Letters to the Editor

In gratitude

I would like to thank all who supported me in the “Fighting The Fight Against Cancer” fundraiser, and wish to express my gratitude to the fundraising committee, family and friends of the communities that made it happen.

A special thank you to my medical team at the East Kootenay Regional Hospital who never gave up on me and went above and beyond with what resources they had to work with: Dr. Lowden, Dr. Dawe, Val, Sue, Tanya, and Dr. Topic; Dr. Hoeglar of the BCCA Kelowna along with Dr. Radar and Dr. Denoon.

Also Megan Noorish of the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society of B.C.; Alissa Gentile, LLS Clinical Trial Specialist in New York, and Tom Shypitka, MLA. All who were instrumental in the acquiring of my CAR-T cell therapy at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.

In appreciation,

Barry Marchi/Sparwood

Idling engines and climate change

I recently moved to Cranbrook. Since living here, I have noticed many people idling vehicles- in both cars and trucks. Often there is only one person sitting in the idling vehicle.

I am very concerned about climate change/ global warming. This I believe is one of the most serious issues facing humans, and all life-forms on earth. As an eg. the current ongoing terrible wild-fires in Australia and their tremendous destruction, I believe have been intensified as a consequence of global warming. It seems every day there is more and more ugly news and videos from Australia showing the vast destruction.

Idling of engines is one cause of climate change. The idling of engines, does not only occur in Cranbrook. I have seen this in many places that I have lived. Idling of one vehicle may seem insignificant, but really is NOT, when considering the effect of the TOTAL number of vehicles that may have idling engines!

I have seen idling vehicles, with open windows, in the summer! What is the purpose of this? Why can people not go into buildings to keep cool or warm, instead of sitting in vehicles with engines idling?

Years ago, I heard knowledgeable people, eg. mechanics and others, say that a cold engine only needs to warm up a short time before before being driven. In fact I have heard that longer idling times of the engine, can cause engine damage.

Many Canadians say they are concerned about the environment. As one example, if they are, why do they leave their engines idling?

I have some recommendations please:

1) All levels of government need to inform people about the connection between idling of engines and climate change, and to encourage drivers not to idle engines. Governments need to inform people how idling of engines is one cause of climate change.

2) Government programs to encourage people to NOT leave engines idling. As an eg., there was a federal govt. program many years ago, called PARTICIPACTION, to encourage people to be more active and fit.

3) I have seen signs, by the local High School, stating that BC is idle-free. IS IT? Another recommendation is to put up these signs around parking lots of shopping malls and other places, where large numbers of vehicles are.

4) People thinking differently re the need to have engines idling for periods of time, in their stationary vehicles. and people making the connection between idling of engines, and negative effects on global warming.

A. Calman/Cranbrook

Cautious Optimism for Provincial Wildlife Strategy

British Columbia’s hunters and anglers have long been the vanguard of wildlife conservation efforts in our province.

Over the years, many of us have raised concerns about declining wildlife populations, large-scale habitat fragmentation and deterioration of true backcountry wilderness.

Members of the British Columbia chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers are therefore pleased to see our provincial government bring forward a plan to improve wildlife management and habitat conservation through the “Together for Wildlife” proposal.

The proposed strategy aspires to develop clear and measurable objectives for wildlife stewardship and then use policy and “on-the-ground” actions to achieve them.

We are particularly pleased to see a commitment to making transparent, evidence-based decisions about wildlife stewardship actions through consultation with provincial and regional committees comprised of key stakeholder groups.

Although the framework for Together for Wildlife is laudable, its current form is simply a high-level set of aspirational statements. Turning aspirations into reality will require careful and dedicated implementation.

This will not be straightforward. Criteria for involvement on the Provincial Minister’s Wildlife Advisory Council and Regional Wildlife Committees must be carefully developed. Too often, decisions that impact the health and management of ecosystems are made by special interest groups, emotional responses to hot-button issues, or short-term economic goals. When decisions are made this way, it is to the detriment of wildlife populations and habitat.

Participating members on the Provincial Minister’s Wildlife Advisory Council and Regional Wildlife Committees must be committed to wildlife stewardship and not prejudiced by trend social issues or special interests.

In particular, members of these groups, who will guide wildlife and habitat policy, research priorities, and funding, should be familiar with the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation and recognize that that the most effective wildlife stewardship policies and objectives are grounded in the best available science.

Additionally, the strategy presented does not adequately describe the funding models that will be employed to achieve provincial wildlife stewardship goals. Without appropriate funding that is both robust and secure, the Together for Wildlife strategy will fail.

Funds from user groups (including hunting license and tag sales, but also from consumptive and non-consumptive users of our public lands, waters, and wildlife) should be dedicated to wildlife stewardship. Moreover, the Provincial Minister’s Wildlife Advisory Council should be mandated to explore additional sources of funds and funding models that can be leveraged to maximize resources available for wildlife stewardship.

Continued on A7

The Together for Wildlife Strategy commits to stewarding our provincial wildlife populations through the protection, conservation, restoration and recovery of wildlife and habitat and the enforced regulation of human activities. This admirable goal will only be achieved if legislation puts habitat conservation and wildlife management on the same footing as economic growth, development, and social issues. We are concerned that the legislative commitments in the Together for Wildlife Strategy will be insufficient to elevate wildlife stewardship as a provincial priority and would like to see the province reconsider the development of specific legislation for habitat conservation and wildlife management.

The BC Chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers urges all British Columbian’s who care about wildlife management, habitat conservation and wilderness preservation to comment on the Together for Wildlife Strategy. The provincial government is conducting a questionnaire until January 9, 2020. Learn more at: https://www.backcountryhunters.org/togetherforwildlife.

Alan Duffy, Bill Hanlon and Mark Robichaud sit on the board of the British Columbia chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers and work hard to protect our province’s wilderness and wildlife for future generations.

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