A local conservation group is concerned a proposal for skiing, hiking and biking in the South Purcells mountain range could have a negative effect on local animals.
Wildsight is hosting a series of town hall meetings discussing a proposal from Adventure Tourism Operator Retallack.
The proposal covers 700 square kilometres from Kootenay Lake to St. Mary’s Lake near Kimberley and seeks to establish year round opportunities for skiing, hiking and biking by helicopter.
Conservation Coordinator Eddie Petryshen feels this would be a huge change for wildlife, including the last remaining caribou in that area.
“Mountain caribou and mountain goats and a lot of these sensitive species have been shown to initiate a predator response to helicopters,” Petryshen says. “It not only stresses them out, but it causes them to eventually abandon habitat under intensive use.”
The proposal is in partnership with the Lower Kootenay Band.
A Town hall is scheduled 7 pm Monday night at Kimberley’s Centre 64.
(Image of Retallack’s proposed tenure provided by Wildsight. Wildsight says the map covers more than 700km² and includes 161 km of helicopter accessed downhill (purple) and all mountain bike trails (green).)
– Wildsight’s Conservation Coordinator, Eddie Petryshen