The new (old) Sony seems to be working well. Simon and I took the dogs on the Butter loop this afternoon – I took various photos. The camera performed as well as the old one. Gosh – I surely do wish I could remember what was wrong with it. More importantly – if there was something terribly wrong with it, why did I still have it and why is nothing wrong with it now?
It’s a mystery. The only answer I can come up with is that aliens broke into the house and replaced the “not working” camera with one that does work and happily, there it was when I needed it.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Meanwhile, my Lumix is sitting in a box in several pieces with 7 tiny screws randomly scattered about. I expect that one day I shall give it a decent burial. It’s the least I can do. No really – I could do so much more but am choosing to stick with the least.
And then today, more thoughts. As an aside, I love the fact that I have lived to this ripe old age and am still learning and growing and becoming.
I looked at all the sides I could of an issue – sledding (snowmobiling) in the wild. And yes, there are many sides to it. There are sledders who belong to clubs and want to be responsible for where they go. There are sledders who don’t give a damn and give the rest a bad name. There are lone wolves and groups and the same holds true for ATVers.
And for hikers. I watched a huge problem develop on Vancouver Island when a FB group became 43,000 strong and being a part of this group meant you had to write a trip report and tell people where the hike was. You can imagine where this ended up: hundreds of people on trails, many of them completely irresponsible and destructive.
That group has now shut down and one can only hope that people will continue to be part of actual hiking clubs with fees and education and responsible hiking. But man, these other people probably gave hikers a very bad name.
So what we have is a precious wilderness that too many people want to access. And then we evaluate – who should access it? Who leaves the biggest footprint? It’s easy to say it’s motorized recreation – and yes, it leaves a big footprint. And then I hike somewhere like Joffre Lakes and I am appalled at the superhighway that has been created there – entire tour busses dropping off groups who are discarding pop bottles along the way.
What to do?
Simon and I even had the discussion today about a new summer trail KMC wants to build this summer at Whitewater – taking in Mount Beattie and White Queen. Should we do this? Should we build more trails? True, Whitewater is already developed so better there than elsewhere. We want access to these beautiful places and we are saddened when former trails deteriorate and are shut down – access to trails across Slocan Lake and into Kokanee Glacier from Lemon Creek and Enterprise Creek. But we have to ask ourselves – should we mourn these closures? Is it perhaps best that these wild places be left for the wild things?
The biggest problem we have with disappearing species is human development, whether that’s a mine, a clearcut, a logging trail or an access road.
So I’m listening to my voice and the voices of others. Bottom line, the sledders and ATVers are not going away. We can only dialogue and hope that most, if not all, really do respect those areas where they really should not go. The same for hikers – leave no trace. I think this is most important in the winter when even one pair of snowshoe tracks can make it easier for predators to get up high where caribou, elk and deer retreat. I think staying in already developed areas is the best way to go.
People want to get into the wild – how do we balance that with what animals need? I was taken to task today for my condemnation of sledders. Yeah – I have also condemned hikers on Vancouver Island and elsewhere – I am appalled by much of what people do – leaving toilet paper on the side of the trail, going into habitat where they have no business being, logging in watersheds. And it was rightly pointed out that you can’t lump everyone together. And nothing improves if we don’t leave open lines of communication.
But dammit – when I see a government say, hey, we are going to protect caribou habitat. From now on, when companies wants to develop land, for every hectare they want to develop, they will have to set aside 4 hectares for wildlife.
What? We already have too much development – all you are really saying is, “let’s develop more.”
But that grandiose gesture of “putting some aside” will fool way too many people into thinking – hey – they’re setting aside land.
No – they are taking more.
Gad! And that’s it – bottom line again – human activity. As I said to Simon on the drive home, the best thing we could do for the planet right now – put 90% of the population in dense clusters in cities. Give them parks and stuff. Go out into the wild whenever you want but stop developing land. The 10%? Go into the valleys and farm arable land. The rest of us are being pretty selfish really – “Oh, I want my piece of paradise! I don’t want to live in the city! I want to live where the bears and cougars are!” And I am totally lumping myself in with this latter group.
Simon noted that people have coexisted with nature for eons. Yes, I said, but now there are 8 billion of us.
Good point, he said.
There are too many people on this planet to support all of this activity. Man has been unimaginably destructive of all life – when we aren’t busy killing creatures on the land, in the air and in the oceans, we are killing each other.