Jumbo Valley to Stay Wild

submitted by Vanessa Humphries for Wildsight

KIMBERLEY, August 6, 2019- After a court decision, Jumbo Glacier Resort no longer has a valid environmental certificate and the resort cannot be built until re-assessed.

Wildsight and the Jumbo Creek Conservation Society are celebrating a win for the Jumbo Valley, part of B.C.’s Purcell Mountains, the sacred area of Qat’muk to the Ktunaxa Nation and an important habitat for grizzly bears.

Today, the B.C. Court of Appeal ruled that the 2015 decision of the Provincial Minister of Environment—that the project’s environmental assessment certificate was expired because the project had not been “substantially started”—should be reinstated after being previously overturned by a lower court.

“Wildsight and the Jumbo Creek Conservation Society have spent decades fighting to keep Jumbo Wild. We are thrilled that the court has come to the logical decision that the project was never substantially started and its environmental assessment certificate has expired,” shares Meredith Hamstead of the Jumbo Creek Conservation Society.

“With the resort dead in the water, Jumbo is going to stay wild. Now, it’s time for Qat’muk to be legally recognized,” shares John Bergenske, Wildsight’s Conservation Director, “and beyond Qat’muk, wildlife need long-term protection in the broader Central Purcell Mountains, all the way from the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy to Glacier National Park.”

Since 2014, Ecojustice has represented Wildsight and the Jumbo Creek Conservation Society in the proceedings before the Minister and, along with the Ktunaxa Nation Council, made submissions that formed the basis for the Minister’s decision.

“It stands to reason that developers can’t be allowed to hang on to an Environmental Certificate for ever. The original assessment for this project was conducted in the 1990s, and was based on information which is now outdated. The law in B.C. requires project proponents to start their projects within ten years of receiving their certificates to ensure that up to date information and the best technology is used to avoid the harmful impacts of large projects like these,” shares Olivia French, Ecojustice Lawyer.

Jumbo Valley, part of the area known as Qat’muk, is a sacred and spiritual place for the Ktunaxa people. The Valley is part of one of North America’s most important international wildlife corridors and recent research reinforces the importance of this area as grizzly bear habitat and connectivity.

The proposed resort’s environmental certificate expired ten years after it was first granted because by then the project’s developer had only managed to pour a pair of concrete slabs in the remote mountain valley. At issue in the appeal was whether the Ministers’ determination was reasonable that those concrete slabs did not constitute a “substantial start” to the proposed billion dollar resort, planned to include thousands of bed units and numerous lifts.

This is an important win for the Jumbo Valley and was only possible due to a persistent, collaborative effort of more than two decades by many organizations and individuals passionate about protecting this special place.

Keep it Clean, Please

Crawford Bay resident Susan Hulland sent in these photos (and words below) after finding significant rubbish left behind at the Crawford Bay boat ramp and beach area. Are you noticing more garbage being left behind by visitors and/or residents lately? What can be done to encourage the “pack it in, pack it out” philosophy? Is signage at these gathering places perhaps required?

From S. Hulland: “Some people are not treating our community right. Visitors need guidelines, a code of conduct if you will, about how to act around here. The included pictures were taken two days apart. The large pieces of very heavy blue plastic were discarded at the old Crawford Bay boat ramp.The campfire, smoking and smoking, was found early Saturday morning near the mouth of  Crawford Creek. Beside it an empty rum bottle and various Pepsi cans. Of course I suppose it could have been local residents but I sure hope not.”

Category 2 Fires Banned in Kootenay Region July 29th

by Ingrid Baetzel, Editor – The East Shore Mainstreet

July 26/19 – Kootenay Lake, BC: As of Monday, July 29, B.C. Wildfire Service will impose a ban on Category 2 fires in the Kootenay region.

Banned fires include open fires larger than half a metre wide and half a metre high, stubble or grass fires, the use of burn barrels or burn cages, the use of air curtain burners, the use of fireworks and the use of tannerite for target shooting. Small campfires or cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes are not included in the prohibition.

The prohibition covers the Southeast Fire Centre, which includes the Rocky Mountain and Selkirk resource districts. The ban applies to all public and private lands unless otherwise specified by municipal or regional government bylaws.

Penalties for violating the ban can include significant fines, jail time or bearing the financial responsibility for wildfire cost.

Starbelly Jam Starts Tomorrow!

Join us in celebrating the 20th Annual Starbelly Jam on Friday July 19th, & Saturday July 20th 2019! This remarkable yet small outdoor music festival is held in Crawford Bay, BC on the third weekend of July.

