Park has widespread support

A national park will be the best possible way to increase protection for the land and its wild inhabitants

I would like to respond to a few items in Mark Brett’s article Dec. 7 on the proposed national park reserve.

The oft-repeated refrain from the Grasslands Coalition of the “increased deer and bear numbers” that will automatically follow the declaration of a national park reserve has no basis in fact. The ecological and other factors influencing wildlife population increases and decreases are extremely complex, multi-faceted and imperfectly understood. For the coalition to argue for over eight years now that removing one ‘extractive’ human activity, hunting, from the national park reserve area will automatically cause wildlife populations to increase greatly and to descend on humans like a plague of locusts is simple ignorance and/or deliberate melodrama.

In addition, few wildlife species stay within artificial human boundaries, so will be as subject to hunting and the dangers of other human interventions when on non-park lands as they are now. As to “the possible danger of wildfires,” Parks Canada is noted in North America, if not around the world, for its expertise and experience in both preventing and fighting wildfires. I often wonder if the people who Brett quoted have ever been to the Rockies or other national parks.

The spokesman for Canadian Helicopters refuses to believe Parks Canada’s reiterated statement that the company will be given a licence to fly in the national park. Blind paranoia can’t be countered by sweet reason; however, his comment that “… there’s no motorized vehicles, there’s no aircraft allowed in a national park.” is incorrect in my experience, though I wish he were right. In backpacking in Banff NP, for example, I and my companions have suffered the serious annoyance of helicopters ferrying tourists to and from Assiniboine Provincial Park. Such flights are limited to certain days and in numbers of flights, but they are allowed. Perhaps unfortunately, there are relatively few human activities that are forbidden even in national parks.

Finally, intended or not, the last paragraph of the article implies that supporters for the park are limited to “a number of individuals and conservation groups”. This is far from the truth. Along with these people, declared national park reserve supporters include a very large number of individual citizens, business people and people in public office throughout the South Okanagan. In a poll carried out locally a couple of years ago on the creation of a national park reserve, 63 per cent of respondents said they support a park. (For the national park opinion poll, google www.sosnationalpark.ca.) In an earlier poll on conservation of lands in this fragile area, an even higher percentage of respondents said that we’re not protecting enough. In a petition supporting the park, 9,000 of the 20,000 signatures were from people in the proposed park reserve area; and in any case, a national park is just that, for all Canadians.

Nothing in life is perfect, but a national park will be the best possible way to increase protection for the land and its wild inhabitants and will provide excellent economic opportunities as well.

Eva Durance

 

Penticton

 

 

Just Posted

A rainy July is normal for the Okanagan

Rainy days in July haven’t been seen since before 2014

Updated: Former home of accused Penticton shooter vandalized

Ex-wife of man who is accused of murdering four people had her house vandalized

Missing Penticton kayaker last seen on Okanagan Lake

Penticton RCMP are asking for assistance in locating a missing kayaker

What does it cost the City of Penticton to host Ironman?

Mayor believes businesses and other agencies support will help defer event costs

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: cloudy, rain expected

Environment Canada is calling for a risk of thunderstorms tonight across the Okanagan

Athletes and volunteers ecstatic about triathlon’s return to the Okanagan

Race will take place in 2020 on Aug. 30 in Penticton

Survivor of near-drowning in B.C. lake viewing life through new eyes

“If I died that day, the baby wouldn’t know his dad,” said 31-year-old Mariano Santander-Melo.

PET OF THE WEEK: Kahlua needs a forever home

Cat lives at Critteraid animal sanctuary in Summerland

Bridgeman wins in Summerland low net competition

Summerland golfers compete in regular league play

‘Beyond the call’: Teen in police custody gets birthday surprise by B.C. Mountie

Unusual celebration started when Staff Sgt. Paul Vadik went to visit the teen in his Coquitlam cell

Trial date set for Kelowna dark web trafficking couple

Cassie Bonthoux and James Nelson face eight separate charges

Okanagan orchard left rigid after worst season in 11 years

Lake Country’s Witzke Orchards looks to bounce back after poor weather destroys crops

Cherries ripening for the picking in Salmon Arm

U-pick owner says it’s not all doom and gloom as it might be for some Okanagan growers

Salmon Arm to stay the course on plastic bag ban

City’s mayor sees good news in BC Court of Appeal decision against Victoria bylaw

Most Read