By Letter to the Editor on May 10, 2018.
For 50 years I have lived in and been an enthusiastic user of our amazing backcountry here in Western Canada. I believe as a born-and-raised Albertan we all should be able to enjoy the land we are so privileged to live in.
What really bothers me is the petty posturing that both environmental groups and the OHV community take with respect to the use and abuse of what we are privileged to enjoy. One group posts “scientific studies” and photos of a rutted logging road full of puddles on social media and then goes on to blame the other about the destruction of our backcountry and headwaters, while the other side gets angry and responds with a flurry of misspelled posts of vitriol and name calling.
Are you kidding me? How about we all step back and take a look at facts that are available to everybody! I would like everyone who reads this to download Google Earth, scroll to about 55,000 feet above the Earth and take a good, hard look at the sheer destruction of our land by seismic, oil and gas, and logging.
The environmentalists say that OHV use is rampant and damaging our headwaters, yet they are silent with respect to the millions of acres wiped out by clear-cutting. Entire mountain drainage systems are wiped clean of trees and scarified by makeshift roads hacked into the sides of the mountains. Don’t believe me? Go look for yourself. This is clearly visible from outer space! Eleven miles above the surface of the Earth, Whitecourt and Hinton look like a circuit board. Sixty thousand wells all with cleared roads for access and 100-metre-by-100-metre cleared sites. Millions of acres.
What I am writing here is not a scientific study paid for by some third party to obtain results favourable to their cause. This is common sense. It is real, and available to validate by every man, woman and child with a computer in this province.
It’s time to stop the petty bickering and direct our collective efforts at the true culprits of ecological destruction in this province. Bears, deer and other wildlife can’t pick their way across the side of a mountain cleared by logging. Nor can ATVs or hikers.
To both groups I say, “Grow up.” To the public I say, “Wake up.”
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