|Parks and Protected Areas
The Cheviot Mine
Despite serious concerns from Canadian conser-vation groups and federal officials, Canada's Federal Court will allow the Cheviot Mine develop-ment to proceed. The mine will be built three kilometres outside of Jasper National Park and is expected to be seriously detrimental to habitat for grizzlies and thousands of migratory birds.
The conservation groups are now reviewing the 45-page decision to determine if there are grounds for appeal the decision.
When the 23-kilometre-long, 3.5-kilometre-wide mine was first proposed in 1997, Nature Canada argued that it would damage Jasper Parks ecological integrity.
Nevertheless, the mine was approved in 2000 after a lengthy legal battle and an environmental assessment. The project was then shelved due to low coal prices.
Earlier in 2005, Cardinal River Coals revived the project with a revised proposal that included a new featurea 22-kilometre haul road for high-speed vehicles. This haul road is currently under construction, even though it was not reviewed within the context of the initial environmental assessment.
In an attempt to ensure that a proper environmental assessment was done on the new mine proposal and the associated haul road, Nature Canada and other conservation partners, with legal representation from Sierra Legal Defence Fund, took the federal government to court.