Several months ago, I wrote a letter to The Free Press suggesting that a campground be developed in Fernie. My idea was that the town or a service group would see this as a worthwhile project to attract visitors to town as well as provide revenue for the sponsors.
Since my letter, I have learned that a private developer has applied for and obtained approval to develop a campground within the Fernie City limits.
A few weeks ago, I had an opportunity, while out bird watching, to visit the area of the proposed campground. At the moment it appears to be an abandoned field awaiting the machinery to commence the development.
As an RV owner I like to explore the area where we are staying. Accordingly, I followed a trail near the entrance to the area only to discover the most disgusting amount of garbage in the area where a squatter had lived. Everything from a tent to tarps to chairs to barbecue and all sorts of other debris was strewn around the area.
My thoughts immediately went to trying to connect between a developer wishing to attract clients to his campground and the stewardship he is demonstrating with the land at the present. The squatter’s debris field is in a beautiful birding area where many nests are present. Wildlife inhabits the wetland area adjacent to the horrific mess.
I respect that the land is privately owned and that I was a guest on the property. The questions I must pose to the developer are:
- Is your current stewardship of your land an indicator of how you will manage it when you have hundreds of visitors from all over the world?
- Do you wish to habituate animals in the area to the negative side of humanity?
- Is this the image you wish people to have of you as the developer?
In the meantime I would like to invite residents of Fernie, when they are out walking, to visit the abandoned campsite. It is accessed to your immediate left as you enter the area. Follow the trail keeping to the right. I wonder, will you feel as indignant as I do?
I would like to encourage the owner to do the right thing and clean up immediately this blight on your property. Failing that, I would have to encourage the civic authorities to review your application for a campground based upon your inability to respect the natural habitat surrounding your facility.