Inspired by Ralston | AspenTimes.com

Inspired by Ralston

Dear Editor:

We are humbled by Aron Ralston’s amazing gift of his time and celebrity to appear on the game show “Minute to Win It” on behalf of the Wilderness Workshop. We’re grateful not only for his winnings, but also for his articulate promotion of our work in front of a national audience.

Thank you, also, to his entire family for being part of the broadcast and making it such a moving event.

A number of people have asked what we plan to do with the money. The short answer is that we’re going to use it to do even more of what we already do, which is protecting our cherished backcountry.

WW is spread very thin keeping out ahead of the threats to our public lands – energy development, road-building, recreational overuse, overzealous forest health management – and, at the same time, trying to proactively protect the most critical areas through wilderness designation. Aron’s gift will provide much-needed funding for these efforts.

But Aron has made clear that he expects us not to merely use the money to fund what we already do. Rather than resting on our laurels, we’ll be seeking in the coming months to leverage Aron’s gift to raise further funds that will enable us to add new education and restoration programs.

Aron’s experience in Blue John Canyon challenges us all to consider what we would have done in that situation. Likewise, Aron’s dedication to giving back to wilderness – the wilderness that took his arm, but gave back his life – challenges us all to do the same.

Dave Reed and Sloan Shoemaker

Wilderness Workshop

Carbondale

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