Letter to the Editor: Bemused by backlash

Good grief CVRAC! What a terrible ruckus you have caused in the past few weeks.

Dear Editor,

Good grief CVRAC! What a terrible ruckus you have caused in the past few weeks. All by the seemingly innocent venture of trying to put together a group of concerned citizens in order to hatch an organized plan that might limit the ongoing environmental destruction that is occurring in our backyard backcountry.

So shame on you, for engaging in such a forward-thinking project, as this might only help our sometimes hapless provincial government collect some local community input to hopefully help curb some of the degradation of our most precious of tourist attractions:  our local lakes, wetlands, forests and mountains.

But seriously; I would have to agree with you that this well-intentioned plan has been almost taken out at the knees by such a fractious tug-of-war between disparate groups.

But can someone please tell me who are the Kootenay Snowsports Society, or what they do, or what service they provide? Clearly their co-chair Cheryl Willard dislikes and mistrusts Wildsight, but for a group that is attending the CVRAC meetings “under duress” and sees no need at all for a backcountry plan, one kind of wonders what their real objectives are, other than to derail the rest of the coalition.

Another coalition naysayer, Mr. Dave McGrath, went on a misguided tirade last week, calling for the dismantling of the CVRAC  when he completely mistook a quote from Wildsight member Pat Morrow, who used the J-word to describe people who wilfully desecrate environmentally sensitive areas.

OK Dave, take a deep breath and understand that at the very least, “Jackass” is not some horrible swear word, as I bet there are more than a few socially upstanding grannies out there that might use this term to describe someone who cuts them off with a shopping cart in the checkout isle… And the reality is, that Mr. Morrow didn’t actually include you in his jackass definition for all the activities you say you and your kids like to do responsibly in the bush, like hike and fish and ski. These activities are shared by many, many people in no specific “club” who just don’t take part in knowingly ruining parts of the landscape with their boots, bikes and ATVs.

So let’s feel free to call a spade a spade, and weed out the jackass behaviour in these parts so the rest of us can enjoy the outings into the mountains, lakes and forests without having to look at someone else’s permanent marks scarring the landscape when they decide to go off-trail and off-road. If a backcountry user plan helps in this regard, we should embrace this as a very positive step forward, and hope that the remaining members of the CVRAC are allowed to get on with their mission, and that our provincial government pays some attention.

Sincerely,

Joe Hildes

Windermere