(Editors note: this letter is a response to Cheryl Willards online comments published in The Pioneer on November 16th.)
When will this woman just go away? Her misrepresentations are staggering in their scope and bias. I have been a member of the group for the past year, and been active on the steering committee trying to move the process forward.
Cheryl, I am not a Wildsight member, nor have I ever been one, a characteristic I share with the vast majority of the representatives of the 20-plus different recreational groups. All these groups are in agreement that a recreational access and responsible use policy will happen. Either we get to contribute to it, or government at some point will simply drop it on us.
If we are to preserve our beautiful public lands, our greatest tourism asset, we must come to agreement amongst the diverse recreational groups in how we all share this asset.
It is much easier to be outside the recreation advisory process and throw derogatory bombs at it than to get into the trenches with the rest of us and actually try to come up with some consensus-based agreements on how to use public lands.
Here are a few of Ms. Willards misrepesentations: that the process is Wildsight dominated not so, Wildsight possibly will be given one sector spokesperson position and would represent a very small minority of the numbers attending meetings.
That government has withdrawn government is monitoring the process and may have representatives back in the room at any time in the future.
That theres a lack of community support the fact that the majority of groups attended the last meeting is a pretty good indicator to me that the recreational community is in full support and is willing to forge ahead in spite of a very few vocal critics like yourself.
That its about backcountry closures we havent begun to discuss specific policies yet, so we dont know until we hear from all the participating groups if there will be recommendations for any backcountry closures. This is about all public lands, front and backcountry.
That many groups have left only two groups out of dozens have left the process: the Kootenay Snow Sports Society, and the representative from the ATV BC association. All others seem to be hanging in there.
That recreational groups have everything to lose you could be right, if you consider the disorganized and unregulated degradation of our natural spaces being the way to go. The alternative is shared uses which are agreed upon by the majority of user groups, fostering practices and policies which will leave the land base in its pristine beauty for future generations to share.
Lyle Wilson, Nipika Mountain Resort