Posted by: friendsofstrathcona | October 8, 2009

Don’t horse around with parks (Monique Weeks)

FOSP note: the following letter appeared in the Campbell River Courier-Islander on Oct 7, 2009.

An open letter to Premier Gordon Campbell, published here by request.

‘Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone,’ is how the song goes. But we know what we have. The public set aside Strathcona Park for protection 98 years ago, and as the largest park and only significant area of protected wilderness on Vancouver Island, it has come to have a strong conservation role. Why then is the government attempting to commercialize Strathcona?

Private, for profit, horse operations in Strathcona Park are not only wrong because horses don’t belong in parks, especially Strathcona, with it’s thin soils, steep valleys and heavy rainfall, a refuge for bear, elk and cougar, but also because they are the thin end of the wedge. Where horse trails go, so can mountain bikes, motorcycles, ATV’s, snow mobiles, poaching, erosion, introduction of weed species, etc.; and where one type of commercial operation is allowed, so may another be, and another. Thoreau said, “In wildness is the preservation of the world.” As we pave paradise with whirlwind speed, we need more protection for parks and wilderness, not less. Please let the government show care for the future and reverse the decision to commercialize Strathcona.

Monique Weeks

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