest worry. Gravel mining, which takes place on exposed bars during low water events, threatens to destroy vital salmon spawning habitat, Mr. Angelo says.
Third on the list is the Elk River, which recently made headlines because of growing concerns about the amount of selenium leaching from coal mines. The pollution has reached such high levels that cutthroat trout eggs hatched in a lab produced deformed fish.
Mr. Angelo’s report notes there are proposals to build another five coal mines in the Elk Valley which can only increase the selenium levels. The report commends Teck Coal Ltd. for recognizing how serious the situation is, but says “clean-up efforts must be ramped up … so that the current trend is reversed.”
Mr. Angelo has been involved with the list since the first one in 1992. Over the decades, he’s seen many endangered rivers saved by government. Among them are the Tatshenshini, the Upper Pitt and the Sacred Headwaters, a region where three rivers form.
“The list isn’t the only reason those rivers were saved, because a lot of people are working on these issues,” says Mr. Angelo. “But I do think it helps government focus.”
Let’s hope so, for the Peace, the Fraser, and the Elk Rivers.
Elk River Poisoned by Coal Mining March 21, 2013Posted by admin in : Wildsight , add a comment
A new study clearly indicates that the Elk River is being poisoned by toxic levels of selenium leaching from Teck Coal’s open-pit coal mining waste rock. The high rates of selenium – far in excess of British Columbia guidelines – have created a crisis for fish and other species in the Elk River.
It is time to take a big step back and look at how this area is managed as a whole. Not to rush through new mining permits.
This Canada Water Week, the Elk River especially could use some love…visit www.ilovemylake.ca and share your love for the Elk! Sign the declaration and help us remind Environment Minister Peter Kent and Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield how much we all love our lakes and other waterbodies!
Reconciling mining values with wilderness and wildlife values February 4, 2013Posted by ryland in : Wildsight , add a comment
The Elk Valley is known worldwide for its wilderness and wildlife values. It is equally as well known for its extensive metallurgical coal resources. It is no easy task to find a balance that can see both of these values sustain themselves into the future.
Wildsight respects the efforts taken by Teck Coal towards reducing the trend of increasing selenium levels in the Elk River. We are supportive of the progress made by Teck and the Ktunaxa towards developing a Cumulative Effects Management Framework for the Elk Valley.
However, an effective cumulative effects review must include all activities with the potential to cause impacts in the valley. New coal mines and gas field development outside of Teck’s operations are not part of this locally developed process and could threaten the long term viability of mining and wildlife values in the Elk Valley.
Past industrial management policies and practices in the Elk Valley have allowed selenium levels to reach toxic levels in our river, and in our fish. Selenium levels at the US border are hovering, and sometimes exceeding, enforced legal limits, causing the US Environmental Protection Agency to raise concerns about the issue. Wildsight is concerned about our local water quality, fisheries, and wildlife, and does not support any new mining activity until it can be assured that the values we all care about are being protected in the long term.
The community’s involvement in addressing the selenium issue demonstrates the need for a comprehensive long-term plan that reconciles the Elk Valley’s world-class wildlife and wilderness values with the region’s metallurgical coal resources. This plan should be based on a comprehensive landscape-scale baseline assessment that evaluates the long-term impacts to water quality, fish, wildlife and evaluates cumulative effects of all current and proposed activities.
We look forward to working with all interested parties to find a solution that protects the values that make this place exceptional.
Southern Rockies Program Manager
Bingay threatens internationally significant wildlife corridor January 2, 2013Posted by ryland in : Wildsight , 2comments
An open pit coal mine proposed for the Elk Valley could jeopardize a crucial international wildlife corridor and contravene a United Nations recommendation for a moratorium on new coal mines in the Elk, conservation groups warned today.
“This mine would be smack in the middle of a globally-significant wildlife corridor that UNESCO has asked B.C. to protect,” said Wildsight Southern Rockies Program Manager Ryland Nelson. “It would be added to five existing coal mines, four mine expansion proposals and three exploration projects in the Elk valley. This is simply too much stress for this watershed.”
