Gems proposal endorsed |

Gems proposal endorsed

Dear Editor:

Roaring Fork Audubon is committed to the premise that bird conservation is dependent on the conservation of native ecosystems. Ecosystem health depends on the presence of a full suite of native flora and fauna, and on functioning ecological processes including migration, fire, flooding, disease, nutrient cycling and energy flow. Large, unfragmented landscapes are essential to the long-term sustainability of native populations of plants and animals and to functioning ecological processes.

Development in wildlands, including recreation, energy extraction, roads, mining and agriculture, fragments ecosystems, enables the invasion of non-natives, alters natural communities of plants and animals, degrades soils, and alters ecological processes.

Consequences have included widespread habitat loss with associated dramatic losses of native flora and fauna.

Colorado’s remaining native ecosystems are essential to the long-term survivability of our native birds, mammals, fish, amphibians, insect and plant communities, but these systems are threatened with ongoing development. Roaring Fork Audubon believes that the Hidden Gems Wilderness campaign may be the last and best chance we have to conserve large, intact landscapes in Colorado. That is why Roaring Fork Audubon unequivocally supports designation of each of the Hidden Gems as Wilderness.

Delia Malone

board member, Roaring Fork Audubon