Recently I traveled up Alexander Creek to check out the proposed “Crown Mountain Coking Coal Project” between Grave Lake and Racehorse Pass. Tucked up between and behind Elkview and Line Creek mines, and adjacent to two recently acquired private conservation lands, is a low ridge surrounded by jagged rocky mountain peaks and the Continental Divide / BC Alberta Border.
Here Jameson Resources / NWP Coal are proposing a large open pit coal mine.
This ridge would be removed by the proposed Crown Mountain Coking Coal Project
Numerous studies have shown that Alexander Creek is one of the last best north-south wildlife corridors in BC’s Southern Rockies, and is important to wildlife connectivity on a continental scale. It also conveniently connects to many critical east-west corridors crossing over into Alberta. It’s lower reaches along Highway 3 were recently purchased as conservation lands by Teck because of their importance to continental wildlife connectivity.
Lower Alexander Creek on recently acquired Private Conservation Lands.
While this valley has seen forestry activity and some mineral exploration, it is otherwise untouched. Because the waters are free of mine contaminants like selenium, cadmium and nitrates, it could be a prime candidate for enhanced selenium free trout habitat in the future. Much of this area is already within an Access Management Area (AMA) that restricts motorized vehicle use to protect the high wildlife values.
The view from Racehorse Pass
In a landscape that is already heavily stressed and fractured by resource extraction activities, this is no place for a new mine.
Continuing up into Racehorse Pass towards Alberta, we find some amazing untouched Rocky Mountain wilderness—low passes surrounded by huge peaks straddling the continental divide.
Racehorse Pass. Alberta on the left, BC on the right. Future Limestone Quarry?
After further research, I found out that there is a proposal for a limestone quarry on the BC side of Racehorse Pass Originally proposed to be accessed via a road from Alberta. This was turned down by the local governments in Alberta. The company is now proposing to access this quarry via an access road up Alexander Creek, with 5 trucks an hour running 12 hours a day.
There is also another quarry proposed just south of Alexander Creek near Highway 3.
BBQ on the border. Crowsnest Mountain in the background. This is directly on the site of the proposed quarry.