Our backcountry bank

We are at the end of another year, a time for reflecting on the past and for looking ahead to the future. The Thompson River, is the longest tributary of the Fraser River, it contributes 25 per cent of the volume of the Fraser River watershed.

We are at the end of another year, a time for reflecting on the past and for looking ahead to the future. The Thompson River, is the longest tributary of the Fraser River, it contributes 25 per cent of the volume of the Fraser River watershed.

The North Thompson valley and the surrounding mountain ranges comprise one of the most pristine wilderness environments left on the planet. With undisturbed intact watersheds such as the Clearwater and Murtle, we are very fortunate to have this in the bank. This wilderness has shaped our local culture, economy and for many our way of life. We depend on our watershed to supply clean water, clean air, productive soil, jobs, spiritual meaning, food, enjoyment and recreation.

We are a mountain culture and we demand a lot of our surrounding natural world. But what do we give back? We are takers and users, stakeholders and developers, we depend on this ecosystem to sustain us and our livelihoods. With this in mind we have a responsibility to act as good stewards, to act and speak for those creatures and elements that don’t have a voice.

This year we would like to propose that backcountry enthusiasts learn more about our watershed and it’s components, as we are responsible for how our recreational activities impact our watershed.

Let us all become more educated about the status of local wildlife populations, such as Mountain Caribou and what role they play in our ecosystem. What does loosing a large ungulate species mean to us? There is not one simple reason for their precipitous decline but it is a multi-facetted problem.

There is a complex interconnected web of life in our watershed where every external action has an effect on a part of that web of life. As humans we have an integral part to play in how we conserve the essential natural elements that sustain us.

Next time your out in the backcountry sledding, skiing or snowshoeing, stop and listen, take a deep breathe, be still, feel the wind on your face, let the snowflakes cling to your eyelashes and give thanks. You have won the lottery of living in one of the most special places on earth.

From Snowy Mountain Alpine Tours