Conservation bill too important to be misunderstood

The National Trust is disappointed with the editorial of Nov. 25, 2013. At a time when the public is trying to distinguish the facts from the myths surrounding the National Conservation Bill, the editor has misinformed the public in relation to certain aspects of the bill.

With a better understanding of the bill, the editor would have been able to accurately report that the bill does not impose any restrictions on private land owners nor does it grant the government any power to interfere with land held privately. On the contrary, the bill is designed to protect environmentally significant Crown land. In fact, under the bill, any participation by private land owners to conserve their land is completely voluntary and not an obligation.

We would encourage the Compass to take extra care as it proposes to delve deeper into this topic in order to ensure that accurate information is being reported. This proposed legislation is too important on a national and international level to continue to be misunderstood. We would also urge the editor to familiarize himself with the international obligations which the government are required to meet. We hope that once the editor is able to speak from an informed position, he will conclude as we do, that this bill is long overdue.

Indeed it is our duty as citizens to be good stewards of our environment and we applaud Minister [Wayne] Panton for bringing the bill to the Legislative Assembly. In the words of President Ronald Reagan “if not us, who and if not now when?”

Carla Reid,
National Trust