Centermount Coal Ltd.’s Bingay project, which is 45 per cent Chinese-owned, has just entered the B.C. environmental assessment process. The open pit mine would be built alongside the Elk River, which is a specially designated as a classified waters trout fishery (a special designation for highly productive trout streams). The Elk is one of the last strongholds for genetically pure westslope cutthroat trout and endangered bull trout.
“A new open pit coal mine next to the Elk River is a crazy idea,” said Sierra Club BC spokesperson Sarah Cox. “The Elk River already has alarmingly high levels of selenium from Teck’s coal mines. And this mine would be smack in the middle of a wildlife corridor that connects two World Heritage Sites.”
The proposed mine, 21 kilometres north of Elkford, is located entirely within identified Ungulate Winter Range, a habitat that is already heavily impacted by historical mining activities. At completion, it would be more than a square kilometre in area, and up to 500 metres deep.
Sierra Club BC, Wildsight, CPAWS BC and the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y) are calling for a federal environmental assessment of the Bingay project in addition to a B.C. assessment. The public can request a federal review by sending a quick note to Bingay@ceaa-acee.gc.ca by December 23, 2012.
The Bingay mine site forms part of the same wildlife corridor that includes the Flathead River Valley and Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park – a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Mining and energy development has now been banned in the adjacent Flathead River Valley through provincial legislation in B.C.
“In a 2010 report, UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee called for a moratorium on mining developments in the Elk Valley,” said Chloe O’Loughlin, Terrestrial Conservation Manager for CPAWS BC. “An open pit mine this close to the Elk River will negatively affect wildlife. This could ultimately impact the whole corridor, including the nearby Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park.”
Conservation groups are asking for a comprehensive long-term plan for the entire Elk Valley that reconciles its world-class wildlife and wilderness values with its metallurgical coal resources, in keeping with the recommendations of the World Heritage Committee report.
Ryland Nelson, Wildsight: (250) 531-0445
Sarah Cox, Sierra Club BC: (250) 812-1762
Chloe O’Loughlin, CPAWS BC: (604) 685-7445 x 33
Ktunaxa trigger judicial review of Jumbo December 5, 2012Posted by admin in : Wildsight , 2comments
The Grizzly Bear Spirit was in their hearts and minds as they marched to the passions of a new battle cry in a more than two decade old war. The cry; ‘Stand our ground.’
About 350 Ktunaxa Nation (KN) and East Kootenay residents took part in a noon rally against the Jumbo Glacier Resort proposal on Friday, Nov. 30, in downtown Cranbrook. The rally was held to mark the filing of an application for judicial review of the resort’s approval in BC Supreme Court.
A procession formed at the KN’s new Cranbrook office complex, in the old Tembec Building, and moved through the downtown to Rotary Park, where a series of passionate speeches were heard, as well as music and voices.
The public rally was held in Cranbrook because it is believed the legal proceedings will occur there. Additionally, a second, much smaller event was held at the BC Law Courts, prior to the filing of the application for judicial review.
Kathryn Teneese, Ktunaxa Nation Chair, said the application for judicial review is a result of the provincial government approving the proposed ($450 million to $1 billion – depending upon who you speak with) ski resort in the upper Jumbo Creek Valley, 55 km west of Invermere, and for threatening the Ktunaxa peoples’ ways of life.
“Jumbo Resort, if built, will forever destroy the connection Ktunaxa have with Qat’muk. It will sever this special and significant relationship that we have developed with that land for countless generations,” Teneese stated.
“Ktunaxa have been the victim of residential schools, and attempts to systematically destroy our culture and heritage. We had to hide our language, culture and spiritual beliefs away, simply in order to save them. We have kept our most precious beliefs a secret, in accordance with our laws and in order to protect and preserve them for future generations of Ktunaxa,” she said, adding, “Now, after overcoming these incredible adversities, working to develop our nation, and getting to a place where we are starting to see some real successes, we are faced with the reality that the B.C. Government is once again trying to destroy something vital to who we are as a people.”
Teneese said the Ktunaxa intend to continue to fight the resort proposal because it would be located in the heart of Qat’muk (GOT-MOOK). For Ktunaxa, Qat’muk is where the Grizzly Bear Spirit was born, goes to heal itself, and returns to the spirit world. The Grizzly Bear Spirit is a unique and indispensable source of collective and individual guidance, strength, and protection for Ktunaxa. Qat’muk’s importance for the Grizzly Bear Spirit is interwoven with the living grizzly bears of today, and into the future.
