Opponents

There are indeed individuals and organizations who oppose the National Park.  Thus-far they have not been vocal, choosing – for the most part – to try and work directly with the Provincial Government.  Their relationship with the BC Provincial Government is long-standing.

Advocacy takes time and resources.  Ranchers and farmers who don’t want a “National Park” are simply working hard at working.  Farming and ranching are not only a job, they are a way of life.  When you are thinking about ignoring your alarm clock at 6 am, the farmers and ranchers have already been up for an hour.  When you are watching TV after dinner or having a BBQ and beer with friends, those ranchers and farmers are checking their cattle and changing sprinklers.

2015 was an unpredictable year and farmers were kept hopping trying to stay ahead of Mother Nature.  The weather has played havoc with orchards and vineyards this year, and many orchardists are struggling with unprecedented invasions of pests.

Ranchers struggled to monitor their cattle and move them or bring them down from the uplands in order to keep their livestock away from wildfires (yes, domestic livestock and wildlife perished in the 2015 fires near Oliver and Osoyoos).  If you haven’t heard from the “Park Opponents” it’s because they are simply busy working long hours to make a living.  Farmers and ranchers aren’t known for grand-standing.  For the most part, they just want to be left alone to earn a living and raise their families, just like you and I.

Park Proponents fail to understand that the potential victims ie) those individual persons who might lose part or all of their livelihoods and property (including leases, permits and tenures) have Constitutional Rights, including the right to protection of their “psychological integrity”.  The online resource Wikipedia explains the Canadian Constitutional Right to Security of Person in this way:

“That is, the right protects against significant government-inflicted harm (stress) to the mental state of the individual. (Blencoe v. B.C. (Human Rights Commission), 2000).”

Essentially, government has a responsibility to act in a manner that does not adversely impact the mental state of its citizens.  That may well be one of the biggest reasons that the Provincial and Federal governments aren’t simply imposing the National Park on those who oppose it.

This page is reserved for the Park Opponents when they are ready to give voice.

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Contributed January 16, 2016 by Mischa Popoff, B.A. (Hons.) U. of S.  The following is a summary of works of Sir George Stapledon (FRS) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Stapledon who was an English grassland scientist, pioneer environmentalist, and one of the founders of the modern-day organic movement.  Mischa Popoff is convinced that maintaining cattle grazing lands in the proposed National Park area is critical to a healthy ecology.  He is essentially opposed to a National Park in the area between Oliver, Osoyoos and Cawston, BC.  His summary of information from Sir George Stapledon is through research and critical analysis:

“Grassland farming is not only the basis of organic farming, but the basis of all farming, and hence the basis of civilization itself. 

“The reason for this bold proclamation is, first of all, based on the fact that there is far more land across North America (and throughout the world) that is not arable, which means it cannot support cultivation and the production of crops. This land will literally blow away in the wind if it is broken up (cultivated), which is exactly what happened to vast expanses of land in the United States and Canada back in the Dirty Thirties. 

“So, our choices are either to set these vast expanses of land aside – as the urban elite of pro-National-Park movement suggest – or we can allow ruminants to graze it, thereby providing us with a sustainable food source. 

“The problem with setting this land aside is that this turns out to be worse than breaking it up to plant crops. Because, unless grassland is grazed, it loses its symbiotic hold on the land and, pretty soon – sometimes after only a few short years – the grass goes to seed, dies, the seeds either blow away or are eaten by rodents and birds, and the land turns to dust. After all, keep in mind that the reason this land is not arable, and is classified as grassland, is because it is very light land. In other words, it is essentially dust being held together by grass. 

“Contrary to what many conservationists believe, the more that ruminants graze grass, the stronger it becomes. As long as grazing is managed properly and there is no overgrazing, this agronomic activity BUILDS the strength of the soil that supports our grasslands, and ensures their longevity. If this was not the case, the buffalo would have destroyed the grasslands of the North-American Midwest thousands of years ago. 

“It’s the same as when conservationists try to preserve a forest. Unless a forest is occasionally burned to the ground (or harvested for lumber) it becomes an old-growth forest with no undergrowth, and hence no food for animals like squirrels, rabbits and mice; no grass for ruminants like deer, and hence no prey for predators or quarry for humans. This is why Indians used to burn down old forests. The lesson: there’s no food in an old forest. Likewise, there is no food in an un-grazed or “preserved” grassland. In fact, preserving grassland is an agronomic and ecological oxymoron. 

“The Sahara desert, it’s worth noting, was once one of the world’s largest grasslands until overgrazing led to its destruction. This was all purely natural. Humans were not involved. Likewise, there are areas of North America that used to be grassland, and again, before humans, were overgrazed through natural processes (perhaps due to a decades-long drought which forced ruminants to overgraze) and are now permanently condemned to be deserts. 

“Thankfully, with well-informed humans involved, we can ensure that modern farming never harms our grasslands either by cultivating them, overgrazing them, or by attempting to preserve them. To do any of these things to our grasslands would be, in a word, irresponsible.”

 

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