Thursday, June 17, 2010

Coalition of Park Supporters

I got my spring newsletter from the coalition of park supporters for P.A. National Park.  Those of you who use and appreciate Waskesiu should consider sending CPS a few bucks in order to get on their mailing list.  I think they have actually accomplished some change and improvement at the park over the years since they were incorporated. 


Their website is at CPS-PANP and while I don’t agree 100% with their action items I do agree with their goals.  Their mission is to keep the park true to its mandate which is to be accessible for visitation and enjoyment by the people of Canada.  Over the years the park bureaucracy has tried to twist that into a mandate to preserve the parks at any cost and with no regard for the enjoyment of the current generation of Canadians.  While no one will argue with the need to preserve these precious parts of our country, the lengths that Parks Canada has on occasion gone to in the name of preservation are nothing short of ridiculous.

A good friend of mine told me a story about his grandmother getting accosted by the park nazis for picking mushrooms in the park.  Anybody who knows anything about mushrooms will tell you that they are a fungus, that they are here today and gone tomorrow.  “Preserving” them has to consist of picking them and putting them in the fridge.  Similarly picking any wild berries in the park is strictly forbidden.  Over the years that we have visited the park we have seen some criminal stupidity on the part of park management like letting the old spruce trees die a slow death from spruce budworms and tearing the weir out of the river which allowed the marina to go dry.  Maintaining the infrastructure is a foreign concept to the park management but that criticism could be levelled at most governmental organizations.

CPS started out as the acronym for Concerned Park Supporters and sometime over the years morphed into the gentler “Coalition of Park Supporters”.  CPS has initiated as regular a program of meetings with the park management as they are allowed.  Some park managers are more amenable to listening to their customers than others.  If you know and love Waskesiu the way we do at least take the time to visit the CPS website and give them your input on how you think the park should be managed.  It likely won’t make any impact on Parks Canada but for sure if you don’t try you won’t have any impact.

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