NELSON B.C. – B.C. Green candidate Nicole Charlwood for Nelson-Creston issued the following statement following the creation of the Incomappleux Valley conservancy:
“I welcome the decision to protect the Incomappleux Valley here in the interior of BC. I want to express my gratitude to the Valhalla Wilderness Society for two decades of advocacy. “I am perplexed, however, why the B.C. NDP government didn’t simply declare this area a Class-A B.C. Park. That would provide the highest protection possible. The government's approach to the Incomappleux Valley conservancy sets a precedent for piecemeal buyouts and reflects the absence of a larger strategy to protect ecologically sensitive areas.
“The financing of this conservancy also worries me. Money was accepted from large mining companies including Tech Resources, which will still have access to mining claims in the region. In other words, the conservancy isn’t fully protected from industrial activity. This conflict of interest is astounding. Furthermore, the Nature Conservancy of Canada had to raise funds for this conservation area/conservancy; nonprofit organizations and taxpayers should not be responsible for buying out multinational logging tenures.
“There are more areas of unique biodiversity in our region in need of protection. I recently visited a 1,200-year-old tree in the Russel Creek watershed that is at risk of being cut down. Enterprise Creek, north of Kootenay Lake, is also at risk of clearcut logging. It is heartbreaking to meet these vulnerable grandmother trees, knowing they are at risk of destruction. Protecting ecologically-sensitive areas is an invaluable part of protecting our health and livelihoods in the future. Timber values and historic mineral claims should not trump other interests.”
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