Painted Turtles at Risk from Mine near Nelson

 

This summer people driving by Grohman Narrows Provincial Park just outside of Nelson witnessed for the first time what looked like orange sludge in the pond, unusually low water levels, and hardly any turtles resting on the log compared to years before (only 1 or 2 turtles instead of 10 or more).  You can see it for yourself in the photo above.

Western painted turtles, a federally listed species at risk, may be at risk within this protected area due to industrial activity on the property next door. The owner of the property has applied for a mining permit and it looks like he has already started work that is contaminating the water that flows directly into the pond where the turtles live and lay their eggs. Among other industrial activity on this site, this same person is involved in the recent decision to cut down trees within a Heron nesting site on Granite Point Golf Course, ignoring multiple pieces of legislation that protect the bird.

This mining application does not meet the provincial criteria for an environmental assessment. However, according to the office of the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation, this mining proposal has been referred to BC Parks and other departments and their review is currently ongoing.

Public comments are being accepted on this application up to November 5th. Right now the public needs to provide comments on why this mine application, adjacent to a provincial park set up to protect a federally listed species at risk right outside of Nelson, should be declined. If enough comments are received by the Chief Permitting Officer by the November 5th deadline there will be a community meeting.

Write your email today to oppose this mining application. Here are the details to write your email:

Deadline for public comment: November 5th, 2021

 

Send to:

Attn: Chief Permitting Officer.   

Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation

mmd-cranbrook@gov.bc.ca

CC: Ramona Faust       

Director for Area E

Regional District of Central Kootenay

RFaust@rdck.bc.ca

CC: Honorable George Heyman 

Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy

ENV.minister@gov.bc.ca

 

Further Action you can take!

Report a human-wildlife conflict using this form and include some points from below:                  https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/natural-resource-stewardship/natural-resource-law-enforcement/report-natural-resource-violations

 

Points to pick from to include in your email:

  • You are writing about the Grohman Quarry, mine number 1630736
  • Tell them where you live (city) and your name.
  • Tell them why you care about protecting Grohman Narrows Provincial Park and/or the turtles. Why does it matter to you personally?
  • Grohman Narrows Provincial Park is home to federally listed species at risk western painted turtles, and they lay their eggs within a few hundred meters of this wetland.
  • Turtles are at high risk of roadkill, which in turn is directly linked to traffic right beside the wetland on the highway. Heavy truck traffic would increase with a mine development.
  • The mine permit area immediately upslope of the park has already been significantly active by vegetation clearing, heavy equipment use to re-contour large tracts of land, movement of massive boulders into semi truck-sized piles, coupled with soil compaction, erosion, changes to local drainage patterns (directly upslope and feeding the Grohman wetland), and increased invasive weeds.
  • Cumulative impacts include the expansive Grohman “mini” storage facility, industrial production, sawmill, road, industrial light pollution, etc.
  • The proponent has a track record of not applying due mitigations for Species at Risk and their critical habitats at Grohman Mini Storage facility. As a Granite Golf Course Board member tasked with overseeing recent logging there, he directed loggers to impact a great blue heron nesting site, despite being forewarned in writing by various FLNRORD staff of the need for year-round protection and buffer area.
  • There is a lack of land use planning in Area E where this mine is proposed. Land use planning could help determine how the mine operates therefore potentially minimizing environmental effects. However, it is not up to the RDCK to approve or decline the mining application – this is determined by the Province.