We are not im­mune to en­vi­ron­men­tal disas­ter


Edi­tor’s note: The fol­low­ing letter was sent to Premier Kathy Dun­derdale and Ross Wise­man, Min­is­ter of En­vi­ron­ment and Con­ser­va­tion, and copied to The Com­pass.

I just had to com­ment on the disas­ter in Ja­pan, other nat­u­ral dis­as­ters of late, and how it per­tains to the is­land of New­found­land.

As an is­land prov­ince sur­rounded by the ice-cold North At­lantic, we have one ma­jor thing go­ing for us that many parts of the world don’t. We have a safe sup­ply of pure, clean wa­ter. Peo­ple take that for granted un­til they are hit with a nat­u­ral disas­ter like what hap­pened in Ja­pan. The lit­tle brooks, ponds and gul­lies that dot our land­scapes would be a l ife­saver if na­ture ex­pel l e d its f u r y here in t h is prov­ince.

Let’s be re­al­is­tic. What hap­pened in Ja­pan could also hap­pen here. We do not know what’s in store for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions. How­ever, one thing is for sure; wa­ter qual­ity will be of para­mount im­por­tance.

The weather in this prov­ince has changed dras­ti­cally in a short time. When will peo­ple get wise and leave our re­mote wilder­ness and wa­ter­ways in peace. Like I said be­fore, re­mote wilder­ness ar­eas like Cliffty Pond, with its brooks and streams flow­ing from the hills, could save many lives in an ex­treme nat­u­ral disas­ter. Ja­pan and many other coun­tries are starv­ing for what we have.

I have writ­ten about cabin de­vel­op­ment and in­dis­crim­i­nate dump­ing in pre­vi­ous let­ters and can’t overem­pha­size the im­por­tance of lim­ited ac­cess in wilder­ness ar­eas like Cliffty Pond from a nat­u­ral disas­ter per­spec­tive.

Let’s get real here, Premier Dun­derdale, and re­scind re­mote cabin de­vel­op­ment in Cliffty Pond and other re­mote places like it. This un­sus­tain­able re­source man­age­ment scheme in re­gards to re­mote cabin de­vel­op­ment will never work in the 21st cen­tury. If there is no due dili­gence at the com­mu­nity level it’s a crime against fu­ture gen­er­a­tions and their off­spring. The re­al­ity here is na­ture could wipe out this prov­ince as well as any­where.

If we can keep 21st cen­tury garbage out of the woods and re­mote cabin de­vel­op­ment we might just have a chance. Re­scind re­mote cabin de­vel­op­ment in places like Cliffty Pond and keep our wa­ter­ways clean, for we may have our own nat­u­ral disas­ter to con­tend with. This is no joke. Could our cit­i­zens in a nat­u­ral disas­ter end up like the lone coy­ote in a bog with no safe wa­ter to drink? Tony O’Leary, West­ern Bay

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