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

Improvements to Reay Creek Dam could end up raising Sidney’s costs

Sidney and Ottawa are still discussing ways to coordinate remediation

Rain Walk returns Saturday to raise funds for cancer support

Rain Walk group Team Teal indebted to Inspire Health

Wet’suwet’en supporters occupying legislature in Victoria hold mass day-long teach-in

Supporters opposing the pipeline enter day four at the B.C. legislature

UPDATED: Pat Bay Highway blockade ends three hours later

About 80 people from four major Peninsula First Nations blocking major highway

Motion for Saanich to stand with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs in pipeline debate postponed

One week delay provides more time to build community support, councillor says

B.C. residents in Wet’suwet’en territory have right to police presence: Public Safety Minister

Nevertheless, Bill Blair said officials remain ‘very anxious’ for the barricades to come down

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 25

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

UPDATE: Boy, 5, will donate organs after crash that killed father, son on B.C. highway

Mike Cochlin and sons Liam and Quinn were travelling on Highway 5A

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs to meet today with federal and B.C. governments

Nationwide rail and road blockades have been popping up for weeks

Chinatowns across Canada report drop in business due to new coronavirus fears

Around the world, about 81,000 people have become ill with the virus

Endangered butterfly species to be reintroduced to Hornby Island

Hornby Island is about to play a major role in the saving… Continue reading

Prepare for new coronavirus like an emergency, health minister advises

About 81,000 people around the world have now become ill with COVID-19

Winnipeg police investigating graffiti on RCMP and other buildings

Manitoba Justice Minister Cliff Cullen denounced the vandalism

Most Read