Buy your tickets today: https://starbellyjam.tickit.ca/?fbclid=IwAR324uUmrJZy__HVrIdZL_nCev7yaG6sM-1GFz7Fixyj_SlC-5DFAOcW4qE

Starbelly Jam offers up more than a great selection live music, a welcoming atmosphere, on-site food vendors, a craft faire full of unique & handmade treasure. Take part in the free workshops & enjoy the roaming jugglers and clowns. Make new friends, catch up with old friends, be part of this engaging & vibrant community cultural event that is now going to celebrate 20 years! Join us for an amazing experience, great for the whole family to enjoy. Prepare yourself for best version of this festival ever, returning to its original program design of a two day festival, limiting the size of the population, bringing back that “more relaxed” festival atmosphere.

Hey you, need a ride?

By-Donation shuttle service is available this weekend. Our Starbelly shuttle will meet you at the ferry landing in Kootenay Bay.

The East Shore Transportation Society will be meeting the ferry from noon on Friday to the last ferry on Saturday evening at 10:30.

For parking in Balfour, there is a park and ride by the Kootenay Gourmet. If you park across the highway in front of the Balfour Superette, please talk to the manager at the store- they will tow you if you are in their way.

Contact 250-551-6020 for more information!

East Shore Better At Home

by Peggy Skelton, Chairperson –
East Shore Better at Home Advisory Committee

Better at Home on the East Shore has had a year of growth and change. Our numbers are showing that the trend for transportation services and friendly visits continues to rise. This speaks to the excellence of the services provided, and the quality of our volunteers with whom we could not do without.

The biggest news, however, is that through the hard work of the East Shore Better at Home Advisory Committee, and the continued support from the East Shore Kootenay Lake Community Health Society, Garry Jackman RDCK, Garry Sly, South Kootenay Lake Community Services Society (SKLCSS) “Community Connections”, East Shore Hospice and numerous others who wrote letters of support, and of course Rebecca Fuzzen, we will now be receiving ongoing funding for our East Shore Better at Home Program! A heartfelt thank-you to all!

Starting July 1st, 2019, the charitable Valley Community Services Society in Creston will become the administrator for the yearly $10,000 in funds for our East Shore Program.

This transition means that Valley Community Services will have the hands on management role. They will retain, manage, and report on the funds.

Also, as of July 1st, 2019, Rebecca Fuzzen will become an employee of Valley Community Services. This will allow her more support and education as well as a better connection with the provincial Better at Home Program. It is our hope that Valley Community Services recognizes the hard working employee they have added to their team.

There needs to be kudos and great appreciation given to Community Connections (SKLCSS), who managed the budget since the program began in April of 2017, and applied for grants on the program’s behalf.

We are pleased to see Community Connection (SKLCSS) supporting other community programs such as Helping Hands Day.

The East Shore Better at Home Advisory Committee will continue to provide support and suggestions to help the program grow and meet the needs of present and future seniors on the East Shore.

I’d like to say my personal thanks to all our Advisory members it wouldn’t have happened without you! And to our volunteers who are worth more than gold…you are amazing and nothing would happen without you.

Transportation Survey!

by Laverne Booth

The new East Shore Transportation Society is conducting a survey until June 28, 2019. The purpose of the survey is to confirm current and future use of a community bus, and to identify needs to make a case for funding from  health authorities and other sources. 

The survey is only 9 questions and will not take long, the fastest way to do this is click on this link and you will be taken right to the survey. 

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScitt9aq8ue1UdBmKESlMo8423cHziyWRtBySwuQ4rZxWgjEA/viewform?usp=sf_link

If you prefer to do the written survey, you can pick up a copy at your local post office and return it to the same place. In Riondel please return to the the senior’s room at the community center.

Please be honest, the bus service will not work for all, but input is needed from all at this time.  Please just do the survey once, but do get family members of all ages to fill it in.

RDCK Report for June 2019

MORE ON TRANSIT: A few concurrent initiatives are happening around transit.  Other articles in this issue will provide updates on the community bus which was purchased from Valley Community Services (based in Creston) a few months ago.  This bus is held by a local society.  As it comes into service it will serve some of the immediate needs of our communities plus it can start to build the ridership case for establishing BC Transit service within Area A.

Currently the RDCK partners with BC Transit and Interior Health to provide a variety of transit services across the Central Kootenay with some connections to the East and West Kootenay.  Funding formulas vary with BC Transit typically paying for half the cost of regular transit (through your provincial taxes) and the other half coming through local property tax where the services are established.  Interior Health pays for the Health Connections service, described further below, from their funding allocation provided by the province.

