Open-space areas benefit all |

Open-space areas benefit all

Dear Editor:

We are lucky to have people like Dorothea Farris and Dale Will working hard to secure land into the public trust. Special areas like Thompson Creek Open Space, Red Wind Point Open Space and Filoha Meadows, all along the Crystal River, would have fallen, like the lands surrounding them, to development, with roads, leach fields and homes disturbing the wildlife and fragmenting lands that were once pristine habitat.

Because of Pitkin County Open Space and Trails these areas, once private and closed off, will eventually be enjoyed by those who appreciate them enough to visit. Open Space and Trails has done excellent and thorough work putting together wildlife studies and land-management plans that carefully consider the needs of the wildlife, adjacent community and public right of access.

It would be a shame if the natural fears of people living near these areas succeed in closing them to serving a greater need for animals and man.

As for human-animal interface/ impact, I’m encouraged by the signs of use at animal crossings above Catherine’s Bridge and the tales of animal sightings by the users of the Rio Grande Trail there. This remote section of the trail, like National Park trails, demonstrates that animals and flora can thrive with respectful, appreciative use by people. I’ve seen that wildlife, like children, prosper under the admiring attention of a respectful audience.

I imagine the herons will return when the ospreys that moved in this spring move on, and when the heavy machinery working on adjacent lands through winter and spring finish up.

John Hoffmann