BC Wildlife Federation slams government over Jumbo decision

The BC Wildlife Federation joins the list of groups condemning the government for approving the building of Jumbo Glacier Resort.

  • Mar. 30, 2012 8:00 a.m.

The BC Wildlife Federation

Submitted

The BC Wildlife Federation (BCWF) believes that the B.C. government’s recent decision to approve the proposed Jumbo Glacier Resort, which would result in a subsequent creation of an “Instant Town” of 5000 people, is wrong and based on false economics rather than on environmental protection that the East Kootenay CORE Table recommended in their land-use planning process, in which there was complete consensus.

There was a significant level of local opposition to this proposed Instant Town to be superimposed at the end of a high glacial valley. It is identified by the government’s own Grizzly Bear Scientific Committee that this area is a crucial grizzly bear habitat.

Ed Mankelow, BCWF Parks and Wilderness Land Use Sub-committee Chair, added, “Government biologists concluded that the impacts the proposed resort would have on grizzly bears could not be mitigated within the project area.  A huge surrounding area would have to be subject to reduced hunting and human presence, and restrictive public access measures to have any success in mitigating the impacts on grizzly populations.”

In 2005, before the provincial election, Premier Campbell promised that if his Government was elected, he would turn over the decision making on this project to the local citizens and the East Kootenay Regional District.  However, once his government was elected, he reneged on that commitment by slipping a paragraph into the Community Services Act, Bill 11, which took away that right from the Regional District and gave it back to the provincial government.

Mankelow said, “The only reason for the long delay in the decision to allow this project to go forth was because the people of the region, again and again, demonstrated that they did not want this project to proceed.”

There was never a need in the Kootenays for this project as it already has an abundance of major ski hills and ski developments including world class facilities at Fernie, Kimberley, Panorama (which is only 30 miles from proposed Jumbo site), and Golden. This does not take in the dozen or so major backcountry heli-ski operations that operate in the Kootenays.

BCWF demands that the minister revisit his decision. There are some things that cannot be measured on an economic scale.

The BCWF is British Columbia’s largest and oldest conservation organization with more than 40,000 members passionately committed to protecting, enhancing and promoting the wise use of the environment for the benefit of present and future generations. Visit www.bcwf.bc.ca for more information.

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