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Whistler Nordic Center: A systems perspective of the Callaghan Valley EIA Process. Dan Kellar Wilfrid Laurier University October 20 th 2007. Outline. Introduction Historical Overview Biophysical Cultural-historical Socio-economic Challenges faced in the system Methodology

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whistler nordic center a systems perspective of the callaghan valley eia process

Whistler Nordic Center:A systems perspective of the Callaghan Valley EIA Process

Dan Kellar

Wilfrid Laurier University

October 20th 2007

outline
Outline
  • Introduction
  • Historical Overview
    • Biophysical
    • Cultural-historical
    • Socio-economic
  • Challenges faced in the system
  • Methodology
    • Literature Review
    • EIA, CEA, and SEA
    • Influence Diagrams
    • Conceptual Model
    • Catastrophe Models
    • Panarchy Model
  • Conclusions
historical overview
Historical Overview
  • Introduction:
  • Located within the Callaghan Valley in the Costal Mountain range in British Columbia
  • Whistler Olympic Nordic centre for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.
  • Approved under the harmonized review process of the CEA Act and the British Columbia EA Act.
  • The trails and facilities will remain intact and active after the Olympic Games
historical overview5
Historical Overview
  • Biophysical:
  • Parts of the valley have been logged before leaving a mix of re-growth and old growth forest
  • The area is on historical native lands (Lil’wat and Squamish Nations) and is home to a wide array of birds, mammals, aquatic life (EBA, 2004) and first class habitat.
  • 50°7' N, 123°6' W
  • 10 km west of Whistler,
  • Accessed by a turnoff from Highway #99, about 20 km south of Whistler.
  • It will occupy about 250–260 hectares within the valley of Callaghan Creek.
historical overview6
Historical Overview
  • Biophysical:
  • None of the impacts were found to be significant by the consulting companies
  • CEAA and EAO worked in a harmonized process.
  • Assessment split into two parts as additional recreational trails required additional study.
historical overview7
Historical Overview
  • Cultural-historical:
  • some deforestation through logging, though large sections of old growth forest remain.
  • First Nations land claims to this area.
  • Discontinuities in the promises of VANOC and the EAO and their actions.
  • EIAs done for the Whistler Nordic Centre indicate that little to no negative impacts will come to the First Nations.
  • AIUS done for both FNs with the help of consultants.
historical overview8
Historical Overview
  • Socio-economic:
  • Past and present logging.
  • Source of income for FN through hunting/trapping.
  • Value of a spiritual place?
proposed changes to system
Proposed Changes to System
  • Clearing of a combination of old growth (38ha) and replanted forest
  • The construction of:
    • roads
    • utility infrastructure
    • buildings
    • parking facilities
    • paved and unpaved trails for snow-shoeing along with cross-country skiing and summer training
    • a ski jump facility (permanent)
    • three open air stadiums (at start/finish areas of the courses)
    • multiple outdoor shooting ranges for the biathlon event
challenges faced in the system
Challenges faced in the system
  • The removal of habitat and introduction of paved roads, buildings and lights.
  • More human-nature interaction possibilities.
  • Not ruining the natural systems
  • Not polluting the system
  • Keeping the spiritually important places untouched.
  • Integrating Native and public concerns into the EIA, construction, operational, and legacy phases of the project.
methodology literature review
Methodology - Literature Review
  • CEAA and EAO documents and EA Acts
  • Personal Communications:
    • Concerned citizens
    • FN representative
    • EAO and CEAA
  • VANOC and IOC Environmental statements
  • Citizen Group Web pages
  • Text: Panarchy - Gunderson & Holling
  • Text: Ecosystem Sustainability and Health – Waltner-Toews
  • Text: Science of Sustainable Development – Sayer & Campbell
  • Text: EIA: Practice and Participation
slide14
EIA
  • Supposed to be inclusive of FNs, Public, Gov’ts.
  • Incompatibilities resulted in 2 EIAs
  • Since CEAA was involved, CEA should have taken place.
  • Snowmobile trails moved to another valley – EIA did not mention impacts to other valley.
slide15
SEA
  • Project part of the Olympic developments
  • No formal SEA was done on the Olympics as a whole.
  • No CEA was done on the Olympic projects as sub-projects of the Olympic System.
conclusions
Conclusions
  • Drastic changes occurring in system
  • Despite best ‘science’ effects of change are truly unknown, or at least unreported.
  • Traditional FN use may be at an end due to the Development of the Nordic Center
  • FNs on site during construction to monitor.
  • “Spot Checks” by EAO not frequent.
    • Enforcement?
conclusions23
Conclusions
  • What is point of conditions if there is no capacity to monitor and enforce?
  • Harmonization difficulties.
    • “CEAA does not grant or deny certificates, they approve submissions”
  • Was EIA effective and inclusive? – Time will answer.
slide24
This presentation available at :

www.beingthechange.ca/articles/callaghan-pres-cagont.ppt

The paper is available at:

www.beingthechange.ca/articles/callaghan-cagont.pdf