"Over the next few months, the female mountain goats will be having their kids –- they will be at their most vulnerable. Mountain goats are sensitive to human disturbance, especially during kidding season.They really are incredible, unique animals and I sincerely hope that the province makes every effort to minimize the impact of the construction. If you're concerned about this issue, please contact these decision-makers and let them know:
This summer, the province is planning to widen the highway through that stretch, requiring extensive blasting. The BC Ministry of Transportation and Contractor Arthon Construction Ltd. (Kelowna) are ignoring professional advice to protect the mountain goats. They are moving ahead with blasting and construction when goats are present, and at their most vulnerable."
Steve Diamond, Arthon Construction Ltd. -- 250-764-6144
Kevin Falcon, Minister of Highways –- 604-576-3792
Barry Penner, Minister of Environment -- 1-866-553-5537
Rick Thorpe, MLA Okanagan-Westside -- 250-404-3008
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Update: Yesterday (March 3, 2008) I was in the area to the south of the goat's main habitat and suddenly came across a huge new clear-cut gash that must have been at least a mile straight east (and up) from the highway. The digging around that area looks pretty devastating -- why on earth they'd need to clear-cut a mile-long swath of trees in a line going away from the highway is beyond me. A few articles from the local media:
- Penticton Western: Highway work threatens goat habitat, written by my old friend and co-worker Wolf Depner
- Penticton Herald: Highway project no blast for mountain goats
- Castanet: Goats interrupt Highway 97 widening (March 28, 2008), which makes it sound like the province and construction companies are actually taking this seriously, delaying blasting near the bluffs where the goats hang out. Very encouraging.