Letter to the Editor: Push for a wild Jumbo

There is no queue for the lift that goes to the Tea House on Glacier Dome and chances of there being one soon are slim.

Dear Editor,

There is no queue for the lift that goes to the Tea House on Glacier Dome and chances of there being one soon are slim. At this point in this season, there is no evidence of the developer, Glacier Resorts Ltd. (GRL), even starting any surveying which is the usual place to begin. As GRL consistently holds their cards close to their chests, there is no publicly stated reason(s). But there are a few visible possibilities.

The Ktunaxa Nation is seeking a judicial review of the B.C. government’s March 2012 decision to approve the proposed Jumbo Glacier Resort’s (JGR) Master Development Agreement (MDA). The nation refers to the land where the development would sit as Qat’muk, where the spirit of the grizzly bear is at home, and the area is significant to their cultural beliefs as well as their concerns for the total ecosystem.

Also, the reason the developers have not begun anything is they are waiting for a decision from Victoria for the potential incorporation of the mountain resort municipality.

“There are certain restrictions if municipality status is not in place so Mr. Oberto Oberti is being cautious,” my government contact person, Psyche Brown, Manager of Major Projects in the Resort Development Branch (RDB), tells me.

She also tells me the Wildlife Management Area (WMA), which is intended to mitigate the JGR  impacts on the blue-listed (of special concern) grizzly bears, is making preparations to begin creation of guidelines for the actual management. Presently, there are no public use guidelines nor is the exact location of the 52,000-hectare WMA known, although it will be located between the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy, Panorama Resort’s Controlled Recreation Area (CRA) and the proposed JGR’s CRA.

Another item that flags “no progress” for the resort’s development is that the summer session of the College of the Rockies Invermere cancelled six workshops offered by JGR (ski camps, wildlife viewing, photography, etc) due to lack of interest.

And according to the August 1, 2012 Invermere Valley Echo, the possible French investors were surprised to learn from all our postcards, and a couple on-the-spot actions in the proposed resort’s location when the French delegation was visiting the site, that there was “such opposition about this project… we do not go into a field where things are not clear,” said Sandra Picard, Head of Communications for La Compagnie des Alps.

Thus, the bottom-line result of all this lack of forward motion by GRL is that the public is still welcome to use all of the JGR designated CRA of 5,967 hectares (over 14,750 acres or 22.5 square miles) and the undesignated 52,000-hectare WMA.

So have fun in the Heart of the Purcells — leave only footprints, take only photos — pack it in, pack it out.

To find out the condition of the Glacier Creek Road, inquire at the Kootenay Lake Forest District office, 250-825-1100.

Do remember to attend the Pat and Baiba Morrow presentation, Mountains for the Sacred and the Profane, on Tuesday, September 26 at the Capitol Theatre in Nelson, $15 for adults, and $10 for seniors, youth and low income. Doors open at 7 p.m., show starts at 7:30 p.m. This is a fundraiser for the West Kootenay Coalition for Jumbo Wild. Let’s keep on keeping Jumbo Wild! by keeping on keeping the commons common! Volunteers are needed — phone 250-354-7939.

Rowena Eloise

West Kootenay Coalition for Jumbo Wild