Posted on 30 May 2012 by admin
On Victoria Day, I was leading a bird watching tour to the South Okanagan Grasslands Protected Area.
Our first stop was at Turtle Pond, where we came upon two adult males and two youth who were skeet shooting.
Yes, in the middle of the afternoon, parked on the side of the road, these individuals had set up their launcher and took turns firing a shotgun at clay pigeons.
Needless to say they believed it was OK to be doing this, despite the presence of my group as well as a larger group from the Meadowlark Festival.
At the end of their shoot they undoubtedly went through hundreds of dollars of shells and pigeons, and in the end, didn’t bother to retrieve any of the broken clay pigeons, which now litter the shoreline and pond.
What examples were these adults demonstrating to their youth?
First of all, it appeared that the adults were wearing hearing protection and not the youth.
I guess these people thought it’s alright to use pristine natural areas where species at risk live to threaten their existence, despite the presence of other human beings in the immediate area. I guess they also thought it was OK to put their safety at risk. And I guess they thought nothing about the damage caused by leaving remnants of clay pigeons and lead pellets all over the forest floor and bottom of the wetlands.
All I could do was to note their licence plate number and file a report with the RCMP.
Just several hundred meters from Turtle Pond, I came across two recent dumpsites of used construction material (insulation, lumber, roofing tiles, etc.).
Rather than hauling this to the local landfill, which is easily accessible, individuals have chosen to go out of their way to dump this material rather than paying a nominal fee at the landfill.
These two acts of stupidity would have been prevented if the proposed South Okanagan-Similkameen national park was in place.
National parks protect and preserve natural landscapes and ensure ecological integrity. Parks Canada is charged with safeguarding these areas for posterity ensuring that visitors experience an environment which demonstrates our natural heritage.
Why are we continuing to permit these wanton acts of destruction and carnage to take place in our backyard? When will we say enough is enough and do the right thing?
Let’s get the provincial government to re-engage in the process and move the proposal to the next stage – the creation of a new national park.
Great Horned Owl Eco Tours