Imagine relying on two RCMP, two Search & Rescue members or two firemen to safeguard an area stretching from Squamish to D’Arcy, plus all the urban/industrial settings and remote valleys that branch north and south. How vulnerable would you feel?
While it is brighter news that we now have two Conservation Officers to patrol this immense area, protection of the water, fish, flora and critters can simply not be met with only two officers situated in one office at the southern end of the region. The geographic challenge is magnified by the sheer numbers of people (local and tourists) and the broad range of activities that spread them all over.
Remember too, that until municipalities have resources to handle bear issues on their own, one officer will continue to be out of action during much of the year responding to unending bear complaints. While he's doing this, five gypo contractors will be dumping building refuse in your favourite remote meadow, mentally challenged, mechanized warriors will be tearing up a spawning channel and poaching will be in full swing on the narrows of the Lillooet River.
Then there is the safety issue for the officers themselves. The work is often dangerous due to remote travel, long days and bad weather. They are frequently challenged by people or animals. If two officers need to team up, then the entire rest of the area is left wide open.
We live in "Super Natural B.C." and if we love it, recreate in it or make money from it we need to be aware that it is under patrolled and thus under protected. We need another conservation officer stationed in Pemberton and/or Whistler. The value of the resource is just too great to leave it so unattended.
A real Whistler welcome
Welcome to all you newcomers to Whistler. I truly hope you have a great experience here, with lots of snow, fun, new friendships, good memories and life lessons learned to help you in the future.
If you've read the Nov. 5 issue of Pique and G.D. Maxwell's Maxed Out column entitled Welcome to the Promised Land, my suggestion is that you disregard all his recommendations that are morally bankrupt.
Instead, turn to page 20 of the same issue, which has an article about the very worthwhile Welcome Week events. Get involved with these activities. This is the side of Whistler that most locals want to display. Good, clean fun without wasting money and your life on being wasted.
And dear, one-in-a-million Max. You've done it. Accomplished your miserable mission, stirred up controversy… you got my goat!