Press Release on Jumbo Approval

For immediate release Mar 20, 2012

Local Groups Blast Jumbo Decision

Responding to the province’s approval of the Master Development Plan for Jumbo Glacier Resort, local groups criticized the decision, saying that it is clearly a significant backwards step at this time when environmental concerns should be at the forefront. “In polls, petitions, and letters, thousands of Kootenay residents have voiced their opposition to this destructive and short-sighted proposal for 25 years,” said K. Linda Kivi of the West Kootenay Coalition for Jumbo Wild. “The provincial government is turning its back on the people, on the scientific evidence, and First Nations who have opposed this project.” Kivi is also the editor of the anthology The Purcell Suite: Upholding the Wild.

David Reid, Executive Director for Nelson-based West Kootenay EcoSociety, expects opposition to the proposal to grow in the face of the Ministry’s decision. “The majority of the residents of the West Kootenay has been very clear about its demand to keep Jumbo wild for future generations. This decision represents a failure of democracy and environmental assessment, but I am confident that in the long term, the will of the people will prevail and Jumbo will be protected. The Province’s promised habitat protection strategy can’t come close to the strategy of keeping the area wild.”

The resort development proposal would put over 6,000 beds into the Jumbo Glacier Valley and envisions a 20-year process to convert over 6,000 hectares of wilderness into a ski resort with 23 lifts and all the amenities of a small city. The project’s environmental assessment was completed in 2004, prior to research that demonstrated the area’s importance to regional populations of grizzly bear. The Ktunaxa Nation has opposed the proposal, and hired a consultant to evaluate the economic implications. The report, by Dr. Marvin Shaffer, determined that “There is no basis to conclude there would be net benefit for the Province of British Columbia if this resort is approved. The market growth forecasts underlying the proponent’s feasibility studies are out-dated; they do not reflect current market conditions or outlooks.”

Contacts:

K Linda Kivi, Spokesperson, West Kootenay Coalition for Jumbo Wild (250 354 7939)

David Reid, Executive Director, West Kootenay EcoSociety (250 354 1909)