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Glacier Resorts Limited tries to ‘develop’ Jumbo Glacier area through a ‘backdoor’: Wildsight

Photo courtesy the West Kootenay EcoSociety

Proponents are billing it as a service for tourists, but a watchdog group sees it as another attempt to develop the proposed Jumbo Glacier Resort area through ‘the backdoor,’ and without due process. 

“It” is a proposal to open commercial skiing operations at the former Camp Green site, on Farnham Glacier, just over the height-of-land from the Jumbo Valley.

If the company behind the Jumbo Glacier Resort proposal gets Provincial approval, it will offer ‘snow-cat tours’ and ‘public skiing’ on a daily basis, starting this month, Wildsight is claiming.

Camp Green was a temporary athletes training site previously operated by WinSport, formerly known as the Calgary Olympic Development Association.

WinSport announced this year it would cease operations due to frequently poor snow conditions and the lack of economic viability of the site for athlete training. 

Glacier Resorts Limited (GRL) is seeking access to Farnham Glacier, near one of the four target glaciers for the proposed Jumbo Glacier Resort.

According to a proposal sent by Glacier Resorts Limited to the resort development branch of the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, GRL plans to begin operations of the glaciated area of Camp Green starting as early as July 1. 

“Snowsports training, limited public skiing and sightseeing cat tours will commence daily July 1 and continue through to October. More intensive training for snowsports athletes will be offered from September 15 to November 15.”

Glacier Resorts Limited could be trying to demonstrate occupation of the land to help its case in getting approval for the Jumbo Glacier Resort, said Robyn Duncan, Wildsight’s Purcells program manager.

“This is another chapter of the same old land grab — another way to control public land despite the project’s failure to win approval after more than 20 years,” said Duncan.

Duncan said the government should make a decision on the proposed Jumbo Glacier Resort before it permits Glacier Resorts Ltd. to develop an alpine skiing facility on Farnham Glacier.