Canol for the planners of today and tommorow? There are, as always, thousands of issues to balance, including First Nation’s involvement, Porcupine Caribou birthing grounds, local industrial interests, snow geese migrations, and so on. Amidst the myriad of environmental concerns surrounding such a project, the issue of access comes to the forefront of my mind when considering untouched wilderness. A frenzy of hydrocarbon exploration, seismic lines, and feeder pipes will no doubt spread out from any main Mackenzie trunk line. The effect of just a single lane dirt road is almost unfathomable. It changes the land forever. To try and express why in any long and rationalized argument would be to lose some of its essential spirit in the first place. Perhaps the only way to really know is to put on a backpack, and walk for four hundred kilometers where no car can take you. After such a journey I am convinced you will appreciate more clearly the need to carefully weigh and plan our actions when intruding on, even if just along the fringes, something as precious as an unspoilt wilderness.
The difficult we do immediately, the impossible takes a little longer.
Lieutenant General Brehon B. Summerville,
The man charged with overseeing the Canol project.