Conservationists -- Are they becoming a "species-at-risk" in an urbanized environment?
The "super natural" North Shore forests (North and West Vancouver) are becoming heavily "urbanized". I look at the North Shore as three "urban"
municipalities…perhaps urban parks are the best we can do here now. There are
too many people that want to do "urban recreation" in a natural forest settings. They think they are getting away from it all, yet ironically bringing it all with them into those very forests.
These residents and our local governments do not seem to value wild animals and natural
forest growth over their own comforts and convenience…
Our North Shore forests/parkland/natural places are slowly becoming like
Park, Vancouver, BC, with no controls on
how many people go into park and very little control over what people do in the
park. There is little wildlife left there, and less to be seen as time marches on. People that want a more natural/rural setting to live beside will eventually move away from the North Shore to find it.
The problem is: the more people that
move away for a more natural/rural setting, the more other people will move to these urban-ized areas, without a
connection with nature, taking their place. Comfort, convenience and easy access to trails and
parks are what these more nature-deficit urban residents will demand. If you look at
College’s curriculum in the
recreation and tourism department…mountain biking skills, etc… are a part of the
I don’t believe it will be removed …it is a huge industry within the
tourism industry and BC has prime world-renowned sites, one being the North Shore. I don’t even want to know
what Seymour Mountain will look like in 5 years….it is a mess where I walk now!
So serious local conservation activists will have
to decide where they can be happy as time goes on…we have to find some peace of
mind and work on issues where we can make the most difference. But when do we say, “I’ve hit a wall, things are not
going to change, at least in my time-frame…”?
Some of those activists have already reached that point
on the North
Shore, and have gone looking for a more
harmonious place to live ….where their conservation volunteer time will go toward something they can really make a difference in -- with a like-minded, supportive network.
Can those serious conservationists who stay behind really help protect the North Shore forest and mountains from ongoing "city-fication"? It is not an easy answer, anymore, with the relentless push for development of housing, roads and recreational amenities further up our forested mountains in North and West Vancouver, BC Canada.
(This article was inspired by a passionate fellow conservationist/activist who "hit the wall" fighting for the conservation of our wildlife on the North Shore, and has since moved away to a "rural" setting "somewhere in BC")