I have been following this proposal (Discovery Walk) with a great deal of interest.
Initially, I wasn’t certain that a development of this nature was appropriate, but after looking further into the concept I find that I am in full support.
Some of the concerns that people have voiced are in reality non-issues. There was concern that Brewster is American owned, but no mention that it is managed by Canadians, and that it has and continues to be a major Canadian Rockies employer.
There is also no mention that the parent company, VIAD, has lodging and transportation interests in a U.S. national park. To me, this would indicate that not only Brewster, but also the parent company, are fully aware of the importance of national parks and the preservation of natural areas.
Who would be better positioned, and trusted, to responsibly and ecologically develop an attraction? I would like to think that Brewster’s reputation for responsible development would speak for itself.
I believe the Glacier Discovery Walk would offer an incredible educational opportunity. I have stopped at this viewpoint on many occasions, and in fact it is one of my favourites. But I wonder just how little I really understand about what I am viewing.
I think that for people from around the globe to perhaps have the opportunity to better understand glaciers is important, but what I would consider to be of more importance is just how crucial watershed and river systems are to us.
I feel that it would be appropriate to include the importance of clean rivers, water conservation and the challenges that shrinking glaciers, climate change, reduced precipitation, over-development, and pollution can have on our river systems. Given the potential for a global audience, I think this would be an excellent venue.
I lived in Jasper National Park from 1975 until 2004, and now live in an unprotected area. Here I have seen the damage that certain activities have had, and continue to have, on the environment and watershed.
While there is concern here, I really do not believe the message is getting out. I am also a former Brewster employee, and I know first-hand just how responsible Brewster is. They will take whatever steps are necessary to preserve the environment and related ecology. And I believe that a development that can be constructed with minimal impact that will spread an important message would be a welcome and appropriate asset/attraction for our national parks.
Good luck to Brewster, and I look forward to visiting this venue upon completion.