Independent media needs you. Join the Tyee.

The Hook: Political news, freshly caught

Province bans mining in the Flathead Valley

At least one piece of the provincial government's throne speech will have environmental activists the world over breathing a sigh of relief.

According to the speech, "mining, oil and gas development and coalbed gas extraction will not be permitted" in B.C.'s Flathead Valley, a biologically-rich region in the southeast corner of the province.

The decision is in line with a recent UN report recommending a moratorium on mining in the valley.

Development in this region has been a contentious issue for decades, but was thrust into the international spotlight this summer when it inspired a group of conservation photographers to travel here to document the landscape. The valley also made the cover of Canadian Geographic magazine.

John Bergenske, director of Wildsight, called it a "great first step towards what needs to be done in the Flathead, and said the widespread media attention was likely a significant factor in the provincial government's decision.

"They realize that the world's watching, and that they have an enormous opportunity to show the world that B.C. really is a special place and that we're protecting its values."

Bergenske said the next steps for the province should be to give the upper one-third of the Flathead valley protected park status, to connect with the adjacent Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, and to establish a wildlife management area in the park that extends north up the spine of the Rocky Mountains.

"Everyone who cares about wildlife, air water and health ecosystems in the Rocky Mountains should be very happy," Bergenske said.

Colleen Kimmett reports for The Tyee.

Find more in:

What have we missed? What do you think? We want to know. Comment below. Keep in mind:


  • Verify facts, debunk rumours
  • Add context and background
  • Spot typos and logical fallacies
  • Highlight reporting blind spots
  • Ignore trolls
  • Treat all with respect and curiosity
  • Connect with each other

Do not:

  • Use sexist, classist, racist or homophobic language
  • Libel or defame
  • Bully or troll
  • Troll patrol. Instead, flag suspect activity.
comments powered by Disqus