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Jumbo opponents claim end-run



By Allen Best

INVERMERE, B.C. – Opponents of a major new resort at Jumbo Glacier, about 30 miles from Invermere, were crying foul after learning that the British Columbia government was considering legislation that they believe would remove the final decision-making on the project from local hands.

The provision in question would enable the provincial cabinet to establish a “resort region,” which would suggest a rezoning of the land could be accomplished within that region, instead of by the Regional District of East Kootenay. Opponents charged government officials with an “end run” around local decision-making.

The proposed 5,400-bed resort has been in the works for 16 years, and a website boasts of 5,500 vertical feet of skiing, plus 2,300 feet of glacier skiing in the summer.

Opposition in Invermere and nearby areas runs strong, but especially loud. A group called the Jumbo Creek Conservation Society has 1,400 members, and opposes the resort because of its location in a relatively pristine area that is home to grizzly bears, among other species. The resort would be on the site of a former sawmill, and the area has been heavily logged.

Supporters claim the “quiet majority” and proclaim the tax revenues it will provide are vital.

In an editorial, the Invermere Valley Echo called for a referendum on the topic, to find out once and for all which side has the votes, “and let the chips fall where they may.”


CB struggles with heated pavers

CRESTED BUTTE, Colo. – The nitty-gritty of reducing carbon dioxide emissions at the grassroots is getting tedious in Crested Butte. There, the city had considered an outright ban on all new snowmelt systems, including heated driveways and sidewalks. Instead, because of protests, it instituted a moratorium while considering the options.

The thinking is that that heated walkways are an extravagance that the town should not be a party to, given the accumulating evidence about climate change. Electricity is most often used in such melting systems, which means that natural gas or more likely coal is being burned somewhere to produce that electricity. Both produce carbon dioxide, the most common greenhouse gas.

But the council, reports the Crested Butte News, is struggling with fairness. For example, will melting the snow with electricity really cause more hydrocarbons to be burned? “If (snow is not melted, it has to be moved with a snow blower, a plow, something like that,” pointed out Ron Chlipala, a council member. “What I’m worried about is that we are problem-switching as opposed to problem-solving.”

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