Letter to the Editor

Wilderness City should protect wilderness After reviewing the draft proposal by the Friends of McIntyre Creek, I want to say I am in full support of…

Wilderness City should protect wilderness

After reviewing the draft proposal by the Friends of McIntyre Creek, I want to say I am in full support of this group’s efforts to seek permanent protection for the creek corridor running right through the heart of our city.

This strip of wetlands and uplands, which also runs through the traditional territories of the Kwanlin Dun and Ta’an Kwach’an Council First Nations, has significant wilderness, recreation and heritage value.

It supports a diversity of fish, birds and animals, is ideal for many outdoor activities — including hiking, wildlife viewing, skiing etc. — was used by our ancestors to hunt, trap and fish and so deserves to be protected for future generations to enjoy.

This initiative will show Canadians living in other bustling communities that it is possible to live in harmony and balance with nature.

Protecting important watersheds and wildlife habitat is essential for creating a sustainable community, one based on respect for the natural world, as well as all the creatures, both great and small, that depend on it for their survival.

While we easily attach a dollar value to development, we have a much harder time appreciating the value of wilderness.

However, the things we need most — the air we breathe and the water we drink — come from this most precious of resources.

As our city continues to expand and prosper, the pressure to develop sensitive areas will increase. Strategic protection of wildlife corridors is essential in developing a healthy community, and healthy citizens.

And as the price of gasoline continues to rise, more and more of us will be forced to seek our wilderness experiences much closer to home.

The McIntyre Creek corridor is close enough, big enough and diverse enough to fulfil this need for a very long time.

As a member of an urban First Nation, I am grateful for any chance to honour the memory of our ancestors by protecting the things they taught us to treasure and respect.

By protecting McIntyre Creek, from its source to its mouth, we will be serving multiple purposes.

We will protect wilderness, and the fish, birds, animals and plants that depend on it. We will honour the memory of our ancestors. And we will show other communities it is possible to have both a vibrant economy and a healthy environment.

John Edzerza, MLA, McIntyre-Takhini

Whitehorse