Environmentalists' buyout of Flathead Valley mining complete
Posted: Sep 15, 2012 10:34 AM PT
Last Updated: Sep 15, 2012 12:21 PM PT
Environmentalists in the East Kootenay are celebrating after finally raising enough money to keep miners and oil companies out of the Flathead Valley, south of Fernie, B.C.
The B.C. Liberals government gave into environmental pressure and banned all resource development in the pristine wilderness valley a few years ago. The legislation originated from a memorandum of understanding signed in 2010 by former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell and the Governor of Montana, Brian Schweitzer.
But environmentalists were told by the province they'd have to help raise the money to buy out mining claims in order to complete the deal.
Now they've done it, according to John Lounds, the CEO of the Nature Conservancy of Canada, which raised over $10 million to protect the Flathead, along with their U.S. counterpart, The Nature Conservancy.
Half of the money came from the federal government, while a further $2.5 million came from international private equity firm Warburg Pincus.
"We like to call what you can do 'results that you can walk on,' so what we are all about is getting conservation work completed. Now this deal is also completed, as far as environmentalists are concerned."
'Serengeti of the North'
One mining company has refused to buy into the Flathead arrangement. Cline Mining is suing the province for cancelling its mining claims, and are seeking much more than $10 million in compensation.
Conservation groups call the Flathead River Valley the "Serengeti of the North" because it supports an abundance of life, including bighorn sheep, moose, wolverines, elk and the highest density of grizzly bears in the interior of North America.
The Flathead River system flows undammed from British Columbia into Montana and contains some of the purest water in North America, according to The Nature Conservancy of Canada.
The entire river basin is part a trans-boundary ecosystem that spans southwest Alberta, southeast British Columbia and northern Montana. It forms the western boundary of Glacier-Waterton International Peace Park, and has been named both a Wild and Scenic River and World Heritage Site.With files from the CBC's Bob Keating
Latest British Columbia News Headlines
- Bald and beautiful women host fashion fundraiser
- Two Vancouver women are hosting a fashion show to help people better understand alopecia areata, a condition that causes extreme hair loss. more »
- I-5 bridge reopens after collapse
- Travellers heading south from Vancouver to Seattle no longer have to make a lengthy detour to get around a damaged bridge on the I-5. more »
- Trumps announce exclusive tower deal in Vancouver
- U.S. business magnate Donald Trump and his family are in Vancouver to announce the details of an exclusive deal to build the city's first Trump Tower. more »
- Stolen cross-Canada bike returned to B.C. senior
- A stolen bicycle has been returned to the Burnaby, B.C. man who previously rode it 4,700 kilometres across Canada to visit relatives in Ontario. more »
Top News Headlines
- Obesity now recognized as a disease
- The American Medical Association has voted to recognize obesity as a disease, while doctors in Canada say they also treat it as such. more »
- Neil Macdonald: Washington's obsession with leakers
- Julian Assange and Edward Snowden are just the most prominent targets in an all-out legal and propaganda campaign that America's security apparatus is mounting against leakers everywhere, Neil Macdonald writes. more »
- How open is Ottawa's new 'open data' website?
- Treasury Board President Tony Clement is touting the federal government's revamped data portal as a "new natural resource." But that online window for previously published data arrives at the same time the government faces controversy over just how open it really is. more »
- Half of First Nations children live in poverty
- Half of status First Nations children in Canada live in poverty, a troubling figure that jumps to nearly two-thirds in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, says a newly released report. more »
- B.C. teacher duct-taped students' mouths
- Police probe death of woman, 27, in Kelowna home
- Parents of son 'brutally beaten' playing hockey want charges
- Hundreds attend 'Change Brazil' protest in Vancouver
- Failed condo pre-sale deal costs Vancouver buyer $750K
- The class photo that made a father cry
- B.C. backcountry mobile maps cause concern
- Police probe Mohinder graffiti in East Vancouver
- 4 Vancouver men aim to row the Northwest Passage