Photo: Grizzlies have no use for skis - but they do need corridors

(Credit: Paul Heppner)

By Michelle Connolly

Last month the David Suzuki Foundation sent out an action alert asking you to write or email the B.C. government and tell them to protect B.C.'s Jumbo Valley from a massive resort development. If you haven't done it yet — grab your pen or keyboard! Here's what you need to know.

The Jumbo Valley, Qat'muk to the Ktunaxa nation, is in the middle of one of North America's most important transboundary wildlife corridors. Grizzly bears from Canada and the U.S. use the Jumbo Valley, which is nestled in the Purcell range (see map), to get to and from the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy. The conservancy is a safe place for wildlife like grizzlies, with good habitat, food, and most importantly, no human development.

The B.C. government is about to decide whether or not to stick a giant ski resort here. For almost 20 years, local Kootenay residents and the Ktunaxa nation have opposed the proposed 6,500-bed Jumbo Glacier Resort, which would convert thousands of hectares of wild land into real estate and recreation areas. On Monday, representatives of the Ktunaxa nation council travelled to Victoria to declare their position on the Jumbo Glacier Resort: "We will make British Columbians aware of the spiritual, historical and environmental importance of the Qat'muk, and of our clear intention to defend it," said Kathryn Teneese, Ktunaxa Nation Council Chair.

Peer-reviewed studies by renowned grizzly bear researcher Michael Proctor demonstrate clearly that the proposed Jumbo Glacier Resort will severely fragment the Purcell Mountains, one of the continent's most important grizzly bear corridors. This is what Aalton Harestad, a professional biologist and co-chair of the B.C. government's own Grizzly Bear Scientific Advisory Committee has to say about the Jumbo Creek development:

"The collective professional opinion of the Grizzly Bear Scientific Committee is that the proposed Jumbo Creek development, if approved, will adversely affect the regional population of grizzly bears in the South Purcells. The size and nature of the development will result eventually in the loss of bears locally and will diminish the viability of the regional population of grizzly bears."

Wildsight map

Take 30 seconds to send a letter and let the B.C. government know that you oppose the Jumbo Glacier Resort development and support keeping the Jumbo Valley wild forever. Learn more at or see what it's all about.

November 10, 2010

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May 18, 2012
8:06 PM

Did Treadwell die for nothing? If the Grizzlies are not hunted and shot at, they will be able to migrate just fine through the Jumbo Valley, just like they do in the main valley floor along the Columbia River. Do you think that, just maybe, the 300 some odd Grizzly tags given out for the resident hunter draw (in the Kootenays alone) could be more detrimental to the Grizzlies than a tourist on skis with a camera?

Dec 02, 2011
11:00 AM

This website helped me find lots of info on the grizzly bear.

Feb 12, 2011
9:10 AM

I was watching Nature of thing the other day , The episode “The last Grizzly” and I was enjoying the show untill I saw the part where the narrator was talking about all the reasons why habitat and animal populations are going down hill and the guy shows two poachers in a truck with a gun sticking out the window, I just wanted too remind david suzuki and everyone else that these guys are poachers and not hunters , I would like too know how long the guy who filmed that little ditty waited too get that piece of footage on the air and call those bad apples hunters and not poachers and shame on suzuki for letting it get on the air ,I guess he hates hunters too.I won’t be watching nature of things anymore.

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