Page 4 of 6
Howe Sound School District
An abomination on the landscape
RE: Grizzlies living on Olympic doorstep (Pique, Oct. 5)
I applaud Alison Taylor for reporting the truth. Finally, we are beginning to see the real picture. In addition to cost overruns, and broken promise, the “Green Games” will also be leaving significant environmental scars in the form of lost biodiversity. The bears that use the Callaghan Valley form the most southerly line of extinction along the coast. If we are truly dedicated to achieving sustainability as a community, any impacts to that species in that valley must not be allowed to take place.
Any way you look at it, the grizzly population is going to be negatively impacted from the presence of the Nordic centre. Consider that VANOC was reluctant to acknowledge the presence of grizzly bear from the beginning. Evidence indicating the presence of the bear within a kilometre of the proposed location for the Nordic centre is buried deep in the Environmental Assessment but that info never made it to the surface. It is important not to let VANOC’s frail claims of being green blind you. There is nothing green about the 2010 Games, even though some will continue to beat that drum. What we have here is an absolute abomination upon our landscape with no net return to our natural environment, only costs.
The obligations outlined within the Environmental Assessment tie VANOC to a set of obligations. Indeed, during the bid phase a commitment was made to enhance and protect our natural environment. However, in 2010 VANOC will dissolve and a Legacies Society will take over and VANOC will wash its hands of those promises. This is a ridiculous event that will pass largely unnoticed to many. By 2010 nobody will remember those obligations and the damage will be already be done. The grizzly (and perhaps other species) will be gone from our area and we will have nobody to blame but ourselves for allowing this to happen. Perhaps VANOC should adopt a grizzly as its mascot. At least then we can be assured that there is one bear left in the area.
As Councilor Zeidler states, we can’t reverse what has been done to date. The clearcut is in place in the Callaghan. The daylodge, parking lots, roads, and ski jump, etc. are in the works. However, we can put a stop to the legacy trails. Let’s stop this story from becoming a larger nightmare. Voice your opposition to the creation of a trails system in the Callaghan.