Looking down the valley south of Revelstoke during a weather inversion. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)

Looking down the valley south of Revelstoke during a weather inversion. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)

Y2Y report warns of growing tension between industry and environment in Revelstoke

It includes 18 recommendations for land use, tourism, forestry, climate change and First Nations.

A recent Y2Y-commissioned report for the Columbia River headwaters aims to spark discussion on how to balance the economy and environment.

“If we want a balance between the two, lets get the challenges out on the table,” said Candace Batycki, director at Y2Y.

The study’s intention is to be a starting point and a foundation for residents as they think about what future they would like to live in and be a part of.

The study area is from Invemere and Kaslo northwards through Revelstoke to Kinbasket Lake.

The City of Revelstoke was one of many organizations that took part in the study. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)

Batycki said the environment and economy go hand-in-hand, particularly in Revelstoke.

Researchers in the study interviewed more than 30 community leaders in the region, five specifically from Revelstoke, such Ingrid Bron, director of community economic development at the City of Revelstoke, Mike Copperthwaite, general manager of Revelstoke Community Forest Corporation and former mayor Geoff Battersby.

In the study, one aspect identified as significantly lacking is a proper land-use plan, one that is locally driven to reflects local values and knowledge. It would also help avoid conflict between recreational users, losses of biodiversity and could contribute to addressing the rising cost of living and lack of affordable housing states the report.

READ MORE: Bird populations significantly declining around Revelstoke says Parks Canada

READ MORE: ‘You’re sitting on a jewel, Revelstoke’: Wilderness society proposes new park

It furthered that resource management, such as logging and the expansion of tourism/recreation, is causing challenges for vulnerable species like wolverines and mountain caribou.

“The Upper Columbia has outstanding natural capital assets, a skilled and educated workforce and a diverse set of industries that drive the local economies. Nonetheless, the region’s future should not be constrained by its history,” said Gary Bull, professor at UBC, in a news release. He was the lead researcher on the study.

According to the majority of interviewees, recreation in the area is already at its threshold and its continual increase will likely lead to conflict between users, thereby degrading the outdoor experience.

One of the most pressing issues identified is the decline of five caribou herds in the region.

READ MORE: ‘If we do nothing, the herd will certainly be extirpated’: Caribou maternity pen proposed in Nakusp

“Nothing that has been tried to date has been successful in forestalling the decline of these herds,” states the report.

The study noted there is “a noticeable absence” of Indigenous participation in the regional economy and recommended community leaders to engage more often with First Nations.

As Revelstoke becomes a destination for adventure tourism, the study notes this may create more tension between industry and ecological preservation. According to the report, adventure tourism is premised on the promise of “being out in the unspoiled backcountry”, yet resource extraction may be putting that premise at risk.

Forestry is still one of the main employers in Revelstoke. However, tourism is booming.

The study gives several examples of other areas that have developed a thriving tourism industry based on its natural resources, such as Costa Rica, which protects almost a third of its land. By comparison, roughly 10 per cent of Canada is protected.

The report ends with the question: How many and what types of tourists does the area want to attract?

Since the study is now public, Batycki said she hopes people will use it to build the future they want.

“Hopefully it will bring people together.”


 

@pointypeak701
liam.harrap@revelstokereview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

People skate on a lake in a city park in Montreal, Sunday, January 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
The end of hugs: How COVID-19 has changed daily life a year after Canada’s 1st case

Today marks the one year anniversary of COVID-19 landing in Canada

A member of the Avalanche Canada South Rockies field team gathers important snowpack data that is used to produce daily avalanche forecasts for the region. (Photo by Jennifer Coulter)
Avalanche Canada receives $180k for office renovations

The money was granted through Community Gaming Grant

The rocks are painted and then hidden around town. Those who find them can keep them, leave them where they are or hide them elsewhere. (Submitted)
Spreading love and kindness in Nakusp

New group launched to nurture rock painting and hunting community

The Okanagan Regional Library is holding a pair of online contests for its young readers. (File photo)
Okanagan Regional Library challenges young readers

Pair of contests online aimed at kids aged up to 18

Crews with Discovery Channel film as an Aggressive Towing driver moves a Grumman S2F Tracker aircraft around a 90-degree turn from its compound and onto the road on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. It was the “most difficult” part of the move for the airplane, one organizer said. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Vintage military plane gets towed from Chilliwack to Greater Victoria

Grumman CP-121 Tracker’s eventual home the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island

The trial of Harry Richardson began Monday at the Nelson courthouse. File photo
Trial of man accused of shooting RCMP officer near Argenta in 2019 begins

Harry Richardson is facing five charges in a Nelson courtroom

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran addresses media from the front steps of council chambers on March 23. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Kelowna, West Kelowna still looking to opt-out of speculation tax

Mayors say spec tax has missed the mark, revenue largely coming out of Canadians’ pockets

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. Two more cases of the COVID-19 strain first identified in South Africa have been diagnosed in British Columbia, bringing the total to three as of Jan. 16.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. now has three cases of South African COVID-19 variant, six of U.K. strain

Both variants are thought to spread faster than earlier strains

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker in an undated photo from social media. The couple has been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Great Canadian Gaming CEO resigns after being accused of sneaking into Yukon for vaccine

Rod Baker and Ekaterina Baker were charged with two CEMA violations each

Police discovered a makeshift nightclub in a Vancouver apartment on Jan. 23, 2021, and say it wasn’t the first time this month officers have been called to the unit over social gathering concerns. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Doorman of makeshift ‘booze-can’ in Vancouver apartment fined; police look to court order

This marks the fourth complaint about social gatherings inside the apartment in January

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A Kelowna couple welcomed their Nooner baby in December. (Flytographer)
Kelowna couple welcomes baby girl from Hotel Zed Nooner campaign

Nicole and Alex will now have 18 years of free stays at the hotel

The Abbotsford Tulip Festival is permanently closing, with plans to eventually set up in Armstrong, B.C. (Abbotsford News file photo)
Abbotsford Tulip Festival is closing, with plans to rebloom in Armstrong

Event organizer says pandemic and sale of land were factors in decision

Most Read