A local environmental group believes a tourist development south of Fernie poses a threat to wildlife habitats.
A tourism operator in Waterton National Park is proposing 2 lodges and 22 cabins be built in the Flathead River Valley near the US border.
Wildsight’s Ryland Nelson calls the proposal completely inappropriate and a risk to many species.
“This is one of those places the wildlife largely has it to themselves,” Nelson says. “Adding significantly more numbers of people to that area, these guys talk about 600 people a year but we estimate it would be well over 1.000 with the amenities they are building. So this would be a significant impact and it wouldn’t be the wild place that it is today.”
Wildsight has advocated for years the Flathead Valley needs permanent protection.
“This has largely been recognized as a special place through the Southern Rocky Mountain Management Plan, which is supposed to guide what happens on the landscape,” Nelson says. “This kind of development is prohibited, so why we’re even entertaining this right now is a question for sure.”
The Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Resource Operations are accepting comments on the project until June 22nd.
Elk Valley residents can voice their concerns at www.flathead.ca.
– Wildsight’s Southern Rockies Program Manager Ryland Nelson
– Jeff Johnson