A lesson about nature

Dear Editor:My name is Emma Duke. For the past month I have watched my dad research and write letters about the trail currently being constructed by RFTA near Catherine Store. His frustration and his sincere fear about this trespassing into natural habitats has consumed his every thought for more than a month.Although many think he is a “NIMBY” (Not In My Backyard), I will testify that this is not about our backyard. My dad is deeply concerned for the well-being of what could be the last untouched piece of land in our valley. As it is home to many animals (including fish, blue heron, bald eagles, deer, elk, rabbits, etc.) I too consider Crown Mountain to be part of my home; home to my most cherished memories.When I was five, my dad would row my sister and me across the river to the base of Crown Mountain. We would hike up the beautiful, untouched hill that served as a playground for many animals. After getting to the top and looking out at the scenery we would begin our race of “bush jumping” down the mountain. We not only hiked Crown Mountain, but also sat on our porch with a pair of binoculars and followed the wildlife that so freely identified that hill as their home. Just last winter, my dad took Nicky Anastas, Willy and Kelly Klein, Michell Weitzenkorn, and me up “the Crown” to observe the wildlife.As a child, I learned many lessons about wildlife and restoring nature. Growing up with a family full of environmentalists and attending the Carbondale Community School caused me to be more aware of my environment. Sadly, it seems I am more aware than our very own RFTA board members. It saddens me that I should have to be writing this letter; that people in our community would even consider putting a trail right through this treasured land is appalling. This issue is not about my family, our neighborhood or our backyards, it’s about just leaving a pristine place as it is. Please RFTA, let us enjoy this beautiful stretch of land as a true nature trail.Emma DukeAspen High School