They must become the sacred places they used to be

Places of the heart

A view of Two Jack Lake high quality designer replica handbags wholesale in Banff National Park is shown in this undated handout. The winding roads that snake through Jasper National Park to Lake Minnewanka near Banff tie together some of the scenic wonders of the world.

HO/The Canadian Press

JEFF GAILUSLast summer, I led six intrepid university students through the southern Canadian Rockies to study fake designer bags conservation biology and community based conservation in the real world. None of the five Americans and one Ontarian had ever been to Banff, but they knew of its reputation Designer Louis Vuitton Replica Handbags and were keen to experience it. But as we passed the park gates and drove replica designer handbags into Banff Townsite to pick up our backcountry permits, the students were utterly shocked at what they found in Canada’s first and most famous national park.

“I was surprised to learn as we barrelled down the Trans Canada Highway that we aaa replica designer handbags were already in the park,” wrote one of the students in her final paper. “The town of Banff was full of people bustling in and out of the Starbucks, Louis Vuitton and Gap stores that lined the streets. It was difficult to grasp that we were in a national park when surrounded by such a developed urban environment.”

Protected Discount Replica Louis Vuitton Bags area? Banff’s new management plan provides more protection for consumers and the businesses that serve them than it does its grizzly bears, which die in unsustainable numbers in and around the park. And Minister of Environment Jim Prentice’s approval last month of a host of new activities including zip lines and Discount Replica Louis Vuitton Bags canopy tours and via ferrata is just the latest in a series of decisions that are turning our national parks into profit centres designed to titillate and amuse rather than to honour and protect.

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These policies replica louis vuitton are based on a false assumption that has been handed down by Ottawa to be flogged by the very people who should know better. Greg Fenton, superintendent of Jasper National Park, cheap replica handbags has said that the very future of these parks depends on getting more people to visit and appreciate them.

There is no question we need natural places that provide us with positive experiences, but our behaviour in these protected remnants of wilderness must be defined by understanding and respect Fake Louis Vuitton Replica Bags , not the unconscious cravings of desire. If we do not protect what is left of our parks from our insidious industriousness, we will lose, in the words of James Harkin, Canada’s first commissioner of national parks, “the very thing that distinguishes [our national parks]from the outside world.”

The Canada National Parks Act clearly states that the first priority of our national parks is to maintain and restore ecological integrity, but it is clear to anyone who cares to look that we have allowed too much of the outside world to creep within their borders. What we are maintaining in our national parks today is not ecological integrity, but the illusion of integrity. Like molecules of mercury each one harmless 1:1 replica handbags Fake Louis Vuitton Replica Bags , accumulation deadly the tyranny of small decisions is destroying their very essence.

Far from connecting Canadians to our national parks and the natural world they are meant to Fake Louis Vuitton Replica Bags safeguard, a visit to Banff actually distances us from the ecological realities our leaders choose to ignore it reinforces the myth that we are responsible environmental stewards, and creates the illusion that we can have our cake and eat it too. Cemented in our imaginations by the wire fences and lofty crossing structures that allow us to speed smugly through the Bow Valley, the fantasy that has been created in our national parks is part of a larger strategy to develop in Canadians and our visitors a false sense of accomplishment a kind of blind faith in the integrity of our environmental track record.

Since the 1990s, “the federal government has engaged in greenwashing as part of its search for environmental legitimacy,” writes Douglas MacDonald, a senior lecturer at the University of Toronto, in the most recent issue of the International Journal of Canadian Studies.

We need a renaissance in the way our national parks are managed. They must become the sacred places they used to be, places of giving rather than taking places of the heart, not the wallet. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way.

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