Letters to the Editor

A reader writes about the uncertain future of Historic Hat Creek

Dear Editor,

I am writing to express my concern, once again, about Historic Hat Creek Ranch.

The preservation and continued assurance of support for this historic site cannot be over-estimated. The management of the site over the past decade now seems to be threatened with uncertainty. There has even been the suggestion that the present names of the ranch and the geography surrounding it might be changed.

Whomever the site is managed by in the years ahead, an assurance of continued support needs to be addressed. No historic site can operate on a year-to-year basis financially. The question is: does the Province of British Columbia really want to preserve its history, or not?

History is big business. Not only here, but everywhere. Why do people go to Ireland, England, and other European countries? They go to soak in their histories. Tourism, for some European countries, is their main economic driver.

Having spent some time recently at Historic Hat Creek Ranch, I saw busloads of tourists stopping at the ranch: some only to eat, but others to tour, taking in some of the early western atmosphere of the place. I cannot understand, then, the seeming inability of the bureaucrats in Victoria responsible for the maintenance of the ranch to assure continuity of this valuable site.

The stability of any operation, be it tourist or any other business, is vital. I don’t see why the present operation of the site, shared with the Bonaparte Indian Band, cannot continue in its present, seemingly successful, form. The big factor is money. Handing over the operation to any agency, be it Native or other any other, must, of necessity, be assured. Continuity of operation is a given.

As a former chief interpreter and tour guide at Historic Hat Creek Ranch who has researched the site and its history, it seems the financial investment that has been made in the ranch should be assured. I would prevail upon our MLA, Jackie Tegart, and other friends of the ranch to impress upon the agencies responsible the need to assure the financial security of this valuable resource.

Esther Darlington

Ashcroft, B.C.


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