LETTER: Animals, plants without a voice in National Park debate

To the Editor:

There continues to be a great deal of controversy swirling around the creation of a National Park in the South Okanagan Similkameen region. One group wants to preserve the delicate ecosystem that exists in the area and have it around for future generations. Another group wishes to continue to use the area for their own private use as they presently do. This second group wishes to hunt and fish, or run their off-road vehicles over the area just like their predecessors did. Both groups have arguments that support their desired future use. Some people dance around the issues with varying types of rhetoric, but it usually boils down to a few basic points.

We as members of the human race seem to feel that our position at the top of the food chain gives us the right to treat the environment as we wish. By taking a look at what humans have done to nature around the world, however, I don’t think we have done such a great job.

Related: ‘No’ respondents are the majority in national park reserve survey

I’d like to suggest a third option for this discussion: why not seek the opinion of the other residents of our area – the bears, coyotes, cougars, rabbits, birds and snakes, some which are already endangered, and all who have inhabited the area for many hundreds of years? Ask them what it is like to have people with guns and off-road vehicles barging thru their living room and making life and death decisions from a very narrow perspective. I wonder what they have to say? I would bet they would be quite happy to pick the preservation of their home without our interference.

All of the flora and fauna require an area to procreate and to feed and grow, and we humans are eroding their environment, chopping it up and making it difficult for nature to survive. Creating an area to foster the survival of our natural habitat is a wonderful opportunity for all of us; humans, animals and vegetation. I encourage you to take a moment and consider what we want to have around us – a wasted, barren landscape void of wildlife, or a thriving ecosystem for all to enjoy.

(Public consultation for the National Park Reserve has started on Parks Canada’s website and it will last till Feb 28th.)

Michiko Nelson


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