A local environmental group is concerned a proposed subdivision outside of Fernie could disturb a wildlife corridor for grizzlies.
Wildsight is calling on the Regional District of East Kootenay to not approve plans to build 12 lots on nearly 30 acres of land beside Lizard Creek.
Southern Rockies Program Manager Ryland Nelson says that area is critical for grizzly habitats, connecting Fernie and the ski hill.
“Putting houses right in the middle of this wildlife corridor is only going to increase the risk for interactions between bears and humans,” Nelson says. “We already know that we have a big problem with that and this is only going to add to that problem.”
Nelson says any new homes in that area could drive the animals towards Highway 3 or rail corridors.
“Haphazard approaches like a development here or a development there without taking this into consideration is really going to cause a lot of issues,” Nelson says. “I think its time for this community to really take a big step and look at the big picture, plan for development and plan for having wildlife be able to move around it.”
RDEK staff are also recommending the subdivision does not go ahead, as they feel it would create further congestion around Highway 3.
Elk Valley residents can give their thoughts on the project at a public hearing in Fernie May 24th.
– Wildsight’s Southern Rockies Program Manager Ryland Nelson
– Jeff Johnson
(Photo from Wildsight demonstrating wildlife corridor near Fernie, connecting Lizard Basin to the Fernie to Morrissey Linkage Zone)