W.H.Y. Resources has proposed an open pit mine on Record Ridge in the Rossland area. Grasslands are extremely rare in this part of BC and Record Ridge’s grasslands represent the only known extensive high elevation grasslands in the West Kootenay.
Record Ridge is noted for the diversity of plant species, including Bitterroot, Lomatium species, onion grass, and numerous other species in a combination extremely rare in Canada. Botany BC and The West Kootenay Botanical Society have both held tours at Record Ridge highlighting the unique plant community that is cherished by locals and tourists alike.
In addition to the grasslands one of the few known existences in BC of the Mountain holly fern (Polystichum scopulinum) is located at Record Ridge. It is listed as threatened by COSEWIC.
This mining project would destroy a significant portion of the Record Ridge plant community and impact much of the rest, thus destroying a highly valuable ecological asset for the region and BC as a whole. Years from now, when reclamation efforts are made, they may be able to achieve a perennial plant cover, but the current assemblage of species will be lost forever. Rare plant communities are special in and of themselves but are even more important as plant communities adapt to a changing climate
The GCC has written a letter to the Government of BC asking for a closer look at the ecological values of Record Ridge before allowing mine development that will lead to the permanent loss of this plant community.
red-listed Holly fern
Photos: Kootenay Native Plant Society