Protect what’s left
The lead article in Thursday’s Aspen Times reports on the differences between the Forest Service proposed White River Travel Management Plan and the position of motorized groups opposed to additional travel restrictions.
The western part of our country has been particularly blessed in that we still have preserved wild and wilderness areas minimally affected by the impact of modern civilization, people, buildings, roads, etc. Very few if any other developed countries enjoy this gift. It seems logical that we, the American people, would want to protect these unique places in their natural state for our children and grandchildren as long as humanly possible.
We should think of them as money in the bank, to save and preserve as long as we are able. Once spent, in this case once developed, they cannot ever be returned.
The extent to which these lands are utilized by people is unimportant. They are there for all wild things and, most important, protected as a dwindling part of our wild and natural heritage.
To paraphrase David Brower, past president of the Sierra Club, when asked if, based at a desk in an office in Washington, D.C., he did not miss experiencing the western wilderness to which he was dedicated to preserve, replied “just knowing it is there is reward enough.”
It would appear that there is sufficient land outside of the proposed protected lands for those whose interest is in motorized activity, four-wheel drive, dirt bike, snowmobiles, etc., to enjoy their recreational pastime.
If future generations decide differently so be it.
It just seems unnecessarily premature to not protect these unique places of our White River Forest at this time and given this opportunity.
Broadcaster Jim Williams of KSPN and KNFO is leaving the valley after eight years of serving as the voice of Aspen, Basalt and Roaring Fork high school’s sports.