“I can tell you with all my conviction, that Ktunaxa will never allow themselves to be damaged as a people, ever again. Nobody has the right to take away what is rightfully ours. The fight to save Qat’muk is far from over, and it’s long overdue that we start asking harder questions of the BC Government, and challenge their process,” Teneese said.
Cranbrook’s most famous son also once again stated his support for the Ktunaxa and opposition to Jumbo. Rally emcee Joe Pierre read a prepared statement from the retired NHL superstar and captain of Canada’s 2010 Gold Medal team, Scott Niedermayer: “I would like to thank everyone for coming out, showing their support and sharing their voices today. I continue to support the Ktunaxa and Wildsight in their efforts to protect Qat’muk, and to keep the Jumbo Valley wild. Good luck and have a great day.”
A host of speakers railed against the resort proposal, including recently elected Chief Jim Whitehead, and Kootenay East NDP candidate Norma Blissett, but perhaps none more passionate than Gwen Phillips, who warned about the impacts of greed on the land.
“We must think with our minds and our hearts, and not just with our pockets,” she exclaimed.
Regional District of East Kootenay Electoral Area G director Gerry Wilkie said he is ashamed he is part of the regional government that gave away jurisdictional planning rights back to the province in 2009.
“Thank you for doing what I ashamed we couldn’t do as a regional district back in 2009. We didn’t deliver democracy to the people of the East Kootenay,” he said, noting that handing Jumbo back to the province was a giveaway.
“This big, bad government, after threatening us for so many years, said to hell with you,” when it approved Jumbo earlier this year, Wilkie said, calling the resort proposal “a monumental playground for the forces of greed. Today, you the Ktunaxa people are taking an important stand. Most of us in the Kootenays respect and revere the land. We just want to let it be.”
One of Jumbo’s most vocal and visual opponents has been Invermere resident Bob Campsall, former long-time District of Invermere councilor and co-founder of the Jumbo Creek Conservation Society (JCCS). Campsall, who has been voicing his concerns about the proposed resort since proponent Oberto Oberti first began airing his dream of creating a 5,500 bed resort village in the Jumbo Valley, between the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy and Bugaboo Provincial Park, on the glacier-encrusted spine of the Purcells, with Jumbo Pass and the West Kootenay on the south and west of the proposed village site and the Horsethief, Jumbo and Toby Creek drainages spilling east, down to the Columbia Valley.
“On behalf of the 1,609 members of the JCCS, I want to tell you how much we respect the Ktunaxa and how proud we are to join today’s celebration,” Campsall said.
Campsall said the government’s recent outlining of the Mountain Resort Municipality structure of the proposed resort is farcical, calling it “a pretend municipality up in Jumbo and we have a pretend mayor and council with no population.”
There are three things that make the Jumbo proposal a risky venture for the region and province, Campsall said.
Climate change/global warming means the resort proposal’s strongest positive will soon become a negative that will cost taxpayers, he said.
“The great pretenders in Victoria are pretending it (climate change) doesn’t exist. These glaciers will be gone before the development is ever built,” Campsall exclaimed.
The lack of a government-funded independent economic feasibility study is indicative of a government too eager to pad its stats, he said, adding that two previous studies clearly showed there would be few long-term economic benefits.
Campsall also reminded the audience about the Commercial Alpine Ski Policy (CASP). “It says that if a ski resort goes under, the government will run it,” he said, drawing a loud murmur from the crowd. “Can you also believe neither level of government (regional district or provincial government) has ever sponsored a public hearing? We in the Kootenays are not being listened to.”
Wildsight executive director John Bergenske took a different approach, stating that Oberto Oberti should be thanked.
“He has given the region something we didn’t have before – the ability to work together,” he said, “Because we care about a spiritual common ground. We go away with a feeling of community. I have no doubt there will not be a resort in the Jumbo Valley.”
Nelson-Creston MLA Michelle Mungall said the Liberal government displayed its lack of interest in listening to the people of the Kootenays when it approved the Master Development Agreement “after 20 years of opposition. In the legislature Norm Macdonald (Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA) and I have been unwavering in every opportunity to speak out against this proposal.”
