The Flathead won’t become Banff

The information put out by the strongest opponents of the proposed expansion of the Waterton/Glacier is somewhat misleading by way of inaccuracy and omissions.They omit informing us that the proposed expansion of this national park is into only the most south easterly third of the Flathead by simply stating “the Flathead” in their material. Tembec will survive in Elko just fine without logging that area and there is two thirds of the Flathead left for all those other activities, not allowed in National Parks, too.The inaccuracy is in wanting us to conjure up visions of Banff when they talk about town sites, highways and railroads and show pictures of the Banff Springs Hotel. Well that situation, or anything close to it, is not on the table.If this expansion is to occur, the Flathead portion of the park will have a Parks Canada Zone II designation. Areas with this designation are intended to encompass extensive areas that provide good representation of the natural region and will be maintained in a wilderness state. Protecting ecosystems where there is minimal human interference is the key management goal. Zone II areas offer opportunities for visitors to experience the park’s ecological characteristics first hand with few, if any, rudimentary services and facilities. Visitors will be able to experience solitude and undisturbed natural areas while participating in compatible forms of outdoor recreation; such as, hiking and back country camping. Infrastructure is restricted to rudimentary facilities; such as hiking trails and backcountry campsites. Travel within such a Zone II area will be by non-motorized means only.In deciding where you are on this issue, keep this picture in mind; not Banff and all that goes with it.The remoteness of this area and the Zone II designation dictates it would never approximate Banff.There will be no town site, no hotels, no shops, no highways, no serious traffic, no bus loads of tourists, nothing of the sort. Think, “solitude” and “undisturbed natural areas,” not masses and souvenir shops. Please! Make a properly informed decision.Ted RalfeFernie

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