Reaction to the B.C. government's Jumbo announcemen, which allows the resort to proceed, came swiftly from the project's opponents.
Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Norm Macdonald, in whose riding the resort would be developed, condemned it as another decision made by a government not listening to its citizens.
"After more than 20 years of comprehensive and exhaustive reviews, it was time to make a decision," said Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. "I approved Jumbo Glacier Resort's Master Development Agreement after reviewing all of the relevant documentation, and meeting with both First Nations and the proponent."
"He didn't meet with the community though," Macdonald said. "It's hugely disrespectful to make this announcement in Victoria rather than here in Invermere, in the Kootenays.
"The community still feels strongly that this is a project not worth supporting, not just environmentally and socially, but economically as well. First Nations have been clear that this area is sacred to them. The Liberal decision doesn't change those facts.
"The BC Liberals can put their stamp of approval on it, just like the HST, but it doesn't change a thing."
John Bergenske of the East Kootenay environmental group Wildsight didn't pull any punches with his opinion.
"It is very unfortunate that the provincial government has ignored the overwhelming opposition to this project from the people in the Kootenays, the clear scientific argument against the development by North America's leading grizzly bear experts and the Ktunaxa Nation's spiritual values. It's a bad decision. It is not a done deal. The people of the Kootenays are not going to sit back and allow a destructive development that flies in the face of the environmental, social and economic values of our communities."
Robyn Duncan from Wildsight agrees that it's not over. There are land use questions unanswered, she says, as well as questions as to why the government didn't include the latest grizzly data in their decision.
Duncan says there are far more grizzlies in the Jumbo Valley than Minister Thomson described in his statements, as well as new information that says the Jumbo Valley is important core grizzly habitat.
"Any development in the Jumbo Valley severely fragments the grizzly habitat," she said. "It's core habitat. Any development hampers the ability of the bears to move north or south. It will have a huge impact on North America grizzly populations and to hear the province say it's only three or four grizzlies is sad."
What's next? It's definitely not over, she said.
"We don't need to watch and wait. It's strategy time," she said. "It's not the end, it's the next step on a long process. At least we know where we're going now. There's still the question of investment. What investor in their right mind wants to build a ski resort in an area where there are 13 or so resorts struggling to survive, where you are 55 kilometres from the nearest town?"
Duncan also questions the zoning and rumour of the area being declared a Resort Municipality.
"There's no population there. How can you have a municipality? There are a lot of unanswered questions in terms of land use."