Kiss the caribou goodbye. (Jacquie Palmer)

Kiss the caribou goodbye. (Jacquie Palmer)

LETTER: Kiss the caribou goodbye

Kiss the caribou goodbye Revelstoke!

The $1.1 million funding from the B.C. government slated for seven caribou habitat restoration projects throughout B.C. will afford lots of little trees. Maybe there’ll be some lichen transplants to hang on their branches when they get a little bigger in 80 years or so.

Caribou habitat loss and disruption is now acknowledged as the primary cause precipitating the near extinction of the caribou. Lichen is their main diet.

READ MORE: Province announces $1.1 million in funding to restore caribou habitat

If we are serious, let’s begin by protecting the last remaining stands of ancient forest including those found in the Rainbow Jordan Wilderness area and the Incomappleux Valley on our doorstep.

Would you believe, here in the world’s only Inland Temperate Rainforest, the last of the 1,000 to 2,000 year old trees of the ancient rain forests are still being logged and remain unprotected.

In contrast the Old Growth Forest is defined by trees 100 years old and older, mostly secondary growth and insignificant compared to the monumental trees of the ancient forest.

The ancient forest drips with a banquet of lichen. It supports a rare and exotic ecosystem of flora, fauna and biota found nowhere else on the planet. It’s truly an awesome place and it’s ours!

READ MORE: Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Who cares? Well, I’m happy that our council has stated in its new vision statement for Revelstoke’s Official Community Plan that “Environmental protection and stewardship” and the concept of preserving “Revelstoke’s uniqueness” are foremost priorities.

This could be meaningful if our municipal government and the Columbia Shuswap Regional District teamed with our provincial government to embrace this vision and designate these irreplaceable gems to park status.

Then we will be able to introduce our grandchildren to some truly amazing giants and Revelstoke’s reindeer, the caribou.

-Jacquie Palmer, Revelstoke

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