It has become a holiday tradition for me to share with you a picture of the backcountry.
This photo, taken by my coworker Suzie during a team camping trip, is of the Stein Valley Nlaka’pamux Heritage Park — southwestern British Columbia’s only remaining intact watershed.
Gaze at the crystal ball and you get a sense of this spectacular place: A vast wilderness flanked by snow-capped mountains that feed pristine waters, where rainbow trout and Chinook salmon jump and glide. Black bear, marmot, and mountain goat live deep in the valleys and on the craggy slopes. Overhead golden eagles soar.
But beyond the camera’s eye, destruction lurks. Industrial logging has defaced and altered much of the land surrounding the park.
That the Stein Valley itself remains intact is thanks to Indigenous land defenders and environmental activists whose 30-years of combined efforts culminated in 1994, when the B.C. government declared the 110,000 hectare watershed a provincial park.
And that brings me to why I wanted to share this photo with you.
I don’t profess to be a fortune-teller, but the crystal ball does bring a sliver of Canada’s majestic wilderness into focus, revealing a powerful vision of what’s possible when we — you and Ecojustice — work together to defend the air, land, and water that sustains us all. It’s reminder that a brighter environmental future it is within reach.
Thank you for all that you do to build the case for a better earth. On behalf of the entire Ecojustice team, I wish you a safe and happy holiday season.