Posted by: friendsofstrathcona | January 12, 2011

Speak Out Today Before It’s Too Late (by Carol Hunter)

Carol Hunter
591 Kinnikinik Way
Comox, BC V9M 3V8

Dear Editor,

The provincial government is poised to grant a Park Use Permit (PUP) to Clayoquot Wilderness Resort (CWR) to take their exclusive clients on horse trips into the Bedwell Valley. The Bedwell Valley is one of the few true wilderness valleys left in our parks, free from constant human invasion. Opening the valley to regular influxes of paying adventurers who cannot get there under their own power endangers this, but there are reasons other than the protection of a rare, priceless treasure to speak out against this permit. Strathcona Park is a Class A park and the Park Act states that a park use permit must not be issued unless to do so is necessary to preserve or maintain the recreational values of the park involved. In this case it is not necessary. In return for the PUP, CWR has offered to rebuild a trail that Parks has allowed to fall into disrepair, however a group of volunteers have built a hiking trail into the Bedwell Valley on the opposite side of the river from the original trail which negates the need for building and maintaining the old trail with its costly bridges. The new trail also affords better views than the old trail and most of all is a low impact hiking trail that both preserves and maintains the recreational values of Strathcona Park. Issuing the permit would appear to be in direct violation of the Park Act, but the government seems to be ignoring this fact.

We also need to speak out because we are a democracy. Multiple letters have been written against this proposal, 90% of the public spoke out against it at public meetings and even the Strathcona Park Advisory Committee, persons selected by BC Parks to give them advice, opposes the application; yet the government is ignoring the voice of the people. By listening and acquiescing to one private company instead of those who elected them, by disregarding and/or changing documents like the Strathcona Park Master plan and the Park Act, the government is attacking the fundamental foundation of our society. I request that everyone who cares about our parks and the values of democracy speak out today before it’s too late, to contact the media and the government to demand that the government respect the wishes of the people to protect our parks and to turn down this permit application.
Gordon Campbell
Minister of Environment – Murray Coell


Carol Hunter

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