Gems will leave legacy | AspenTimes.com

Gems will leave legacy

Dear Editor:

One recurring argument used against the Hidden Gems concept is that the creation of so much wilderness would somehow place a burden on western Colorado’s economic growth because it would forbid development in those wilderness areas.

In the short term, that might be the case, but in the long term, I believe quite the opposite would be true. Tourism drives our economic engine, and one has to wonder just how many visitors would bring their dollars to our region in order to look at gas wells or to watch ATVs and dirt bikes roaring through the backcountry? My guess is that there would not be many.

The beauty of our area, the snow-capped mountains, the meadows filled with wild flowers, the pristine high-country lakes and streams, and the lush, soul-expanding tranquility experienced in the wilderness are the things that attract our visitors. They come to escape the troublesome cacophony of their own cities and towns, to avoid the discordant sounds of jackhammers and loud machines that bombard them daily. And as our cities continue to grow, the bombardment on the citizens will only increase, as will their desire to escape to more tranquil settings.

Our natural beauty, a beauty that sustains itself, cannot be duplicated through technology. We are sitting on a vast treasure that requires only that we don’t disturb it with development. That is one of many reasons why I support Hidden Gems, not for myself but for our children, our grandchildren and their children – ad infinitum.

Gaylord T. Guenin

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