The typical range of services include regular transit (running on a fixed route and schedule), by request service (examples can be found in parts of Creston), handyDART and Health Connections.  Area A residents in the south portion (around Wynndel) have access to a fixed schedule bus which loops back and forth from Creston two days a week.  They also have access to the handyDART service if they qualify.  This is a door to door service for persons who have disabilities which prevent them from using the regular transit service.  Information on what the handyDART service entails can be found on the BC Transit website.  The overall schedule for the Creston Valley Transit System, with connections to Wynndel, Ericson and West Creston, can be found by searching Creston Valley Transit.

Creston Valley residents, along with any Area A resident who can make it into Creston for the morning departure time, can use the Health Connections bus to ride to Cranbrook and back for medical appointments two days a week.  If seats are available, passengers without medical appointments may also ride this bus.  The Health Connections bus is funded by Interior Health so it does not require a local property tax.  The rider fare is very reasonable at just $2.50 per trip but the trips need to be booked 24 hours in advance.

For the northerly portion of Area A, we currently only have connectivity to the extensive West Kootenay transit network via the bus at Balfour.  It took some time, but at least now the bus arrivals and departures from Balfour are scheduled to allow time to board or disembark from the ferry.  Once on the Balfour side, riders can access regular transit or they can board the Health Connections bus which goes to the Kootenay Lake hospital in Nelson.  They can also make connections to go to the Kootenay Boundary regional hospital in Trail.

BC Transit, in partnership with local government, has been very successful in increasing ridership in the west Kootenay since 2013 when several of the disjointed transit schedules were aligned to allow for easier travel from Trail to Nelson plus creating feeds from Nakusp, the Slocan and the Kaslo area.  Now BC Transit is planning for a further expansion and enhancement of the system. If residents from the northerly portion of Area A can show an adequate demand for service we may be eligible to receive a substantial subsidy to establish BC Transit service along the east shore. This will likely take one and a half to two years after the demand case has been established.  Currently BC Transit is looking for expansion ideas to put into their fall budget proposal.

On May 22, Transit planners along with the RDCK transit coordinator met with 17 stakeholder reps from the east shore to begin the planning cycle.  In the coming months BC Transit planners will return to the east shore to hold public meetings to present ideas for transit routes along the east shore and to gauge the level of local support.  If you anticipate a need to use transit now or over the next several years please consider coming out when meetings are announced.

A longer vision is to have BC Transit service running the full length of Area A from Riondel to Creston plus looping down to the ferry terminal.  The current “service areas” which the RDCK would use to raise its portion of the funding are not continuous and each is aligned with a different transit network.  Sorting out a long term plan will be complex and may require voter assent.  The shorter term objective, as stated above, is to demonstrate a local demand for service and plug into the already established network on the other side of the Kootenay Lake ferry by having a feeder route on our side of the lake.

REMINDER ABOUT REGIONAL ENERGY EFFICIENCY PROGRAM: As noted in previous articles, the RDCK has been proactive in linking residents to grant programs, such as those offered by Fortis and BC Hydro, to upgrade their homes and appliances to save energy.  The most recent program we are helping to promote is the Regional Energy Efficiency Program which has two funding streams, one for new construction and the other for home retrofits.  The RDCK has partnered with the Community Energy Association and Nelson Hydro to roll out this program.  Go to rdck.ca and look under the “services” tab then “sustainability” where at the bottom of the page you will see the link to “energy”.

A community meeting has been scheduled for 6pm on June 11th at the Crawford Bay hall where the program will be explained and contacts for further information and program applications will be available.

VOLUNTEERS FOR RDCK COMMISSIONS: We still have space for additional community volunteers on the Area A Economic development Commission, the Recreation 9 Commission and the Area A Advisory Planning Commission.  There is also one more space available for an Area A resident from Wynndel on the Agriculture Advisory Commission.  Please contact me to learn more about these positions.  Your local knowledge and input is important to our communities.

If you have questions or comments on any topic please drop a note to gjackman@rdck.bc.ca or call me at 250-223-8463.

Bringing Local History to Life!

The Boswell Historical Society Presents:

“BRINGING LOCAL HISTORY TO LIFE!!”

Strategies to discover, document, and share the formative stories of our community

Presenter:  Tammy Bradford, Creston Museum’s manager, curator, archivist and historian

Saturday, May 25

Boswell Memorial Hall

Join us for coffee and muffins at 9:30 a.m., Tammy’s presentation at 10:00, followed by lunch at 12:00.  Attendance by donation.

Supported by the Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance