Close down what?

To Lee Sexsmith,

I read your April 11 letter and appreciate some of the points you made concerning the caribou, but I'm lost on two specific items.

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The first item is that you mention several times, that the government wants to close down parts of the province.

Excuse me if I am being remiss, but close down what?

If you're referring to snowmobiling or ATV use, then it would be advantageous to know this while reading the letter.

The second point is I appreciate your love of sledding, if that is what this is about, and I appreciate that you have a right to do this.

But there is a problem with part of your statement, when you go on to say that this activity has not had an impact on the caribou.

Wildlife habitats throughout British Columbia, Canada and the rest of the world for that matter, have been severely impacted by highways, railroads, cities, industrial projects, resource extraction, hydro lines, human-caused fires, recreational activities, and yes, the use of all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles and the trails that they require.

To deny this is silly and in the same vein as denying climate change.

There are, of course, a multitude of factors involved with regards to the caribou issue and maybe the use of ATVs is only a small part, but it is still a contributing factor.

Forest fires in the province over the last two years have hit heights never seen, and contributing factors like climate change and the excessive dryness, as well as the agricultural model used in modern forestry practices, are prevalent as causes.

ATVs however are also a cause, so much so that their use has been restricted at times and that the use of spark arrestors is mandatory; despite these safeguards, there will be more fires caused by ATVs and their riders.

It seems to me that a temporary, provincewide ban would incite the same denial by riders, who feel as though their right to blast down a trail is more important than the forests.

Rather selfish if you think about it.

I'm not trying to criticize you because your opinion matters.

I was not at the meeting and if I'm off-base in terms of what it was you were saying in your letter, I apologize.

For the sake of the readership that wasn't there, clarification of "closing down" would have been appreciated.

Mike Maslen

Prince George

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