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Groups calling for love letters to JumboPosted: February 6, 2012

Environmental groups that have fought against a ski resort development in the Jumbo Valley are putting out a call to drop the fighting words and come up with something different: A Valentine to a wild Jumbo Valley.

Robyn Duncan, Wildsight’s Purcells program manager, says the groups are joining together to protect the wild valley and its glaciers from what the group calls “unsustainable development,” in a press release issued today (Feb. 6).

The upper Jumbo Creek Valley, 55 km west of Invermere, has been the focal point for a large scale ski resort development that would be centered on nearby glaciers, for more than 20 years.

“Rumours are thick on the ground about the government moving closer to signing off on the master development agreement,” Duncan said. “This would represent a decision on Jumbo in the wrong direction.”

Duncan can cite a number of studies that conclude the proposed resort would compromise grizzly populations in the central Purcells, which is key habitat in the overall Purcell Mountain system.

“The loss of connectivity here could devastate grizzlies in the southern Purcells,” she said. Grizzlies are a keystone species—they represent the health of an ecosystem.

“When we take steps to protect their dwindling habitat, we take steps for all wildlife sharing that habitat, and for all the people who rely on this particular healthy ecosystem for clean air, clean water and biological diversity.”

The groups suspect time might be short, as rumors of a decision preceded a junket to France, when pro-resort personalities, including East Kootenay MLA Bill Bennett, will meet with potential investors.

“We want people to send a valentine to Premier Clark via,” Duncan said. “Or by cutting out the newspaper valentines across the region and mailing them in.”

Duncan said it’s still important to let the Premier know if you are opposed to the resort development, and why.

“People share many concerns,” she said, “from protection of habitat to the questionable economics and community impacts of the proposal. As well, The Qat’muk Declaration makes clear the Ktunaxa Nation’s strong opposition to the development for spiritual reasons.”

“We are encouraging individuals to express their love for this place in a Valentine to a wild Jumbo Valley.”

“We’ve looked at this issue in great depth,” she said. “We’ve read the scientific reports, and the most recent economic report which concluded that Jumbo would not be the economic boon it has been promoted to be. The conclusion is obvious, this resort is unsuitable for the land it sits on and for the communities it will affect.”

“We’re asking people to talk about their values in Valentines—and we are hoping the Premier reads the love for this place that goes into them.”

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One Response to Groups calling for love letters to Jumbo

  1. ….if the proposed jumbo resort does go through, is the gov’t gonna take responsibility and cull the grizzly that’s gonna make their way into the urban areas?…just like the cull of hundreds of deer that somehow have become a “problem” to the cities of Cranbrook, Kimberley and Invermere. I am a member of the Ktunaxa Nation and through the teachings of my late mother, told me to pay attention to the animals, they are telling you the future.

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