FOSP Note: the following letter appeared in the Campbell River Courier-Islander on Oct 21, 2009
Still more on Strathcona Park… I am not a member of the Friends of Strathcona or any other special interest group, but a citizen of British Columbia. I address this open letter to Clair Trevena, rather than the Minister of the Environment, whose administration is not committed to any course of action other than privatization, in the hope that she will object and offer criticism in the legislature.
It is lack of basic park maintenance that has led to the apparent need for private help in trail preservation. Winter comes, snow accumulates in the trees, wind blows, branches break, trees tip over sometimes blocking the trails or damaging bridges. No surprises there. Over the past several years there have been many extended trail closures in peak season for lack of timely scheduling of repair work. One can only imagine the bitterness and disappointment a European tourist might feel after having saved for many years for a dream trip to the famous Strathcona, only to be turned back from a favoured destination because we are incapable of repairing a foot bridge. It is incredulous that the Ministry of Parks can no longer muster the resources to perform such simple maintenance tasks. Chain saws, summer employment for University Students, perhaps even an engineer, it’s all so complicated!
It is time to recognize that not every human enterprise is motivated by greed and the dollar bill. Parks such as Strathcona are about the more abstract and nebulous enjoyments that we all share but cannot put accurately into words. Many letters on this subject to date have already pointed out that the horse use in the Bedwell valley is a wedge that will lead to further park commercialization. Reverse the decision and maintain the public parks from the public purse.