Gems speak to all | AspenTimes.com

Gems speak to all

Dear Editor:

As an individual and a member of the Great Old Broads for Wilderness, I’d like to share a petition going to legislators and others this fall. This petition speaks to the Hidden Gems Wilderness proposal as well.

I support the opportunity to enjoy places where nature reigns supreme, where the solitude and quiet is hauntingly beautiful, and where evidence of development and the noise and pollution of off-road vehicles are absent.

Protecting wild, pristine places ensures that families are free to hike, backpack, camp, watch wildlife, hunt, fish, and experience intact natural landscapes.

Those of us with strength of body and spirit, young and old alike, enjoy accessing the scenic splendors of our public lands by non-motorized means. We even recognize that there are some places that are inaccessible to all but the hardiest of explorers. We humbly accept this reality.

Those of us who are unable to explore the depths of the wilderness because of physical limitations heartily support the preservation of roadless areas. We have the generosity of spirit to take joy in the fact that others, now and for generations to come, can intimately experience our unspoiled wildlands, even if we cannot.

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The parts of “the Gems” I have hiked in are irreplaceable: Hay Park filled with songbirds and wildflowers, Seven Castle’s hidden waterfall over red rock and moss, Clear Creek’s high-grass meadows, and the Huntsman’s Ridge wild open country with panoramic views of Chair Mountain and the Crystal River Valley below.

In the words of John Muir, “Wildness is an essential part of our souls that our ordinary lives tend to make us forget.” Don’t lose this opportunity. Unprotected, we may not have a chance to keep it wild.

Karen Ryman

Aspen