Within the year, the city asked the province to protect Mt. Begbie, the province said no, the community rallied, sent petitions, the province relented in December and granted protection against new developments for recreation during the next five year. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)

Within the year, the city asked the province to protect Mt. Begbie, the province said no, the community rallied, sent petitions, the province relented in December and granted protection against new developments for recreation during the next five year. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)

From snow records to saving Mt. Begbie: This year’s environment stories for Revelstoke

In 2020 our community rallied, sent petitions and in some instances, the government listened

While news focused on COVID-19 this year, believe it or not other stuff happened. Nature carried on similar to the years before, oblivious to the pandemic.

Here are some stories from 2020 on Revelstoke’s natural environment:

Last year’s snowfall broke several records. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)

January

By Jan, 10, Revelstoke Mountain Resort had received 624 centimetres of snow, making it the third largest snowfall in North America.

The snow level was more than three times the height of Michael Jordan, which is higher than a giraffe.

February

The CSRD gets $100,000 for Revelstoke’s yet-to-be-finished composting facility.

The facility is expected to become operational next year.

READ MORE: CSRD receives $100,000 for compost facility at Revelstoke landfill

Despite public backlash, Jake-Jay Construction got a license from the province to investigate a new gravel site near the Jordan River.

The licence does not allow extract gravel extraction.

March

City of Revelstoke sends a letter to the province asking for Mt. Begbie to be protected.

READ MORE: Revelstoke City Council wants to protect Mt. Begbie

Revelstoke takes steps to try and protect Jordan River area by updating the Official Community Plan for Columbia Park and the Westside neighbourhood.

Last year, the city had submitted letters of opposition to the province against Jake’Jay Construction’s proposed gravel pit.

READ MORE: City of Revelstoke takes steps attempting to protect Jordan River area

Minister Doug Donaldson speaking at the Regent Hotel in March. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)

Minister of Forests Doug Donaldson visited Revelstoke and said new caribou herd plans are coming for our area.

He said the ministry hoped to finish the plans by year’s end.

All visitor services at national parks and historic sites close due to COVID-19.

April

It’s announced two young black bears that became orphans last summer are returning to Revelstoke.

Jasper and Tinkerbell were sent to Smither’s Northern Lights Wildlife Shelter last year after their mother was killed on Highway 23S.

May

Clearing trees for a new subdivision in Arrow Heights is paused after a Great Horned Owl’s nest is discovered.

Residents say owls have nested in the woods across from the hospital for decades. However, the area is slotted for 25 houses.

READ MORE: ‘We’re resigned to saying goodbye’: Revelstoke owls nesting in upcoming subdivision

According to the province, once the owls leave the nest, the trees can be logged.

“It would be nice if the owls have some place to come back to, but we’re resigned to saying goodbye,” said nearby resident Tanya Kemprud.

Jasper the black bear from Revelstoke enjoys breakfast at a wildlife sanctuary in Smithers after his mother was hit by a car and died on Highway 23S. (Submitted)

The three remaining U.S. caribou that were moved last year survive their first winter near Revelstoke.

The animals, known as the Gray Ghosts, were from the Southern Selkirk herd, which spanned the Canada and U.S. border.

The animal’s relocation to Revelstoke, extirpated the species in the lower 48 states.

READ MORE: U.S. caribou near Revelstoke survive first year

June

The city applies for a Bee City designation, which is recognition of a municipality taking steps to help pollinators.

Revelstoke Bear Aware Society find it concerning that two black bears have already been killed this year.

Both had become habituated and dependent on garbage.

Revelstoke resident Beverley Harding asks the city to install turtle crossing signs on Red Devil Hill. The city obliges.

July

The city gets a letter from the province rejecting their protection request for Mt. Begbie.

A new study describes several Canadian endemic species that are found in the Revelstoke area.

READ MORE: Several unique-to-Canada species found near Revelstoke

The City of Revelstoke fails to make its 2020 greenhouse gas emissions goal. While greenhouse gases decreased by 9.5 per cent since 2007, it was less than half of their original goal of 20 per cent.

Revelstoke becomes Canada’s 41st designated Bee City.

READ MORE: 52 wolves have been culled since 2016 near Revelstoke

It’s discovered the province’s aerial wolf management program for Revelstoke has killed 52 wolves since 2016 in attempts to stop declining caribou populations.

However, a recent study suggests there is no evidence that predator control will save the endangered animal.

August

The province decides to continue the wolf management program.

A petition with over 1,300 signatures from Revelstoke is sent to the province, asking for Mt. Begbie to be protected.

September

Conversation groups urge the provincial government to stop logging caribou habitat near Revelstoke in the Argonaut Valley.

Days earlier the B.C. government had delayed logging in the Incomappleux Valley.

A four-year Western Hemlock Looper Moth outbreak in Revelstoke begins.

The city does emergency repairs on a sewer pipe leak under the Trans Canada Highway bridge.

https://blackpress.newsengin.com/gps2/uploads/23718780/201224-RTR-environment-roundup-2020_8.jpg

October

An in-depth story from the Review discovers 437 bears have been killed in Revelstoke since 1986.

Revelstoke has one of the oldest societies in B.C. advocating for bear awareness, which has pushed the city for at least 13 years to buy wildlife-proof garbage bins to reduce bear deaths. The city has yet to do so.

However, since the regional district is building a compost facility for Revelstoke, the city might revise our garbage collection system and bear-proof bins could be an option.

READ MORE: Saving bears: Revelstoke’s garbage dilemma

December

The province pauses logging in Argonaut Valley over caribou concerns to allow for further assessment on how proposed clear cuts might impact caribou.

READ MORE: Revelstoke’s iconic Mt. Begbie protected for at least five years

The Ministry of Forests grants a section 17 order, preventing any new recreation developments on Mt. Begbie for the next five years.

However, logging is still permitted.

A study finds glaciers in the Columbia River Valley are 38 per cent thicker than previously estimated. However, most of the ice is still expected to disappear in this area within 80 years.

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
jocelyn.doll@revelstokereview.com


 

@RevelstokeRevue
editor@revelstoketimesreview.com

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