Opposition to Jumbo Glacier Resort stands firm through wins and losses

Photo credit: Doug Clark, Kootenay Mountaineering Club
Photo credit: Doug Clark, Kootenay Mountaineering Club

After more than two decades of opposition to Jumbo Glacier Resort, wilderness conservationists and backcountry recreationists received some good news last month from Province — the determination that the project has not been substantially started and that its Environmental Assessment Certificate has now expired. The FMCBC submitted a letter supporting Minister Mary Polak’s determination, the full contents of which can be viewed here.

FMCBC members and local communities oppose the development of a commercial resort not because we oppose economic development in the Kootenays but because we believe that the impact of such a resort would irrevocably damage the ecology of the area and existing outdoor recreation opportunities that currently drive so much tourism to the area. In an area already saturated with commercial ski operations, the proposed Jumbo Glacier Resort would only serve to further restrict opportunities for low-impact, non-motorized backcountry recreation and forever change the wilderness value of the pristine Jumbo Valley.

Since the decision came down in late July, Glacier Resorts Ltd. has said that it will appeal the Province’s determination. Also, on August 6th, BC’s Court of Appeal upheld an earlier ruling that Glacier Resorts Ltd. did not violate the rights of First Nation opponents who filed an appeal against the company. A revised proposal for a smaller resort — about 2,000 beds versus the original 5,500 — would mean that developers could effectively side step the environmental assessment requirement and build under BC’s all-season resorts policy.

The FMCBC continues to oppose the development of a commercial resort that lacks the support of the local community and threatens the environment and outdoor recreation in the area. It is our hope that Jumbo Resort Municipality be dissolved and the Jumbo Valley be protected from resort development for now and forever.