By Goat Staff
Avalanche Canada is receiving a $10-million contribution from the B.C. government to support its vital work in developing and delivering avalanche safety and awareness for the province’s mountainous regions.
“We are very grateful to the Government of B.C. for this funding,” said Gilles Valade, executive director, Avalanche Canada. “This ensures long-term sustainability for all our programs and allows us to expand our services to underserved regions of the province.”
Among other things, the funding will improve avalanche forecasts in the North Rockies area, which stretches from Prince George north to Williston Lake, east to Chetwynd and Grande Cache, and along the north side of Highway 16 to just east of Mt Robson park, said Avalanche Canada communications director Mary Clayton.
As yet, no location for the new North Rockies field position has been announced. Avalanche Canada currently has a member in Prince George and another in McBride that provide a forecast for the region four times per week.
“Next winter we will provide daily forecasts for the North Rockies region,” Clayton said.
“The work Avalanche Canada does is vital to our public safety, particularly as interest in winter recreation grows and as the frequency of extreme weather increases due to climate change,” said Mike Farnworth, BC’s Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “I’m pleased we are able to work with this organization to support its important work.”
About 75 per cent of all Canadian avalanche fatalities occur in B.C., and about 90 per cent of Avalanche Canada’s services are delivered in this province. This grant will allow Avalanche Canada to expand its regional forecasts to underserved regions in B.C., increase its delivery of avalanche safety training for youth and provide more programs for winter recreationists of all types, according to a government release.
This investment will also allow Avalanche Canada to leverage the federal funding provided in 2019 to implement the National Avalanche Strategy.