Sunday, January 12, 2014

Action Needed: Two More Days to Submit Comment on Squamish Resort Development

The BC Ministry of Environment is accepting comments until January 14th on a proposed development that would threaten one of the most important tributaries of the Cheakamus River. Garibaldi at Squamish is a massive ski and golf resort proposed to be built along the Chekeye and Brohm Creek, vital tributaries to the Cheakamus River. The resort development could have disastrous implications for these two watersheds, here's a rough synopsis:

Details of the Brohm Ridge/ Garibaldi At Squamish development

- 22,000 bed units planned in 5700 houses (this will effectively double the population of Squamish)
100km or road put in over rocky geologically unstable terrain (tax burden to maintain road will be placed on Squamish residents)

- Three 40-50m high dams to catch water during the freshet on Brohm to be installed in a seimically-active unstable slope (having been injured to one Sea-to-Sky corridor rockslide, I think this may not be the best of plans)

- Water usage estimated using 200L daily water allowance drawn from Brohm Creek (400L is the average amount used per person in the real world) ***since 2010, plan has changed and water will be drawn from the Cheakamus and pumped up to Brohm Ridge) with no allowance for water used in fire suppression in water use estimate

- 17 at risk species are threatened by this including grizzly bears, goats, Cheak steelhead

Threat to Brohm Creek

- Water will be collected in dams during the freshet and stored for use to make snow and supply water to Garibaldi at Squamish (GAS) year round.

- In stream flow models predict that GAS will draw more than is needed to maintain a minimal flow of water once every 6 years during a low water year, leaving steelhead and salmon high and dry.

- Brohm creek produces porportionally 3-5x more steelhead than any other creek in BC due to ideal phosphorus content.

- Cheak steelhead are frequently repeat spawners due to their large size leaving the Cheak due to their stay in Brohm Creek. 90% of "Cheak" steelhead smolts survived the CN spill (actually??) because they were harbouring in Brohm Creek at the time of the spill --> gives some perspective as to the importance of Brohm to Cheak steelhead.

- Sewage will be treated then dumped into Chekeye Creek (considering how small Chekeye Creek is, that porportionally a huge amount of sewage) fertilizer from golf courses will runoff into Brohm Creek

The bottom line is this project is an environmentally destructive boondoggle from every angle and it cannot be allowed to go forward. Please submit comments ASAP (ie. before January 14th) and tell the BC Ministry of environment that we value protecting Brohm Creek and the Cheakamus over another unnecessary ski area. 

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