TOYA Hypocrisy

TOYA Hypocrisy Everybody loves a bit of irony. You know, where the intended meaning is the opposite of what is actually expressed. Hypocrisy is a lot less pretty. My dictionary defines that as "the act or fact of putting on a false appearance of goodnes

Everybody loves a bit of irony. You know, where the intended meaning is the opposite of what is actually expressed.

Hypocrisy is a lot less pretty. My dictionary defines that as “the act or fact of putting on a false appearance of goodness.” And a hypocrite is “someone who pretends to be what he is not.”

So I appreciated the Trails Only Yukon Association ad in the Friday papers showing a trail across an open meadow, labelled “Faro area photo,” on both levels. Presumably the intent was to show the scarring that can be caused by ATV use in some areas.

But wait! Off in the far left of the photo, carelessly not cropped out, is the wheel and rack of an ATV! Good grief, you mean a TOYA supporter reached this spot by quad to take the photo? That’s pretty ironic. Unfortunately it’s also hypocritical.

If one picture is worth a thousand words, TOYA has just done a lot of damage to their reputation and supposed “goodness” of intent. For shame.

I was waffling on this issue. While appreciating the concerns raised by TOYA, their solutions were impractical, unenforceable, and largely unfair to the majority of responsible ATV users.

I’d had a couple e-mail exchanges with Chris May of the Yukon Off-Road Riders Association and while not being in total agreement, he seemed very sensible and level-headed. Subsequently YORRA brought up the suggestion of “scarring the landscape” legislation, which cuts to the heart of the issue and deals with the problem, not a tool or symptom. I guess I’ll be joining YORRA.

I have both a dirt bike and a quad. I use the latter for work around the place and the dirt bike for exploration and recreation. I can carefully ride the dirt bike in most areas and leave essentially no mark, certainly less than left by a horse. I’d hate to lose the freedom that gives me.

People alter their environment, and as long as we do so respectfully, a few trails in a big land like the Yukon are a good thing.

The final irony is that in the Friday Whitehorse Star, both groups have made a joint call for a moratorium on trail building, but at the same time TOYA Ð and the Yukon Conservation Society Ð are running ads. Maybe it would have been appropriate to stop the hypocritical rhetoric and see what working together would bring?

Charlie McLaren

Whitehorse