I read with such sadness the article and editorial comment in last week’s Observer, by Jessica Peters, lauding the fact that removing land from Sasquatch Park to let it become an industrial logging road is a good thing.
Yes, we need an evacuation route, that is sorely missing, and both the municipal governments of Harrison Hot Springs and the District of Kent have been fighting for that for years. These actually should be seen as two very different, and separate, issues. However, financial funding constraints provincially are causing them to be inappropriately considered together.
So, do we have to take land out of the park? Do we have to use an existing road so that the logging shareholders don’t have to expend their own money to build one? Do the 250,000 visitors a year to Sasquatch Park want to battle logging trucks, company vans and trucks, and other industrial vehicles to go have a picnic? Do the folks who camp at Deer Lake want to be cut off from the rest of the park and isolated by industrial roads surrounding them?
What about the diversity of flora and fauna that will also be significantly affected? Are the local citizens aware that this beautiful Class A park has already been raped and pillaged by the pipeline, the hydro line, and the current ILM project? Does the public know this is a Class A Park, in which no activity is to be allowed unless it enhances recreational activities?
Yes, we need an evacuation route, but how very sad that our local politicians are selling out a beautiful and well-used provincial park in order to attain that. How sad that our provincial politicians cannot tell the logging company to find and build another way to get their logs down off the mountain, and from the East side of Harrison Lake.
Oh, yes, those trucks that now come through Harrison after roaring down Rockwell Drive will also use that lovely road through the Park. Political and economic gain seems to be anathema to conservation and preservation, short term gain for long term pain. So, stand up and fight, folks, or lie down and say a fond farewell to Sasquatch Park.
There are 35 permits before the current legislative sitting, to exempt land from provincial parks. Let’s just chip away and chip away, leave nothing pristine for our grandchildren, and Joni Mitchell’s song will be our slogan: pave paradise and put up a parking lot!
Harrison Hot Springs
Editor’s Note: The editorial in last week’s paper did not mention the proposal to remove a road from Sasquatch Park. It did highlight the need for a secondary emergency route.