Letters: Reasons for a national park are abundant

Parks Canada did not randomly select this area of the South Okanagan.

Letters to the editor

Letters to the editor

Regarding Ms. Best’s letter (Penticton Western News, Feb. 10, Thoughts on having a national park) I’d like to respond withsome points in favour of a national park.

Parks Canada did not randomly select this area of the South Okanagan. It has been identified as one of the four mostendangered ecosystems with the greatest diversity of ecosystems and most species at risk (over 250) in the entire breadth ofCanada.

Why, you may ask, are there so many species at risk and on endangered lists? Why has the world’s animal populationdecreased by 50 per cent (many even more) in much less than a century and why is the rate of species extinction risingexponentially? The reasons are obvious for those who care or who care to look.

Even local tracts of natural areas have been trashed and damaged largely by groups of “recreational” vehicle users. StinkyLake, Spring Lake, Garnet Valley wetlands and areas in the Aberdeen, Greystoke and Monashee are examples. I refer to thoseindividuals responsible as eco-morons. Sadly, some “hunters” fit in this category as well.

I’ve been chased down a mountain with bullets clipping through the trees from two so-called hunters. A bullet wound abovemy knee is a result and yes, they knew my friend and I were in the area. I’ve witnessed a pile of at least 20 birds shot andleft to rot unprocessed outside a forest campsite. I’ve listened to a group of hunters laugh about how they blew a squirrel topieces with bird-shot and how much booze they drank during a unsuccessful grouse hunt. There are far too many examplesof this type of behavior and reason enough for a national park.

Ignoring the obvious local economic benefits, it remains that a national park is the best and most viable option to preservethese deserving lands. Parks Canada have been internationally recognized as such for their efforts to preserve, protect andenhance. The recent reintroduction of buffalo to their historic areas of Banff National Park is a prime example. Provincialmanagement simply cannot compare and in many cases is laughably inadequate. 250 species at risk deserve much better.

It’s increasingly apparent in our progressive society the urgent need to preserve our ever-diminishing natural areas and it’sreliant species. Already 75 per cent of the worlds ice-free, inhabitable lands have been altered in some fashion by humanintervention. We are all a part of the living biosphere and the failure to recognize our reliance on a vibrant natural world willultimately adversely affect us all.

If we wish to teach our children the wonders of the natural world we must preserve especially unique areas as a classroomsince it cannot be explained on a chalkboard it must be experienced and felt in the heart. For nature and our children’ssake we must foster selflessness to preserve what is left.

Jeff Bedard



Penticton Western News