Letter: National park Reserve Process is flawed

Letter: National park Reserve Process is flawed

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By the Grasslands Park Review Coalition

It is becoming clear that a Vancouver based group is running the show.

The area parks Canada is stealing away from the people of the Okanagan Similkameen has been managed successfully by nature and the people of the area for centuries, before biodiversity was a word used, it was practiced in this area and still is.

Okanagan Shuswap Land Resource Management Plan (LRMP) focused on this area, considering all the activities in the area and surrounding area including vineyards, orchards, timber, recreation, hunting and other businesses and activities.

The LRMP process took four and half years to complete with all stakeholders invited to sit at the table, land uses were debated, with give and take on all sides and as a result protected areas were established because of the consensus-based process.

The national park reserve has been promoted to the region as an economic stimulator bringing in 100,000 tourists and lots of employment, comparing this to Grass Lands National Park in Saskatchewan which is 3 times bigger, employs 20 full time and 20 part time and sees 12,000 annual visits, doesn’t compute.

We the locals are going to pay the price, if the math is right, Okanagan Similkameen Park Reserve will only have 7 full time and 7 part time jobs and  annual visits after 38 years of establishment of 4,000 .

Parks Canada does nothing to correct misinformation delivered by a Vancouver based so called environmental group, and even repeating that misinformation to the public.

An opportunity for local stake holders to get information from the horses mouth so to speak was squashed on February 11, 2019 for the February 12th meeting, how can we have a transparent process when only one side expresses their views.

The deadline for consultation ends February 28,2019 and the only ones that can consult are the misinformed.

It is time for us to make the governments accountable to us the people.

(LRMP) https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/crown-land-water/land-use-planning/regions/thompson-okanagan/okanaganshuswap-lrmp

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