Letters: Wilderness is priceless

Vehicle activity in park ruins the wilderness experience

In an article I wrote a few weeks ago I agreed with and support the no vehicles in the park stance taken by the CRD. As part of the article I cut and pasted a segment of the CRD’s mission statement regarding the Sea to Sea Green Blue belt, but neglected to send a draft of that article to the Mirror including “quotations” on the borrowed sentences. Credit should be given where credit is due and I thank Mr. Martin for making sure that the CRD and partners be recognized for the incredible interconnection of park land  used by so many.

As far as the mindless notion that a park is “useless” unless it either somehow makes money or can be driven upon, or mined, or logged, or somehow benefits mankind in an economic way is, somehow misconstruing what a wilderness park is. A wilderness park has a value far beyond money, or some conjured up equations. I mean really, if there were no people then everything would be wilderness wouldn’t it? Real wilderness seems to stop once people take over, drive into it, and control it.

On a global level, the Earth’s population is ever increasing, and it is easy to comprehend that the planet’s true wilderness areas are ever decreasing, as are the number of species that exist in them. Thus, these wilderness areas are becoming more valued all the time.

People will always seek these places out, just as the heavily-used park parking lots tell us. Once motorcycles, ATVs, SUVs, and other off road vehicles are allowed in a wilderness area, it is no longer wilderness. It is changed because the behavior of the animals changes, the atmosphere changes, the quietness is lost, and the feeling that you have escaped “civilization” is gone.

In my opinion, vehicles just bring too much activity for a wilderness area to remain wilderness.  These areas are not just for people to enjoy, but for the inhabitants of a large, healthy eco-system to remain viable. There is no price you can put on that.

Tom Eberhardt

Otter Point

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