Letters to the editor for the week of November 14th 

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Garibaldi plan needs fact-based decision

It's nice to see the season shaping up nicely, here from sunny Las Vegas, and I'm looking forward to coming home to sample the early season, world-class backcountry terrain off the lifts of Blackcomb.

Equally satisfying is seeing the Pique pursuing the curious and troubling back-room influences of Whistler Blackcomb and its heliskiing tenure within the park.

To date, neither (WB's) Doug Forseth, Whistler Heliskiing management nor BC Parks has bothered to explain beyond some vague and frankly ludicrous claims of economic hardship the need to continue plaguing the Spearhead range with their infernal combustion engines.

Don't get me wrong — I fully sympathize with the potential loss of such a gravy train and the catastrophic necessity for them to more fully utilize their vast tenure outside the park, but consider this for a moment:

1) more than a few other operators demonstrate that this is possible every season.

2) the parkland it currently claims represents a singularly unique value that is rare. In southwest B.C. you can count the number of ski-touring areas that require only a daypack and a set of legs on one hand. Most of those are mediocre in quality or quantity and only one allows a start anywhere close to tree line let alone 2,250 metres above sea level.

3) this one area is the Spearhead, where Whistler Blackcomb would prefer to heliski. This is a provincial park, one of the very few places where noise from machinery should not be expected.

I would like to challenge Doug Forseth — or anyone else who reads these letters — to explain with something empirical how it is that leaving the Spearhead to the non-motorized recreationist will cause such tragic economic hardship to WB's profitable enterprise.

Yes, that's right — I suggest that such a preemption of such a uniquely protected public wilderness asset requires a full public fact-based explanation. BC Parks and our noble Ministry of the Environment don't think so, but no doubt Forseth — a man of ethics and community service — would agree.

Bruce Kay


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