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Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)

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--- Quote from: Brian Hoover on April 30, 2016, 08:45:51 AM ---I have been watching Ken Burns' film series on the history of the National Parks, which has been re-airing this past week on PBS here in the USA. This discussion reminds me that it's ironic or perhaps symbolic that John Muir, a Scotsman in American, was so influential in getting Yosemite protected as one of the first national parks.

--- End quote ---

Just curious:  have you ever been to Banff or Jasper or Cape Breton Highlands?  They provide a different take on recreation in national parks, because the Canadian government was a few years later to the party about protecting the land, and they worked in concert with the national railways.  All three are wonderful golf courses that bring many visitors to the parks each year, and seem to coexist with nature quite nicely.  At Jasper, some of the holes are fenced off to keep the big animals out, but others are unfenced to allow the animals to move across.  I highly recommend seeing any or all of them.

I'm not against conservation; I just don't know where it ends.  You could easily make the case that any of our great courses are on land that should have been preserved.  The pine barrens of southern New Jersey are now largely protected, to give one example.  Cypress Point is another obvious one, the California Coastal Commission would just say no today.  The property I saw yesterday would be off limits, too, but fortunately won't be, because of where it is.  I'm just skeptical of the people who draw their lines in the sand.


I am skeptical of much, including development on land which was deemed important enough to preserve.  The world is getting ever smaller and any chance we have to properly preserve environments is worth exploring so far as I am concerned.  I am not saying the Embo site is worth saving, but I have no problem with no golf courses in national parks because they either be public government owned courses which compete against private enterprise or rich men's playground courses at the expense of public land.  Neither scenario makes sense to me.  Sometimes, leaving things be is progress. 


Niall C:
I think maybe the issue here is that a lot of folk tend to look at this in terms of black and white. As Tom alludes to in his post about the Canadian courses, and the point I was trying to make in my earlier post, there is absolutely no reason why golf courses canít fit comfortably within or add to a national park or environmentally sensitive area, depending on how they are done. After all a golf course is only areas of cut grass that provide a habitat for all sorts of species.

The SSSI designation doesnít mean no development (a golf course is a development, as is a coastal path, in the strict meaning of planning legislation) it just means you have to tread carefully and take into consideration the environmental issues. Many existing courses have SSSI designation on part or all of their course Are the environmental issues such at Embo that that you couldnít fit a golf course in on what is I believe 250/300 acres ? I donít know but I doubt it.

Tom, I have not been to those parks in Canada that you referenced. I'm sure they are wonderful, and there are absolutely examples of places where golf courses can co-exist and/or complement nature. I don't dispute that.

But personally, I do believe there are certain places of national (and even international) interest that ought to remain entirely undeveloped and preserved for wildlife and enjoyment for future generations as raw, natural spaces. In my mind, placing a golf course or other development in the middle of Yosemite or Yellowstone or Acadia or our other national parks would be a shame.

Dave McCollum:
There is a golf course in Yosemite at Wawona.


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