Conservationists applaud as environmental assessment deals blow to Jumbo Glacier Resorts

East Kootenay – BC’s Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) issued a setback to the effort to build the Jumbo Glacier Resort development in the mountainous region west of Invermere, BC.

The determination said that Jumbo Glacier Resorts Ltd (GRL) is not compliant with the condition of its certificate, which requires that ”…residential and commercial structures will be located completely outside the avalanche hazard area.” After more than twenty years of controversy, GRL must demonstrate that the project is “substantially started,” and the Minister of Environment has yet to make that determination.

“GRL must not resume construction at either the Day Lodge or Service Building Location for any purpose,” said Autumn Cousins, EAO Manager of Compliance.

Conservation organizations throughout the region, who have been opposed to the resort since it was first proposed two decades ago, reacted positively to the announcement, echoing the overwhelming sentiment of community members from across the Kootenay region.

“I think the government had no choice but to recognize Jumbo Glacier Resorts’ non-compliance to Environmental Assessment Certificate conditions,” said John Bergenske, Conservation Director of Wildsight, a Kootenay-based group leading much of the opposition against Jumbo. “The developer’s ill-conceived, last-minute attempt to create a footprint in the Jumbo Valley has failed. I look forward to the Minister’s decision on whether the project is ‘substantially started.’ There should be no question in the minds of reasonable people that the project not been started. The little activity that has taken place will require remediation measures.”

“The concerns of the community and the Ktunaxa Nation have yet to be put to rest, but this determination brings us closer to keeping the Jumbo Valley wild,” added Bergenske.