Kathy Drakes creatively-designed letter included this hand-drawn full page  illustration on the front side.

Kathy Drakes creatively-designed letter included this hand-drawn full pageillustration on the front side.

Dear Editor:

Elderly Shuswap Band chief Paul Sam said, When you say Jumbo Wild, its fine, but what has the wild ever done for us?

I respond with yet another riddle before I answer. What has a one-stop cash drop that leaks all of the wealth to a private company ever done for us, really?

My answer to the question of what has the wild done for us can be clearly illustrated in a BBC experiment with plant life and a journalist trapped in a plastic airtight box. The oxygen levels were brought down to 12 per cent and the plants replenished the air fast enough to keep the journalist alive, while he still suffered from temporary brain under-performance, which made him unable to perform simple motor skills or succesfully carry out cognitive tests and games.

Our Earth is that plastic box. With the overall loss of biodiversity globally, we should be hugging our vast carbon sink reserves, a.k.a. our forests, for our very existence. Not to mention again Jumbo offers no benefits economically for anyone of locality. This is obviously not conforming to the ideals of ecotourism where the focus on sustainability is held up by three pillars: cultural sustainability, economic sustainability, and ecological sustainability. As far as bears being in the area, Paul Sams statement that he had never seen a bear in the area has absolutely no merit. In fact, a non-habituated wild bear will avoid humans and not seeing one is what you would expect! Not to mention the lack of scientific controls: was Chief Sam looking for bears? How often was he in the area? Does he keep a logbook? So on and so forth.

The Banana Republic of Jumbo indeed. Please contact me with information on how to stay involved, Pioneer readers! Love from small-town Alberta!

Kathy Drake

Dewberry, Alberta