Our sacred lands deserve respect
Last summer I had the opportunity to visit Redwood National Park. I remembered the long terrible conflict which occurred trying to save the old growth redwoods from destruction. In September I had the opportunity to canoe down the Colorado River from Moab to the confluence with the Green River. I also remembered that extremely difficult struggle to save Utah’s Canyonlands. What tremendous gifts have been given to us, our children and grandchildren!
I am the descendant from an old pioneer mining family from this area. Being over 70 years of age, it is easy to remember the pristine beauty I grew up with – much of which has been changed and destroyed. My father mined in one of the proposed Hidden Gems. I hope his trail is never discovered because a trail soon becomes a road, in 10 to 15 years rutted and trashed – 25 to 50 years totally changed.
Around here, it seems, old timers are much more in favor of Hidden Gems, and the newcomers are opposed – as they want to be the last ones in. I strongly feel, and most old-timers agree, older generations took much better care of this land than later arrivals. Someone who has roots here for 50 to 60 years has bragging rights – not someone with 20 years. Old-timers displayed much more respect than today’s trash throwers.
A large part of the creation of a Hidden Gems concept is the opposition to motorized vehicles, a recent phenomenon. Of course, firefighters and real, genuine ranchers should receive special consideration.
When I see a “No Hidden Gems” bumper sticker on a vehicle, I automatically think of a recent newcomer; someone who very often displays a selfish, self-absorbed interest – without much of a thought or care about the destruction of these beautiful places. As long as their butts get in, it’s OK. History in this area has decisively shown the destructive side of man’s nature, and it’s not going to get any better!
Today this area must decide upon saving the remainder of its beautiful places, which are sacred to me as well as many other people. Your grandchildren will need, much more than people of today, the healing power of nature. They will always be extremely grateful for the very special healing gift of unspoiled nature which was handed down to them by their ancestors.