She said she was shocked by the decision to go ahead with a Mountain Resort Municipality, despite the fact there isn’t a single shack or even a lone resident in place.
“To allow a ghost town… we were floored. We railed against it and they made excuse after excuse. That Mountain Resort Municipality is anything but democratic, no matter the rhetoric put out there by (Kootenay East MLA) Bill Bennett,” Mungall said. “We are not that dumb Bill. We are not that dumb.”
Mungall concluded by pointing out she and Macdonald’s “purpose is a Jumbo one” and promised that if the NDP gain control of Victoria following next May’s provincial election, it would do everything it could to kill Jumbo once and for all.
The Ktunaxa welcome contributions to the legal costs through their web site www.beforejumbo.com.
For more information on the Ktunaxa visit: www.ktunaxa.org
More on the resort proposal: http://jumboglacierresort.com/
Flathead River Valley Open for Coal Mining Despite Ban November 27, 2012Posted by admin in : Wildsight , add a comment
B.C.’s Flathead River Valley is still open to mountain top removal coal mining and coalbed methane development because a federal coal block is not included in a provincial ban on energy and mining development, conservation groups warned today.
“The Flathead is not protected from open pit coal mining after all,” said Wildsight Executive Director John Bergenske. “We’re calling on the federal government to make an immediate public commitment to join the ban on Flathead mining and energy development.”
The B.C. mining ban, legislated one year ago in November 2011, has no legal effect over 6,290 hectares of federally owned Dominion Coal Blocks in the headwaters of the Flathead River Valley which are being considered for development.
“The news is even more alarming because these coal blocks stretch across a globally significant wildlife corridor that the United Nations’ World Heritage Committee called on B.C. to conserve,” said Sierra Club BC spokesperson Sarah Cox. “In addition to the new coal mining threat, the Flathead is slated for intensive logging which has already begun. Contrary to statements by the B.C. government, the Flathead is not permanently protected.”
The Flathead coal block forms a significant part of the larger of two Dominion Coal Block parcels in the East Kootenay, which total 20,235 hectares. The coal blocks were transferred to the federal government more than a century ago in exchange for the completion of the national railway in B.C. Natural Resources Canada has posted new maps showing the coalbed methane potential of these lands, indicating that interest in their resource potential is active and current.
“We’ve written to Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver to request a meeting and to ask the federal government to join B.C. in banning open pit coal mining and oil and gas development from the Flathead,” said Chloe O’Loughlin, Director of Terrestrial Conservation for CPAWS-BC. “This should happen immediately by order in council and be followed by legislation, as was done in B.C.”
B.C.’s Flathead has some of the purest water in the world and is home to rare and at-risk species, including the wolverine, grizzly bear, tailed frog and Rocky Mountain big-horned sheep.
Wildsight, Sierra Club BC, CPAWS-BC and the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative are urging the B.C. government to agree to a National Park in the southeastern one-third of the Flathead, to fill in the missing piece of the adjacent Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, a World Heritage Site and two UNESCO Biosphere Reserves. The groups are also calling for a Wildlife Management Area in the rest of the Flathead and adjoining habitat.
Flathead Targeted for Logging September 18, 2012Posted by ryland in : Wildsight , add a comment
Plans for intensive logging and road-building threaten Flathead River Valley.
B.C.’s Flathead River Valley is targeted for intensive logging and much work remains to be done to protect it permanently, conservation groups said today.
“The ban on energy and mining development is a great first step, but the job is far from complete,” said Wildsight Executive Director John Bergenske. “B.C.’s Flathead merits the same high level of protection as the Waterton-Glacier World Heritage Site that adjoins it.”
“Preventing mountain top removal coal mining in the Flathead should not be equated with conservation,” said Sarah Cox of Sierra Club BC. “It’s a complete stretch to say that the Flathead is forever protected.”
In the absence of permanent protection, the Flathead is at risk from new logging and road-building which are already underway.
Sierra Club BC, Wildsight, and other conservation groups say that a National Park is needed in the south eastern one-third of the Flathead, to fill in the long-recognized missing piece of Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. The groups are also calling for a Wildlife Management Area in the Flathead and adjoining habit, in keeping with recommendations made by a 2010 World Heritage Committee report.
