The Revelstoke Paddlesport Association hosts a race on the Jordan River. It is coming up on Aug. 2. (File photo)

LETTER: Revelstoke Paddlesport Association opposed to gravel pit near Jordan River

City council has also expressed opposition to the gravel pit

The Revelstoke Paddlesport Association and the local kayak community would like to voice their concern about the proposed gravel pits adjacent to the Jordan River on Westside Rd. and the Jordan Kirkup FSR.

The Jordan River and the surrounding forest is an invaluable natural resource within our community. The ease of access and the developed trail network along the river make it a popular spot for many different user groups ranging from foragers and dog walkers to whitewater kayakers.

READ MORE: ‘This river is a treasure’-Revelstoke resident oppose gravel pit proposal near Jordan River

The proposed pit on Westside Road would threaten the recreational use of the lower Jordan river for whitewater kayaking and canoeing. This section of river is one of the best beginner areas in town for multiple reasons. It acts as a bridge from flatwater to whitewater skills, allowing us to introduce more beginners to the river and teach the progression necessary to enjoying whitewater safely. There are very few beginner and intermediate rivers in Revelstoke and the interruption of one of the most important ones would be devastating for the growth of our community.

One of the most important aspects of this section is the ease of access and egress. From a safety standpoint this is vitally important as sometimes in a rescue situation it is crucial to be able to evacuate the river quickly from an accessible area. As of now the well-developed walking trail network allows river users to enter and exit the lower Jordan River wherever they please. The development of a gravel pit would take away this crucial feature of the Jordan River and therefore would make it a much more dangerous place to bring people who are new to the sport.

READ MORE: Revelstoke City council opposed to proposed gravel pits north of town

As stewards of wild places, the Paddlesport Association also takes issue with the potential for contamination of the river from dust and particulate matter from the excavation and hauling of gravel. The issues revolving around silica dust have not been properly addressed. Therefore, having a pit so close to the river would be irresponsible as the health of river users, wildlife and fish populations would all be threatened.

The proposed pits in the vicinity of the Jordan river would threaten an ecologically important area that is used regularly by many user groups. Jake and Jay are a local business and should understand the necessity of keeping certain areas pristine and free from industrial encroachment. As one of the user groups who cherish and take pride in our local natural spaces, the Revelstoke Paddlesport Association is opposed to the development of new open pits on Westside Road and the Kirkup Road.

Sincerely,

The Revelstoke Paddlesport Association

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