As humans we create rules, sometimes to make things safer, as with speed limits, and sometimes to make things more rewarding and enjoyable for us, as with the rules we make for the games we play.
Our games are almost totally defined and shaped by their different rules.
Without rules, there wouldn’t be much difference between hockey, chess, or ping pong.
We would simply win all games by beating our opponents into submission.
Obviously, rules help us to learn and grow in many valuable ways. Most people easily understand this, because we’re taught from a very young age.
Many of my personal joys and values came to me from a different direction.
My dad first took me into Strathcona Park when I was seven years old, and I began to form many of the values and appreciations I still hold today.
The values of games and their necessary rules are second nature to most people.
We learn that our games are worth more to us as human beings if we voluntarily exclude unsuitable human behaviours.
Unfortunately we receive almost no such education with regard to our wilderness parks.
The value of our wilderness parks (for which, incidentally, there’s no official designation in BC) comes almost entirely from the exclusion of unsuitable human activities.
Although it seems hard to grasp that something can be made more valuable by excluding something else, it’s true.
It’s true for our games, and it’s true for our wilderness parks. The more unsuitable activities we allow into our parks, the more worthless and meaningless they become.
That’s why it’s important for me, and people like me who care about our wilderness parks, to fight and keep fighting government efforts to force high-impact commercial exploitation into areas like the Bedwell Valley in Strathcona Park.