At war with the natural world

We are the immigrant nation and we are not worthy of the glory and grandeur that surrounds us. The ambassadors from the forest have been killed and the war with the natural world continues here in the Kootenays as we develop our valleys, clear cut our forests and dam up our creeks to support a lifestyle, a culture, that is doomed.

We are the immigrant nation and we are not worthy of the glory and grandeur that surrounds us. The ambassadors from the forest have been killed and the war with the natural world continues here in the Kootenays as we develop our valleys, clear cut our forests and dam up our creeks to support a lifestyle, a culture, that is doomed.

The immigrant nation cannot handle reality. Bears have always been part of reality in the Kootenay and in my 61 years I do not recall one fatal attack in the West Kootenay by a bear. During that time, thousands and thousands of people have been killed by cars and prescriptions and suicides and booze and cancer and falling down the stairs. Living life can be dangerous and often fatal.

Do not fear the bears, fear our inability to deal with reality. Bears were never such a big deal before, and perhaps it was because just outside every town was a dump and that was where the bears were. I fondly remember as a child my parents taking me to the Banff dump where the black bears ruled by day, to be chased away at dusk when the grizzlies arrived. Later in life, at the Fernie dump, I watched a man down in a pit with eight bears, side by each, going through the garbage. The fattest bears I ever saw were at the New Denver dump; the fat rolled as they ran.

The Kootenay has always been a great place for bears but the redfish numbers in many creeks are down, the orchards are subdivided and gone. The dumps, because of exponential growth of the trash from the immigration nation, have been centralized, industrialized, then buried throughout our watershed.

The bears are hungry as they are chased from traditional feeding areas by the urban affluent invading our wild lands at places like Whitewater and Baldface.We should feed the bears at certain times and places. All the horses that are presently killed by injection with poisons so toxic the entire horse must be buried to prevent certain death to all that eats them. Shoot the horse and feed the bears.

The immigrant nation  must begin to see the grandeur and glory that surrounds us. We can no longer allow it to be managed from afar. We must become the custodians of our forests, our water and our wildlife.  I hope some day the immigrant nation will make peace with the ambassadors from the forest. We can begin by abolishing the grizzly bear hunt.

Dick Murphy, Nelson

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