As soon as one spends some time living in the Kootenays, you very quickly realize just how lucky we are to be part of such an amazing community. The recreational opportunities in the Kootenays are unbelievable. But one of the best parts of our beloved outdoors is that it is easy to find solitude so close to home. Suffice it to say, I was very disappointed to hear about the recent heli-ski tenure application by Kootenay Heli-Ski Ltd.
It seems like these days, every square inch of the BC backcountry is up for grabs. Nowadays, even with a snowmobile, it is hard to find a valley that does not have some sort of heli/cat-ski tenure attached to it.
As a local sledder and backcountry ski tourer, I was frustrated to hear that this new tenure lies within many areas that I enjoy recreating in. I am not the only one who is feeling this way and know that there are many other local users who will be impacted and are equally as frustrated that this amazing area could be frequented by heli-skiers.
I am not opposed to heli/cat-ski operations, but do feel that locals need to come first when applications like this are put forward. This area already has one of the highest concentrations of heli/cat-ski operations, and one that is so close to home is bound to ruin the experience for local backcountry users. There is something magical about recreating in the backcountry with a group of friends, free from the sound of the constant pounding of a helicopter all day long.
Obviously this heli-ski operation will be of benefit for Nelson’s economy due to tourists seeking out our world-class skiing, but enough is enough! Let’s keep some of our amazing, local recreational areas for those that have a true sense of adventure and not thousands of dollars to be toured around all day in a helicopter.
I truly hope that this tenure is denied!