Despite the tragic breach of the Mount Polley mine tailings pond on Aug. 4, the Central Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association reports that tourism operators in that area are forging ahead with plans for their summer guests.
The tailings pond dam breach resulted a precautionary water use ban while officials determine the extent and reach of the environmental impacts.
“The Mount Polley event is devastating and has impacted our stakeholders in the Likely area of North Cariboo,” says the CCCTA CEO Amy Thacker.
“I would like to clarify that all of the tourism businesses on Quesnel Lake and certainly throughout the entire Cariboo remain open and fully operational.
“Helping visitors be matched with outdoor adventure and recreation opportunities to ensure exceptional experiences in this land without limits continues.
“Today, more than ever these small businesses need your support,” Thacker says. “Our operators in the affected area are family run. They don’t just work here, these people are part of the community, they are first responders, clean-up crews, support volunteers and business owners. Come visit this beautiful part of our region and support the great work that our tourism operators do in our rural communities.”
Tourism operators also responded.
“We are open and delivering all our products and services to our guests,” added Peggy Zorn, owner of Likely-based Ecotours-BC. “All our backcountry adventures, including alpine hiking, remain unaffected by this tragic event.”
Pat Corbett, CCCTA board chair adds: “I would like to remind everyone that as serious as this incident is — it impacts a relatively small area of the Cariboo region and there is no reason to disrupt any travel plans to the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast.
Public safety is the number one priority at this time and we must ensure that accurate and responsible information is effectively distributed to all our residents and visitors alike.”
The Cariboo Regional District (CRD) is providing accurate current information via the Cariboo Regional District’s Emergency Operations Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CRDemergency operations or the CRD web site at www.cariboord.ca or call 250-398-5581.