Editor: I applaud the decades of hard work by Ken Davies and others to have Canmore host world-class athletic events.
I also recognize the value of elite athletics to inspire us with examples of human endurance and strength.
But we need to remember humans aren’t the sole reason the Nordic Centre exists: as a provincial park and a designated habitat patch in the Bow Valley, it also comprises a vital connection in the valley’s larger system of wildlife corridors.
Here, often invisibly and without any fanfare, wild animals go about the real-life drama of navigating an increasingly human-dominated landscape to meet their daily needs.
There is no better example of the conflict that can arise when too many people, trails and events crowd such a habitat patch than the tragic story of Grizzly Bear 148.
After living several years in the Bow Valley of Banff National Park, she ventured onto the Nordic Centre and surrounding lands in 2017, and, after encountering too many people on the many trails riddling the area, was deemed too much of a safety hazard.
She was captured and shipped off to northern Alberta. She travelled into B.C. and was shot by a trophy hunter a few months later.
Maybe having a few less events at the Nordic Centre isn’t such a bad thing.
Maybe, instead of lamenting the loss of something that isn’t really necessary and only benefits humanity, we should think about dialing back our activities in such places to allow other creatures to live.