Jumbo Valley landscape. (Steve Ogle)

B.C. First Nation gets $16M to protect site of proposed ski resort

$16M will create an Indigenous protected area

The federal government will contribute $16 million over four years to the Ktunaxa Nation to create an Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area in the Qat’muk area, which includes the Jumbo Valley, in the Purcell Mountains of southeast B.C.

“We were just advised of this, and of course we are excited about it,” said Kathryn Teneese, chair of the Ktunaxa Nation Council, “but we have had no opportunity to finalize the details and our council has not had a chance to discuss this.”

She said she will be able to provide more information toward the middle of September.

An Aug. 26 letter from Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, to Kootenay-Columbia MP Wayne Stetski, states that the project will include mapping, assessment of cultural and biodiversity values, negotiations to buy out conflicting land tenures, and a stewardship plan.

The letter states that the offer of funding is conditional on the successful negotiation of the project details and the signature of a contribution agreement.

“The project contains high elevation ecosystems that support headwaters of ecologically-important watersheds that regulate water flow and provide habitat for close to 300 at risk species, as well as old growth ecosystems,” McKenna wrote.

“It will conserve and protect habitat for wildlife, including five species at risk such as Whitebark Pine (Endangered) and Grizzly Bear (Western Population) (Special Concern). This project will also conserve and protect draft critical habitat for one Priority Species, the Southern Mountain Caribou (Threatened).”

“This has been a long time coming,” Stetski said. “I appreciate the years of hard work by the Ktunaxa Nation and many of my constituents to ensure Qat’muk is protected for future generations.”

A proposal for a year-round ski resort in the Jumbo Valley has been in various stages of development, court challenges, and controversy for three decades.

In 2015, former provincial environment minister Mary Polak found that the developer, Glacier Resorts Ltd., had not completed enough construction work proceed with the project.

Her decision meant the expiration of an environmental assessment certificate, which the proponent needed to continue developing the resort.

The company took this to court, and earlier this month the B.C. Court of Appeal upheld Polak’s decision that effectively cancelled the resort project.

Related:

Appeal court sides with province over Jumbo ski resort decision

Glacier Resorts appeals B.C. government decision on Jumbo proposal



bill.metcalfe@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Victim of downtown Courtenay assault dies from injuries

RCMP confirm file is now a homicide investigation

North Island College’s annual 3-Hour Fiction Contest returns

Two competitions; one for adults, one for U-18 writers

Comox Valley’s drinking water within lead guidelines, say staff

Residents with old homes may still want testing if concerned about pipes, solder

Denman ferry cable to be replaced with plastic cable – for now

The first flattened steel strand cable is expected to be installed late summer 2020

Cumberland holds off transfer of ‘alleyway’ property to homeowner

Village cites need to protect alleyways, while staff cite encroachment issues

VIDEO: ‘Climate emergency’ is Oxford’s 2019 Word of the Year

Other words on the shortlist included ‘extinction,’ ‘climate denial’ and ‘eco-anxiety’

Comox Fire Rescue donates defibrillator to St. George’s United Church

Comox fighters have donated an automatic external defibrillator (AED) to St. George’s… Continue reading

Algae bloom killing farmed fish on Vancouver Island’s West Coast

DFO says four Cermaq Canada salmon farms affected, fish not infectious

Three cops investigated in connection to ex-Vancouver detective’s sexual misconduct

Fisher was convicted in 2018 after pleading guilty to kissing two young women who were witnesses in a criminal case

Violence response procedures updated for B.C. schools, police

ERASE program expands to target gangs, bullying of students

A pawsitive ending: Missing puppy found after nine-day search in Chilliwack

Pit bull Frankie ran from dog sitter booked through app

Federal laws at heart of West’s anger up for debate, as Liberals begin outreach

Vancouver mayor to Trudeau’s western critics: ‘Get over yourselves’

Snowboard pioneer Jake Burton Carpenter dies at 65

He was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2011

Most Read