News/Reports

Resolution by BC Nature– re: Pink Mountain

Posted August 11, 2011 | Categories : BC Parks,ER Proposals,Geology,News,Rare Species |

August 15, 2011
To: Ministry of the Environment Honourable Terry Lake ENV.Minister@gov.bc.ca

BC Nature (Federation of BC Naturalists) had a successful AGM in Williams Lake, hosted by the Williams Lake Field Naturalists Society. We are a federation of naturalists clubs throughout BC with a membership of 4,500. As a conservation society, our main objective is to foster an awareness, appreciation and understanding of our natural environment, that it may be wisely used and maintained for future generations.
A resolution was unanimously passed by our clubs and its members this year as follows:
Resolution 2011-03 Pink Mountain –Submitted by Burke Mountain Naturalists
WHEREAS The plateau area of Pink Mountain (elevation 1700 plus meters, alpine tundra ecosystem, subvariant unknown, 180 km northwest of Fort St. John) supports a rare community of plants including at least one red-listed plant which is the only known occurrence in BC, and ten blue-listed plants, of which two are the most southern known location in BC;

and WHEREAS The limestone shales exposed on the southern portion of the plateau which supports this unique plant community are not known to exist elsewhere in the region at an elevation where soil can form;

and WHEREAS The adjacent 98 hectare Pink Mountain Provincial park, located down slope on the west side and created in 1999 primarily to protect a significant fossil site that contains examples of large fauna from the Mesozoic, does not have appropriate boundaries to protect the unique plant community;

and WHEREAS The plateau area also supports rare arctic butterfly species which do not appear to be adequately (if at all) protected by the existing boundaries of Pink Mountain Provincial Park;

and WHEREAS Road access to the plateau area of Pink Mountain goes directly through this sensitive area to reach a gas well/extraction facility and any further widening or upgrade of this road would threaten this rare plant community;

and WHEREAS The plateau currently has five Telus microwave towers, within the sensitive southern portion of the plateau, which have already severely disturbed this plant community;

and WHEREAS The plateau is proposed to become the site of an Aeolis wind tower farm with up to a 400 MW capacity;

and WHEREAS The provincial park allows snowmobile traffic in winter and hunting and, thus, does not provide full protection for any small alpine plants that may be located within its boundaries; therefore
BC Nature – 1620 Mt. Seymour Road, North Vancouver, BC V7G 2R9 Tel (604) 985-3057 ~ Fax (604) 985-3059 email: manager@bcnature.ca – Web site – www.bcnature.ca

BE IT RESOLVED that BC Nature request the Minister of Environment and Minister of Natural Resource Operations to declare the southern plateau area of Pink Mountain an Ecological Reserve, to fully protect the unique assemblage of plants found there. The estimated size of the protected areas could be 3-10 square kilometers, dependent on further study and the determination of the location of sensitive plants; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that BC Nature request the Minister of Environment and Minister of Natural Resource Operations to ensure that there is no further expansion of the microwave towers’ footprint, and that additional upgrades to the existing road are prohibited, in order to protect the remaining plants which are immediately adjacent to the road; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that any wind towers on the plateau, if permitted, should be located only on the northern portion of the site, where these unique plants to do not occur, and should be serviced by a new access road that will avoid the smaller southern portion of the plateau; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this resolution be sent to the Friends of Ecological Reserves, Telus, Aeolis Wind Inc., Canadian Natural Gas and Treaty 8 First Nations.
We would like to report back to our members at either our Fall General Meeting being held in Delta September 30, 2011 or our Annual General Meeting being held in Kelowna, May 2012, on business relating to this resolution and look forward to discussing the resolution 2011- 03 (“Pink Mountain”) with your office at a mutually convenient time.

We can be contacted through email or phone at manager@bcnature.ca or songbird@saltspring.com – office telephone number 604 985 3057.

Regards, John Neville President BC Nature (Federation of BC Naturalists)

cc Burke Mountain NaturalistsPat Pim – MLA – Peach River North Steve Thomson; Minister of Forest, Lands, Natural Resource Operations Friends of Ecological Reserves Canadian Natural Gas Treaty 8 First Nations Aeolis Wind Inc. Telus

 

BC Nature – 1620 Mt. Seymour Road, North Vancouver, BC V7G 2R9 Tel (604) 985-3057 ~ Fax (604) 985-3059 email: manager@bcnature.ca – Web site – www.bcnature.ca