The Alberta chapter is celebrating recent news regarding two coal mine proposals in Southern Alberta, that, if allowed to proceed, would have adversely impacted this area that is treasured for it's fly fishing and elk hunting opportunities, in addition to contaminating British Columbia and Montana waterways.
The Benga Mining Limited Grassy Mountain proposal, which was seeking development permits to re-open a formerly closed open-pit mine, had concluded public consultations in early January 2021, after a 5 year review process. In mid-June, the Joint Review Board submitted their report to the Federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change, where the Board determined that the project was not in the public interest. This was followed by the news that the Government of Canada Environment Minister had designated the Montem Resources Tent Mountain proposal as being subject to federal impact assessment, which entails an environmental review process, akin to the Grassy Mountain proposal. Both projects were under public scrutiny due to the potential adverse impacts on surface water quality, westslope cutthroat trout and its habitat, Indigenous people, and cross-border environments.
In the absence of voices from those representing hunting and angling stakeholders, the Alberta chapter took the lead, and initiated a call to action for the Grassy Mountain project, asking for all those in the community to submit their concerns to the Joint Review Board during the consultation period. The chapter also wrote a letter to the Federal Minister asking for Tent Mountain to be designated, due to the proximity of the proposed mine to the Montana and British Columbia borders, in addition to supporting a similar request from concerned First Nation groups. This marks the first federal engagement that the Alberta chapter has embarked on, and we are pleased with the outcome.
These two announcements have shown that it truly takes everyone to make a difference, and that any future open pit mining proposals need to take into account the impact of open-pit mining on the habitat, and those who depend on them. We thank those who raised their voice, and the many groups, from across the spectrum, who have worked tirelessly to raise public awareness of these issues.
You can find more information about the Grassy and Tent Mountain project rejections here.
Grassy Mountain: https://iaac-aeic.gc.ca/050/evaluations/proj/80101
Tent Mountain: https://iaac-aeic.gc.ca/050/evaluations/document/139461