Speak up for an environmental assessment for Zincton resort

The proposed Zincton ski and summer resort won’t have an environmental assessment — unless we speak up to demand one. Even though the resort would cover 55 square kilometres of crucial wildlife habitat in the Selkirk Mountains between Kaslo and New Denver, it might not undergo an assessment.

Through a freedom of information request, we managed to get zoning records for the proposed base area, which sits on private land, and discovered that they could build enough accommodations for roughly 1,800 people per night — or even more. That’s enough to trigger an environmental assessment in B.C.

Wildsight and The Wild Connection are calling for a provincial environmental assessment of the Zincton resort proposal, to make the full extent of this proposed resort public and to investigate the impacts on the bears, wolverines and mountain goats who live in and move through these mountains. Please add your voice today to ask Environment Minister George Heyman and your local MLA, if you live in the area (added automatically based on your postal code), to require a full environmental assessment for Zincton.

 

The Central Selkirk Mountains, where Zincton would sit between Goat Range Provincial Park and Kokanee Provincial Park, are not just important wildlife habitat, they are a crucial connectivity corridor for species like grizzly bears and wolverines to move along the spine of the continent, from Yellowstone to the Yukon. A year-round resort, plus the increased highway traffic it would bring, could make it more dangerous for wildlife to connect through the Central Selkirks and increase stress for populations that are already struggling in an area where backcountry recreation tenures and activities are thick on the ground.

Right now, we know almost nothing about the proposed base area and village, because it would be built on private land and the developer is holding those details close to their chest. We need a full environmental assessment to look at the impacts of year round recreation in this alpine area at full resort build out, including the base area village and the cumulative effects of so much commercial and motorized recreation in the Central Selkirks. The base area would be built on a former mine site, raising concerns about water pollution flowing downstream during construction.

A few years ago, when the Zincton Resort proposal came to light, thousands of you spoke up for grizzly bears, wolverines and mountain goats, telling the provincial government to put a stop to these plans. Sadly, this process kept moving forward. Now we need to speak up together to tell BC, loud and clear, that this proposed resort needs an environmental assessment.