A Liberal MP from Toronto, who has never seen the Stoltmann Wilderness supports turning the area into a national park. The Western Canada Wilderness Committee has been campaigning for the last five years to see the so-called Stoltmann Wilderness protected, and last year proposed the area become a national park. Last week, former environment minister Charles Caccia became the first politician to step forward and support the national park concept. Caccia has in the past worked to see areas like the South Moresby, Gwaii Haanas protected as national parks and to see federal government support for U.N. Biosphere Reserve designation for Clayoquot Sound. On June 10, Caccia forwarded a request to the House of Commons Legal Counsel to draft a Private Member’s Bill to establish a National Park in the Stoltmann Wilderness of B.C. The WCWC has proposed national park status for the 500,000 hectare Stoltmann, which touches on the western boundaries of Whistler, for a number of reasons. According to the WCWC the area is the southernmost habitat for North America’s grizzly bears and contains the finest groves of old-growth Douglas fir and cedar trees left in southwest B.C. On the same day as Caccia made his announcement, the WCWC said International Forest Products started falling timber along a proposed roadway into groves of thousand year-old Douglas firs in the Upper Elaho Valley, the heart of the proposed park. The WCWC says that road will destroy a popular hiking route, the Douglas Fir Loop Trail. The Whistler Chamber of Commerce is studying the national park proposal.

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