In response to Paul Visentins letter decrying the Yukon to Yellowstone Initiatives slow creep of regulation and restriction in the September 28th Pioneer, I wish to offer this opinion on what I believe is required to preserve/conserve a natural environment.
It takes money plenty of money to forward any worthwhile project, whether electingthe nextprime minister or lobbying to change somethingobjectionable. Yukon to Yellowstone is in that category.
In Canmore, where I live, the Initiative operates out ofaglitzy office on the secondfloor of amodernbuildingon Railway Avenue. I have been there talking to the host andlooking through the literature often to learn more about them and their purpose.
Roughly speaking, I support efforts aimed atprotecting the environment and the yet-to-be-plundered lands; which iflet loose to the highest bidder,may in most casesbecomeugly examplesof human destruction after the resources are exhausted, or the spinning teacup rideis cemented in.
There simply need to be some controls (a balancing voice) over industry, entertainment anda ready-to-sanction, revenue-hungry governmentmoving across the land at will, extracting what they can and leaving only environmental offalin their wake.
Efforts to plunderCrown landand other sensitiveterritory forprofit exist across the country, and have for decades.Near Banff, theres a group seeking to install a via ferrata route on Mount Norquay overlooking the town. A spokesperson for an environmental group boycotting the effort recently called the project, a complete betrayal of public process. He was right.
Via ferrata usesfixed cables, rungs, ladders, bridges and anything else required strungona mountain face for the sole purposeof creating easy access for nearly anyone desirous ofan unusual mountain experience, regardless of ability.
More traffic, moreprofit damn the unsightliness or environmental impact. The added stress this project would bring to this sensitive area would certainly not take into consideration the already grandfathered-in impact this famous skiarea has had there since the 1920s, long before environmentalists invented themselves. Should we continue to repeat bad history? I say no!
Near Jasper,overlooking Sunwapta Valley, tourism giantBrewster Transportation (under parent organization VIAD, of Phoenix, Arizona) is building what theyve labelledthe Glacier Walk. Thismonstrositywill have as its highlightsa 400-metre walkway, glass-floored observation platform, and a host of manufactured interpretive items to enhance the experience.
Everything therewas alreadyfree to the nature loverin its natural state. Opposition to this project has been mammoth, but it still clearedevery obstacle. There simply was not enough money in the fight to knock off the giant.
It always comes down to money, regardless of which side of the fence you view things from! I offer my kudostothe few concernedwho are putting the check onthe wilfuldebaser, the plunderer and profiteer thoseseeking to squeeze the last ounce of valuefromCanadas natural capitalwhen nobody is looking, by throwing money at projects, the likes of which no environmental group has at its disposal.
Those who care can thank Wildsite, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Bow Valley Naturalists, Wild Canada Conservation Alliance and numerous others. Thanks to their fight, on a nice clear night,a2,000-kilometreDisneyesque glowis notvisible from our border up into the Yukon.