I am nineteen years old and I was born in Squamish in 1994. As you grow up, things tend to change, sometimes not for the better. In regards to the changes being made in Squamish, I have to assign the latter.
It was just the other day I had stumbled upon a shared photo of a development proposition to wipe out the entire North Perth trail system. I am a frequent user of these trails and I saw the clear-cutting going on up there myself, exposing the wooden tracks built for mountain bikers like the bones of some crow-picked corpse. When walking or riding along these trails, it feels as though one has just stepped into a Jurassic Park movie: the magnificent trees thickly covered with moss, the old manís beard hanging down in wiry green curtains. Beams of heavenly sunlight cast through the giant trees illuminate the flora in a mystical pallet of greens. The silence is thick, yet occasionally broken by the sporadic call of some rainforest bird. You may find yourself never wanting to leave. This is how it is for me as I have grown to learn to appreciate the miraculous beauty of British Columbiaís rainforests.
Growing up in Squamish the forests, lakes and trails become like a second home. They become part of what makes one a British Columbian, a Canadian. They make us happy and peaceful people with adventurous hearts. They promote good health and happiness, imaginative thinking, and the ability to appreciate nature and all it has to offer. Knowing now that this trail system has the possibility of being destroyed is devastating. To think the younger generations might not have the opportunity to experience the forest the way I did as a child is disheartening in more ways than one.
As a lifelong, Squamish-born resident I am asking sincerely that the development proposition of the North Perth trail system not be accepted. I propose to build the subdivision somewhere of lower elevation where there is less of a flourishing, healthy ecosystem. Change the location of the subdivision to an area of mountain that has recently been clear-cut to avoid tearing down such a healthy area of forest. Or, do not build one at all and preserve what is left of the small town I used to adore so much.
I feel that being a Squamish resident there is a certain cultural identity that grows to encompass oneís sense of self in the time spent here. If the new generations of Squamish are to develop adventurous hearts, imaginative thinking, and a free-spirited mindset that allows all boundaries and limitations to crumble into dust, then preserve these forests. Preserve these forests, if not for the next generations, then for the greater good of mankind so that we may hold true to our ancient human indigenousness.
If we can forget the importance of the natural world that sustains us, then what hope do we have for humanity?