LETTER: Causing any species to go extinct is a crime

‘The earth is not dying. It is being killed’

The woodland caribou are on the edge of extinction. This is not happening somewhere else, or in some other time. It is happening in our lifetimes, in our backyard, and on our watch.

Who, with any sensitivity to life, or with any appreciation for this place where we live, could propose impacts such as helicopter hiking/skiing/biking, to these already desperate creatures? Who, in any official capacity as representatives of the people and the lands of Canada, could even think of approving such resource wasteful and disruptive activities?

Clearly the government has proven itself incapable of successfully managing the natural world. If allowed to continue in this cancerous manner, the best of British Columbia may soon be converted into some adult-version of a spoiled brat’s artificial playland, and all at immeasurable cost to the natural world.

What could possibly fill the void of a species lost forever? Who would tell their children that a mediocre job in the tourism industry is worth the extinction of any species? How long do we really think people will be able to keep driving around on high-priced gas, stopping here and there to empty their wallets for trinkets and thrills. Is that a long–term vision of a sound economy? Are we really incapable of thinking bigger about our future than this?

Causing or allowing any species to go extinct is a crime. It is more than just a crime in the usual sense, it is a high-crime against nature, and against life itself. Any sane and just society would simply not tolerate such destructive and irreversible activities. As it stands, all of us alive today, unless we actively work to stop it, are accessories to this crime.

There are no less than three helicopter tourism ventures now set to invade the skies and mountains of the West Kootenay area. As Utah Phillips once commented “The earth is not dying, it is being killed, and those who are killing it have names and addresses.” Maybe it is time to pay them a visit.

Bob Yetter,

Johnsons Landing

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