The Director for Area A says the decision to approve a residential development in a grizzly bear corridor outside of Fernie was based on facts not emotion.
Sosnowski says it wasn’t an easy decision, but he suggests thousands of recreationists use the area all the time and eight more lots won’t make a difference.
He says the area associated with the South Rockies Grizzly Bear population hasn’t been wild for 15 years and irreversible damage has already been done.
The Rural Director doesn’t discredit people who wrote the RDEK to express their opposition to the development, as they believe they are saving grizzly bears, but says everyone should read both sides of this story.
Sosnowski says that’s what the Board did in this decision.
The developers say they’ve done their own research that suggests the properties won’t affect grizzly populations.
Proponents also say the development will not affect the corridor because: hunting pressure will not increase or be possible on the property, the development is not industrial in nature and won’t result in large-scale habitat loss, habitat connectivity will be maintained and buffered, and the property is not highly suitable habitat due to the proximity to the road.
Wildsight says they’re a disappointed with the decision and hopes the RDEK will have a broader discussion about the importance of protecting these types of lands.
– RDEK Rural A Director Mike Sosnowksi