I find it hard to believe Dave McGrath really believes what he wrote in his letter to the editor Jan 22nd. His assertions would be laughable if they were not so spectacularly ill-informed. Where does the assumption that far too many Canadian organizations, and their American partners have designs to cut a sans-humans swath directly up the gut of our region come from? Who is driving us out of our mountain homes and herding us back into stacked-up human settlements in cities? A quick Google search would enlighten anybody about the mission and vision of organizations such as Wildsight and Y2Y (Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative): An interconnected system of wild lands and waters stretching from Yellowstone to Yukon, harmonizing the needs of people with those of nature and We see healthy human communities thriving with sustainable livelihoods and lifestyles based on a conservation ethic.
Nobody is advocating pushing humans out of anywhere, but if Mr. McGrath believes that there should be no limits on human development, then he sadly does not understand the importance of intact undisturbed ecosystems to supply us with things such as clean air and water that we all depend on. Nothing humans have invented can supply clean air and water more efficiently than nature does. Natural Capital consists of natural resources, environmental and ecosystem resources, and land. Scientists have been stressing the importance of valuing the services yielded by our natural capital to support food and water security for healthy, climate resilient communities. Healthy ecosystems improve water quality, decrease water treatment costs, mitigate flooding, decrease net greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, provide habitat, sustain food production and enhance recreational opportunities.
In our pursuit of the monetary success, we have managed to destroy many of the systems that sustain life on the planet. Each year millions of people around the world die due to air and water pollution. It is clear from what the scientists are telling us, that if we want our planet to be a livable place into the future, we need to protect our life supporting ecosystems and tread more lightly on the earth. Science is based on evidence and facts. Yes, it is time to connect the dots.