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SUPPORT FOR NATIONAL PARK IN SOUTH OKANAGAN VERY STRONG, SAYS READER
There is considerably more local support for the proposed National Park in the Okanagan – Similkameen than indicated in your article of January 25.
The poll by McAllister Opinion Research conducted in May 2010 drew at random the names and phone numbers of only local residents in the South Okanagan and Similkameen.
These unbiased and statistically valid results showed that 63 per cent of local residents favoured such a national park, 26 per cent opposed it, and 11 per cent were undecided.
Thus, those locals favouring the park outnumber locals opposed by more than 2 to 1.
It is important to most residents in this area that the biodiversity here in the South Okanagan and Similkameen valleys be protected and preserved for future generations through national park status.
We have a higher proportion of rare and endangered plants and animals here than any other location in Canada and these can best be protected by protecting the lands and habitats which they depend on.
In the time since the park study began, many land parcels which would have been suitable for such a park have already been sold and committed to other uses.
Parks Canada staff have always maintained that the proposed park would include only lands purchased from willing sellers (i.e. no expropriation) and only those lands which meet the criteria established for this park.
This would apply to any lands to be included in the park which are presently owned or controlled by the province of British Columbia.