Friday, July 23, 2010

Bowen Island National Park?

The federal government has formally begun its one year feasibility study for a national park for Bowen Island.

I had heard that this was under consideration, and now the planning process has begun.

I'm not sure which lands are under consideration. Obviously Crown lands, which means one of the three mountain tops. Cape Roger Curtis is not one of these parcels obviously, as it is private land, and it is being logged, smoothed out and prepared for houses now. It's gone.

Which is too bad, because there was a time when we could have bought that land for $16 million and made it into a park. But the current owners beat the community to the punch and came up with the money before we could raise it all.

At any rate, what do you make of the idea of a national park on Bowen? It represents a shift in what we think of as a national park for sure. Not too many small rural stands of second growth forest are represented in the national parks catalogue. Do you worry that too many people will come and overrun the place? Or is it just a good way to protect existing Crown land.

One thing for sure, the possibility might exist to put more Skwxwu7mesh identity on the land here. Obviously any conversion of Crown land to park requires consultation with the Squamish Nation. It would be good if we, as a community were to approach them to enter into a relationship with the Nation in whose territory we reside. That would be a welcome change, rather than letting the federal government be the ones to blunder through the relationship.

I'm up for helping on that.