Shortly after the news that Glacier Resort Ltd. had plans to begin day operations at Farnham Glacier, I visited this beautiful area on July 18th and August 20th. I was very surprised at what I saw, especially since it was stated by Grant Costello that Glacier Resorts Ltd. had completed the required environmental work there.
The remains of Farnham Camp, a facility Glacier said would not be part of their day-use plans (which should therefore be removed), was still littering this high alpine environment.There were many large containers storing equipment but a lot was scattered around, including a freezer, rusted incinerator, broken battery, and more.
I also saw fuel-contaminated soil around two large white fuel tanks and a third unsecured tank still containing fuel, plus erosion around the stream crossing of the bulldozer track of 2008.
Since my last visit, this contaminated soil was taken away, the fuel tanks removed and just recently work began to pull out the camp. However, I think the public should know that the fuel management was done a year after the deadline set by the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Arts. It was stipulated that work had to meet targets during 2010 to avoid possible cancellation of the sublicense which did not happen despite these deadlines not being met.
Its true that most of these environmental issues were caused by the operations of the ski camp managed by WinSport, but Grant Costello from Glacier Resorts acknowledged that as master holders of the license they are responsible for remediation and that as everything required of them was completed, they could start ski operations. It is evident that the clean-up was not finished at that time.
It is important to recognize the vigilance of environmental watchdogs who regularly visited the area and persistently warned government of lack of clean-up or inappropriate work. This has been powerful influence on the progress of this clean-up. But shouldnt the government, as guardians of Crown land, supervise and monitor the operations of the licence holders?