Because I promised my parents I would no longer refer to my homeland as "the sticks"… at least not on-line

July 22, 2009

Honourable Barry Penner

PO Box 9047 Stn Prov Govt

Victoria, BC V8W 9E2

Dear Minister Penner:

I am writing to ask that you preserve B.C.’s Flathead Valley as a national park and wildlife management area.

Reading the biography posted on your website, I noticed that you were raised in Chilliwack. That’s part of what those of us raised in southeastern B.C. would call “the Coast.” I live on the Coast myself, now, but living in the city for the summer is not quite the same. I miss swimming in lake water, I miss camping without having to reserve a site three months in advance, I miss seeing hummingbirds and monarch butterflies in the backyard. I even miss having to watch for bears.

I’ve been reading – in the Vancouver Sun and on the Sierra Club website – about the importance of the Flathead Valley as a grizzly bear nursery and a source of pure water. And, of course, as a potential source of coal. The thought of any of the region’s mountains trading their wildlife trails for access roads saddens me.

I notice you own website seems focused on sustainable energy options. I hope you’ll pursue these instead of the mountaintop coal mines, and send the UNESCO research team home with assurances that the area around Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park is safe from development.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,
Tanya Kyi

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