Re TOYA Hypocrisy, October 14:
Charles McLaren recently wrote a letter to the News gleefully pointing out his notion of Trails Only Yukon Association’s “hypocrisy.” Specifically, he felt that because we placed an advertisement in the paper expressing our concern about damage being done to the wilderness near Faro, and that there was an ATV wheel showing in the picture, that somehow TOYA was being hypocritical. He suggested that we should have cropped the ATV tire out of the picture, presumably so as to somehow trick the public. Nothing could be further from our intentions.
We noticed the tire, thought about if it should be cropped, and decided that it would be dishonest to do that. In fact, the picture was submitted to us by an ATV rider who was out exploring trails and came upon this mess. He realized he should go no farther, was appalled at the mess, took a picture and turned around and left. Seems like a responsible action by a responsible ATV rider to us.
Sadly, McLaren’s notion of honesty does not pass the smell test. Instead of applying his intellect to the problem being presented, he chose the easier route of attacking the messenger. TOYA stands by the picture, we stand by our contention that it represents a mess that should be stopped, and we stand by the actions of the citizen who submitted it.
McLaren also comments on the new relationship that has been forged between TOYA and the Yukon Off-Road Riders Association, and implies that our advertisement somehow belittles that relationship. During our meeting with YORRA, we were very careful to inform them that we had several ads planned, specifically because we wanted to be 100 per cent sure that there would be no misunderstandings. Based on our discussions, we are satisfied that YORRA would be just as unhappy as we are about the kind of mess that the picture depicted. We hope to continue our collaboration and to work together toward solutions to some very challenging problems. We invite Yukoners who share our concerns to work with us, and to be sure to fill out the select committee survey before the end of October.