Panoramic view of piq kiʔláwnaʔ in British Columbia

A resort proposal threatens grizzly bear and wolverine habitat  

For grizzly bears and other wildlife, the Central Selkirk Ranges between New Denver and Kaslo in southeastern British Columbia are a key reason they thrive in this area. The mountains here are steep, rugged, and remote, forbidding to all but the hardiest hikers.  

Yet this very wildness is what draws adventure tourists in increasing numbers year after year, for mechanized hiking, biking and skiing. Commercial tenures are being given out in this region without any land-use planning.  

In 2020, a proposal for the Zincton All-Season Resort was released, located right in the middle of a critical wildlife corridor connecting Goat Range Provincial Park in the north to Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park in the south. This is prime grizzly bear and wolverine habitat, and also home to mountain goats and western toads.  

The resort proposal threatens a critical north-south connectivity corridor for grizzly bears. If severed, this link may never recover.  

White grizzly near the Highway 31A corridor in southeastern British Columbia. Photo: Craig Pettit
Photo: Craig Pettit

What’s really at risk?  

Y2Y staff, wolverine and bear biologists have examined this proposal. A number of issues have emerged:  

  • The Zincton resort would impact some of the very best grizzly bear habitat in the region, including highly important huckleberry patches;   
  • Wolverines are known to live in this area — they are sensitive to intensive human use; 
  • If approved, this resort could sever a critical north-south corridor for grizzlies and wolverine due to its size and location and the increased highway traffic to access the resort;  
  • This proposal restricts access to Crown land that local recreationists, hunters and others have been using for decades, exploiting public land to feed profits on the proponent’s adjacent private land;   
  • The Province of B.C. has made a commitment to reconciliation. The corridor along Highway 31A is an important traditional use area for Indigenous communities and consent has not been provided by First Nations; 
  • The cumulative impacts on the ecosystem and the potential socio-economic impacts to the small rural communities in the area have not been assessed; 
  • No further commercial applications should be considered in this already highly tenured region, until the province completes land use and access management planning, including government-to-government negotiations with First Nations.  

Let’s press pause and make a plan 

Show you care about wildlife and rural communities. Add your support and name to our petition. Urge decision-makers to press pause and facilitate a real plan for this region. 

Join The Wild Connection, Y2Y, and other concerned citizens by advocating for a pause on any new, or expansion of existing, commercial recreational tenures until a larger land use planning process is complete for this region. 

What’s new and happening now

Despite concerns related to wildlife, environment, public safety and access, as well as cumulative effects and socio-economic impacts, a full proposal has now been submitted for the resort. As of October 2021, that full proposal is now under review until Nov. 23, 2021. 

Take action

This post was originally published in February 2020, and was updated in October 2021.
Header photo: Panoramic view of piq kiʔláwnaʔ in British Columbia near New Denver and Kaslo. Photo: Karl Koerber