Dear Editor:

Re: Unauthorized trail builder faces charges in August 19th Pioneer. It is a sad state of affairs when someone doing good is charged with an offense. Your story regarding David Paceys tireless efforts to make official hiking trails safe and enjoyable for all users only to find himself charged with contravening the National Park Act is sad and ridiculous. What is Parks Canadas concern? That other people might follow Davids example, leaving a multitude of usable trails and Parks staff with no work to do? That removing a fallen log might cause a hazard? That fixing that poor section of trail might impair wildlife habitat? Or does Parks Canada dread the shame that would be bestowed on it by visitors observing a citizen taking the lead on something that the government cannot or will not do.

I have know David for many years and I know his dedication and commitment to improving the visitor experience to Kootenay National Park and the Columbia Valley in general. Over that time, I have been dismayed with the constant deterioration and lack of maintenance of the parks facilities and trails. Yet the article quotes Parks Canada spokesperson Lindsay McPherson as saying: Parks Canada is a world leader in conservation and takes the protection of the resources under its care… very seriously.

I beg to disagree. Instead of handing David a summons to appear in court, why doesnt Parks Canada hand him a thank you card instead? I am sure he would appreciate that more than this slap in the face.

Jan Michaelian