Protect the land forever
November 6, 2009
We, as human beings, have managed to decimate or move out whole populations of animals: the buffalo, for instance, the grizzly bear, the lynx.
It is our responsibility to be stewards of the land and to fend for wildlife. We must take care of the wildlife population as we do our children; the animals cannot fend for themselves against our constant encroachment upon the beautiful and wild landscape in which they live; this wild landscape which is also so important to us to restore our souls and to connect with the earth in its wild state.
The Hidden Gems Wilderness proposal is a chance for the citizens of the Roaring Fork Valley to protect what seems to me to be a very small portion of land when considering how much land has been developed for human use. It is selfish to block this proposal because of the restriction it causes for recreational use. I am an avid mountain biker, and there is nothing I love better than to spend hours on my bike in the backcountry.
Looking at the bigger picture, however, I have no problem in limiting where I ride if it means that an area remains protected and wild. If I wish to go to these places, I will hike in or ski. And when I am too old to do either, I will find joy in the memories of my time in these wild places. And I will revel in the thought that it was our generation that had enough forethought to protect these lands forever.
Valerie E. Gilliam
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