Dear Editor:

I am perplexed by the recent caterwauling in the local papers about the Columbia Valley Recreational Access Coalition (CVRAC), as well as some of your recent editorials that pertain to community cohesiveness, environmentalism versus business opportunities and journalistic privilege. So here are a few quick questions for you:

1) Why all the fuss with the CVRAC? To me it appears that some well-intentioned, like-minded folks initiated a group to try to prevent unnecessary environmental damage in the backcountry and then all hell breaks loose when a few other groups get scared they will somehow be negatively affected by having provincial government adopt what sounds like a pretty reasonable code of trail ethics.

2) Ms. Willard is clearly not a fan of the CVRAC, but who exactly are the Kootenay Snow Sports Society and what do they actually do? (other than attend meetings under duress that they dont want to attend, and complain about name-calling coalition members, but turn around and call coalition leaders radical environmental activists like it were some sort of curse.)

3) Why do you think you have the journalistic privilege to demand to attend CVRAC meetings? They are not government officials debating these issues. I say let them do their thing without the media trying to dig for dirt. You can have your say when they provide a list of recommendations that they request government to consider.

4) Are you really that surprised that people dont want you in the room when your track record is of attending meetings under the guise of media reporting, but you so often spin a negative editorial out of it?

5) What happened to journalistic integrity of checking quotes before using them in a sensationalist manner in your op-ed pieces? Pat Morrow only labeled people who deliberately and knowingly go off trail to leave tracks in ecologically sensitive areas as jackasses. Is this not a particularly appropriate term for such silly destructive people? Its just a donkey, folks, not a swear word. Your grandparents probably use the term when someone cuts them off in a parking lot.

Is this jackass behavior something we are trying to weed out in the valley? So cant we just call a spade a spade and agree that scarring up the wetlands, mountains, and forests that we are seemingly so dependent on for tourism is just a really bad thing to do?

Joseph Hildes, Windermere