The Flathead has some of the world’s purest water, supports 40 percent of all plant species found in B.C., and is home to rare and at-risk wildlife like tailed frogs and wolverines. It forms a vital link in a globally-significant wildlife corridor that stretches from Glacier National Park in Montana to Canada’s Rocky Mountain parks.
Conservation groups working to protect the Flathead permanently also include the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, the National Parks Conservation Association and Headwaters Montana.
In 2009, 11 conservation groups on both sides of the border petitioned the United Nations World Heritage Committee to declare Waterton-Glacier a World Heritage Site in danger, due to a proposed mountain top removal coal mine in the Flathead and other planned energy and mining development. The involvement of the World Heritage Committee helped secure the 2011 legislated ban on energy and mining development in the B.C. Flathead.
“It’s time for B.C. to agree to permanent protection,” said Bergenske. “B.C. needs to step up and make its own contribution to the globally-significant Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park and World Heritage Site.”
John Bergenske, Wildsight: (250) 422-3566 c (250) 489-9605
Sarah Cox, Sierra Club BC: c. (250) 812-1762
Flathead Feast August 29, 2012Posted by admin in : Wildsight , add a comment
Almost 100 people gathered at the Canada-U.S. border in the Flathead River Valley for the ‘Flathead Feast’ on Monday, August 20 to celebrate the transboundary Flathead River Valley and call for its permanent protection.
The Flathead River has dual citizenship: beginning in southern British Columbia, it flows south across the U.S. border into Montana. Efforts to add the B.C. Flathead Valley to the adjacent to the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park—a World Heritage Site and two UNESCO Biosphere Reserves – have been ongoing for decades.
The Flathead Feast was the culmination of 10 days of activities in the B.C. Flathead, including a Bioblitz, an artist retreat and artist workshop, and a celebration of a 2011 legislated ban on mining and energy development in the B.C. Flathead.
People gathered on each side of the defunct border crossing, sharing conversations and food. While there were curries on one side and organic yak burgers on the other, everyone shared the sentiment that the Flathead is a special place that deserves permanent protection.
Wildsight and other conservation organizations are calling for a National Park in the southeastern one-third of the B.C. Flathead, to fill in the missing piece of the Waterton-Glacier World Heritage Site. They are also urging the B.C. government to agree to a Wildlife Management Area in the rest of the Flathead and adjoining habitat, to preserve a vital link in a wildlife corridor stretching from Glacier National Park to Canada’s Rocky Mountain parks.
For 10 days, scientists and artists visited the Flathead, each documenting in their own way the biodiversity and beauty of the area. Scientists from the Royal BC Museum, Parks Canada and the American Bird Conservancy participated in the Bioblitz, whose findings will be released later this year. Artists from across the East Kootenay joined wildlife and landscape painter Dwayne Harty for workshops and ‘en plein air’ painting sessions, and will contribute to an upcoming art exhibition.
Conservation organizations working to protect the Flathead permanently are Wildsight, Sierra Club BC, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Headwaters Montana, the National Parks Conservation Association and the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative.
Free Flathead Artists Workshop with Dwayne Harty July 31, 2012Posted by ryland in : Wildsight , add a comment
You’re invited to a wild “en plein air” artist workshop in the heart of grizzly country
Wildlife artists, landscape visionaries and Sunday painters rejoice: You’re invited to a free Flathead Artists Workshop with Dwayne Harty, Banff National Park’s inaugural artist-in-residence.
Harty is a renowned wildlife artist who has been focusing on Rocky Mountain subjects in his year-long Yellowstone to Yukon project. In this free workshop—which will take place in the heart of grizzly country near Fernie—Harty will offer in-depth feedback to those artists who want to improve their plein air techniques.
“The workshop runs from 9 am, when we will meet at the Morrissey Road turn off, 16 kilometres east of Fernie on Highway 3,” said Robyn Duncan, Wildsight’s program manager. “Artists must register first, but everyone is welcome.”
Artists are expected to bring their own supplies, and the trip into the Flathead will be convoy-style. “We don’t want people getting lost,” Duncan said.
