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What’s next for Jumbo grizzlies

Dec 03, 2012

Dec 3 - Ktunaxa First Nation appeals to supreme court to protect grizzly bears and habitat and stop a mega-resort in their traditional lands in the Jumbo Valley, BC.

What’s next for Jumbo grizzlies

Site of the of new "municipality" in the Jumbo Glacier wilderness. The Ktunaxa First Nation are taking the issue to the BC Supreme Court.

After two decades of successfully staving off development on Jumbo Mountain in the Purcell Mountains of British Columbia, the BC government in March 2012 approved (and former-Olympian athletes challenged) the next step in building a $1 billion, 6,000 room ski resort in this remote glacial mountain valley.

The proposed ski resort will harm grizzly bears, disturbing critical habitat and travel corridors, in an important bear population just north of the Canada-US border.

"The fight to save Qat’muk is far from over, and it’s long overdue that we start asking harder questions of the BC Government, and challenge their process.”  - Kathryn Teneese, Ktunaxa Nation Chair

The Ktunaxa First Nation rallied on November 30 as they filed an application for judicial review of the resort’s approval in BC Supreme Court.

The Ktunaxa First Nation have lived in the area for 10,000 years and oppose the development. Known to them as Qat'muk (GOT-MOOK) the area is home to the grizzly bear spirit. The Jumbo resort is not built yet, and many long steps remain before development can begin. Investment, land-use zoning, and First Nations cultural values all remain unresolved.

“Jumbo Resort, if built, will forever destroy the connection Ktunaxa have with Qat’muk. It will sever this special and significant relationship that we have developed with that land for countless generations,” Kathryn Teneese, Ktunaxa Nation Chair stated. “I can tell you with all my conviction, that Ktunaxa will never allow themselves to be damaged as a people, ever again. Nobody has the right to take away what is rightfully ours. The fight to save Qat’muk is far from over, and it’s long overdue that we start asking harder questions of the BC Government, and challenge their process,” Teneese said.

Ktunaxa present grizzly bear declaration
Ktunaxa present grizzly bear declaration
Watch a Ktunaxa video, Where the grizzly bears go to dance. Visit Keep Jumbo Wild.

"No one's opposed to skiing," said local wildlife biologist Dave Quinn. "No one's opposed to development that’s smart, that makes sense for our communities. But it does not make sense at a time of melting glaciers and awareness of climate change to punch a road 55 kilometers to the back of the heart of the Purcell Mountains and develop a real estate development there.”

 

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