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

Haida Gwaii sportfishing lodges set to shut down

Tourism company wants to enact experiences more in line with Haida values

Immediate deal to reinstate AMHS in Prince Rupert not out of the question: Mayor Brain

B.C., Alaska officials fail to sign ferry deal in Juneau to reinstate service from Ketchikan

‘It affects everybody:’ Trudeau’s brownface photos worry Wet’suwet’en chief

Skeena-Bulkley Valley Liberal candidate declines to comment on prime minister’s indiscretion

Haida Gwaii art gala seeks submissions

Annual fundraiser supports local artists and programs

On The Wing: Raptors in the wind, shearwaters in the waves

By Margo Hearne A hawk glides over the dune ridges. It circles,… Continue reading

B.C. VIEWS: School officials join fact-free ‘climate strike’

Students, public get distorted picture of greenhouse gases

VIDEO: A moment to remember during the World Lacrosse Men’s Indoor Championship in B.C.

Diego Hernandez Valenzuela’s team lost, but he felt like a winner Saturday

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Iconic 90s TV show ‘Friends’ celebrates 25th anniversary

The iconic, decade-long television show aired its first episode 25 years ago today

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Most Read