The workshop is slated for Sunday, August 19. Bring a brown bag lunch—“And get ready to picnic in the grand tradition of outdoor painters.”
Members of the Flathead Wild team will be on site to give artists a report on their efforts to complete the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park by adding a portion of B.C.’s Flathead River Valley to it.
“The Peace Park is one of North America’s last remaining wildlife sanctuaries that allows grizzlies and other mega fauna to cross the Canada-U.S. border freely,” Duncan said. “We’ve been working together to include the important habitat in the lower one-third of B.C.’s Flathead River Valley for several years.”
The workshop location will offer artists stunning views of a special Rocky Mountain landscape that’s invisible from tamer locations. “This is wilderness of the finest order,” Duncan said. “The rivers run clear and the slopes feature unique rock colorations and formations. It’ll be eye-opening for those who have never ventured into Canadian Flathead territory.”
Harvey Locke, with the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, said Harty is the perfect artist to conduct the workshop. “Dwayne has produced an exceptional body of art work that speaks to one of the most pressing issues of our time: the survival of large mammals and their wilderness habitats in the face of rapidly expending human population and development pressures.”
To learn more about the workshop, contact Robyn Duncan at Robyn@Wildsight.ca. To learn more about the art of Dwayne Harty, visit www.DwayneHarty.com.
“Artists appreciate beauty like no one else,” Duncan said. “ The Flathead is a perfect place to connect with beauty”.
If you would like to participate, contact: Robyn Duncan, Program Manager 250.427.9325 ext. 210 Robyn@Wildsight.ca
Emily Brydon joins Olympians speaking out on Jumbo May 21, 2012Posted by ryland in : Wildsight , 1 comment so far
We are Canadian Olympic and Para-Olympic medalists who love winter sport, and have depended on it for our livelihoods. But we recognize there are limits to development, when enough is enough, when bigger values and the future of our children’s heritage is at stake. That is why we are opposed to the proposed Jumbo Glacier Resort.
It’s unfortunate that the province has OK’d a remote real estate development tied to melting glaciers, smack in the heart of critically important grizzly bear range. It makes no sense. This proposal isn’t about skiing, it’s about real estate.
The proposed resort lies 55 kilometres from the nearest community. While nearby world class ski resorts adjacent to communities on Canada’s major transportation routes are already competing to fill their facilities, Jumbo Resort would require a provincial road through some of the most avalanche prone terrain imaginable.
Peer-reviewed science unanimously attests to the significance of these lands to grizzly bears. The development would fracture wildlife connections critical to the long-term health of the North American grizzly bear population.
The Ktunaxa First Nation, in whose territory the development is proposed, is strongly opposed Jumbo Glacier Resort as a threat to the sacred land of the grizzly bear spirit.
We are blessed in British Columbia to have retained much of our wild inheritance. The Alps on the other hand, with their busy peaks and valleys are bereft of wildlife. European tourists flock to Canada in search of that lost wilderness, not to see a faux Euro-style resort.
A remote resort on melting glaciers will not strengthen British Columbian communities. Cutting the ski-tourism pie ever thinner to compete with the region’s world-class ski destinations would only drain community-based livelihoods. For over 20 years, local opinion has remained overwhelmingly opposed to the resort.
The fate of Jumbo is far from a “done deal”. Surely there must be a better way. Canadians will Keep Jumbo Wild.
We, the undersigned:
Beckie Scott, Silver, 2006 Olympics, Gold, 2002 Olympics Nordic Skiing
Scott Niedermayer, Gold, 2002, 2010 Olympics, Hockey
Emily Brydon, Alpine Skiing 2002, 2006, 2010 Olympian and World Cup Gold Medalist
Sara Renner, Silver, 2006 Olympics, Nordic Skiing
Josh Dueck, Silver, 2010 Para-Olympics, Alpine Sit-Ski Slalom
Thomas Grandi, Alpine Skier, 2002, 2006 Olympian and Gold, 2004 World Cup
Jon Montgomery, Gold, 2010 Olympics, Skeleton
Doug Anakin, Gold, 1964, Bobsled
Kristin Groves, 2 Silvers, 2006 Olympics, 2 Silvers, 2010 Olympics, Speedskating
For Media Inquiries, contact Beckie Scott, 403.707.8412