Last week I was riding my bike with two great friends (fellow adventurers) down the trail in Egmont, British Columbia to view the Skookumchuck rapids during a strong flood tide which can kick up a standing wave to 12 feet high. This tidal surge is one of the most powerful in the world, second only to Saltstraumen sound in Norway. It is abundant in wild life and a popular recreational destination for white water kayakers. As the tides shift they literally draw life into this shallow narrow channel and because of this it is a great place for tourists and sightseers to explore.
Skookumchuck Narrows is a 123 hectare Provincial Park that was established in 1957. The provincial system of parks is dedicated to the protection of natural environments for the inspiration, use and enjoyment of the public. Parks enable long-term sustainable recreational, spiritual, environmental and economic involvement. By protecting these natural environments we ensure that they will be around for not only us to appreciate but our children and our grandchildren as well.
“We do not inherit the land from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.”
-Native American Proverb
Essentially parks represents a model that directly opposes that of industry. Where parks aim to protect our environment, industry aims to exploit it. Where parks may call an area invaluable, industry will call is a resource. Industry is the economic activity concerned with the processing of raw materials and manufacture of goods in factories. Where there is the potential for economic gain within both models only one is long-term and sustainable. The commercialization of our so called “resources” follows a “boom and bust” model based on short term economic gains with long term losses. A prime example of this model in action is the East Coast Cod Fisheries. Unfortunately, it is one of many. In fact, every resource that is currently being commercially marketed is being done so in such a fashion.
I ask: “WHY?” If we can preserve the health of our environment while selling the experience to tourism than we will experience long-term gains both environmentally and economically. In doing so, we will be bringing two mentalities that normally oppose each other with a magnetic force together in harmony.
When we appreciate something, we understand it fully and are exercising top level intelligence. If we don’t understand that by exploiting our environment for short-term economic gains we are destroying future spiritual, environmental, recreational and economic opportunities than we are showing a sincere lack of appreciation and therefore intelligence.
As a species that prides themselves on intelligence with a hunger for progress we should focus more of our energy on appreciation and it is in this light that parks is progress.
Thanks for reading and until next time keep on adventuring,