Come together over Wilderness
November 12, 2009
Hurrah for Paul Andersen’s article in The Aspen Times this week supporting the Hidden Gems. One does not have to be religious or even spiritual to believe that “Wilderness is the closest thing we have to pristine creation, the closest connection we know to the awe of existence.” Why do we love it so much and want to spend all those hours out there away from the noise pollution of daily life? Go figure.
I am deeply saddened that the quest to save more land into Wilderness has become a “war” of sorts … between bikers and hikers, ATV users and horseback riders, and so on. Don’t we have enough wars going on in the world? I dream that we can come together and all support saving precious land and resources for future generations.
The Wilderness Act was passed in 1964, and that is the only legal framework we have to work with. Yes, it excludes bikes, motorized vehicles and the like, but it allows us to walk into Wilderness on our own two feet as well as on the backs of horses if walking is not an option. Most bikers and ATV users are able to hike but they choose to ride a “machine” … might they choose to walk or ride horseback on these trails instead and therefore support saving the land into Wilderness status? This could be one of those “sacrifices” that many of us make in our short lifetimes for the greater good of the whole.