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Letters  

Protecting natural heritage

Earth Day is the perfect opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to protect wildlife in this province for future generations.

During an April 15 press conference focused on the plight of endangered mountain caribou, our premier did the opposite. Instead of using the opportunity to update long-overdue plans for an endangered species law, John Horgan told us he was delaying this initiative.

Ironically, it is because B.C. has no law protecting endangered species that it now finds itself scrambling to save critically endangered caribou herds, its hand forced by federal law.

Stewardship requires a long view.  

The government of British Columbia helped craft, and then signed, the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity, a founding document that commits members to protect species at risk. More than 25 years later, we still have no law. And literally hundreds of species in B.C. are at risk of being lost from the province, and some even from the earth itself. 

Many of these are found in the Okanagan.

British Columbians have strong and well-founded positive feelings about their natural heritage. And, like cathedrals and pyramids, many of us also feel a strong sense of responsibility to steward this heritage for our children and our grandchildren. 

It is our choice what we pass onto these future generations, and what will be lost.

We need not stand by idly as this heritage is destroyed.  

We call on British Columbians to write their MLA to remind them of the vow their government made in 1992, and again in 2017, and to urge them to push ahead quickly with enacting an action-oriented law that protects our endangered wildlife. It is too late for this year, but what a wonderful 2020 Earth Day announcement that would make.

Karen Hodges, Professor, Department of Biology, UBC Okanagan

Arne Mooers, Professor of Biodiversity, Simon Fraser University,

 



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