On April 2, 2003, after six years of saying the Cheviot mine would be developed despite public opposition, owners of the Fording Coal Partnership announced they will not develop the mine after all and have shelved it for an indefinite period. They’ve pulled the plug on what was to be a massive open-pit coal mine located on critical wildlife habitat adjacent to Jasper National Park and in the core of the proposed Mountain Park.
However, the company continues to hold the leases for the coal below this public wildland – blocking park establishment. Conservation organizations have already written the owners, encouraging them to drop the leases and facilitate park establishment.
Making Mountain Park a park in reality would preserve a 247 square mile (461 sq km) wildland rich in history and home to rare and threatened wildlife. It includes habitat crucial for the survival of specific wildlife species and is key to securing a future for grizzly bears in the region. Grizzly bears belonging to a population shared by Jasper National Park and the Hinton region are being killed outside the national park at a rate the population cannot sustain.
Ask the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, Fording Canadian Coal Trust and Teck-Cominco (key owners of the company holding the Cheviot coal leases), to drop Cheviot for good and instead be the catalyst for a park. More letters will make a significant difference.
Click on www.wildcanada.net/cheviot/fax.asp to send a quick fax at no cost through the Action Centre provided by the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society and WildCanada.net. See www.cpaws-edmonton.org/cheviot for more information.