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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Skeena Bulkley Valley MP calling for halt on sport fishing licenses to out-of-province fishers

Bachrach and Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns co-signed the letter to the Minister of Fisheries

Bella Coola Heli Sports closed, says no confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported in their operation

The company has committed to informing the community if a case is reported

COVID-19 case confirmed at Subway restaurant in Cache Creek

Customers who visited the site from March 25 to 27 are asked to self-isolate

COVID-19: Community working to address threat; road closures not supported by province

MLA Jennifer Rice says people should be staying home and non-essential travel is not acceptable

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

VIDEO: ‘Used gloves and masks go in the garbage,’ says irked B.C. mayor

Health officials have said single-use gloves won’t do much to curb the spread of COVID-19

Sex workers face new risks during COVID-19 pandemic

‘Desperation has kicked in’ for vulnerable, undocumented workers unable to access help

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

COVID-19: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Black Press Media ad sparks discussion about value of community newspapers

White Rock resident hopes front-page note shines light on revenue loss during COVID-19 crisis

Don’t stop going to the doctor, just do it virtually: B.C. association

Doctors encourage patients to access telephone, online visits

Businesses advised to prepare for federal, B.C. COVID-19 assistance

Canada Revenue Agency portal expected to open next week

Dogs are property, not kids, B.C. judge tells former couple

Court decision made on competing lawsuits over Zeus and Aurora — a pit bull and pit bull cross

Most Read