Secretary Salazar honors Western values | AspenTimes.com

Secretary Salazar honors Western values

Dear Editor:

It is with huge gratitude that I write to you on behalf of myself and so many of my constituents here in the Colorado Rocky Mountain hamlet of Basalt for your recent Order 3310, reaffirming the BLM’s duty to identify and protect our last remaining wild lands.

As you well know, we here in the Rocky Mountain West cherish our landscapes, our wildlife, our healthy rivers and our blue skies. We depend on them for recreational tourism, for farming and ranching, and for hunting and fishing, the backbones of our local economies.

We therefore count on those stewards of our public lands like the BLM to safeguard these natural assets, now and for future generations. Order 3310 does just that, by once again allowing the BLM to designate certain lands and watersheds off limits to oil and gas drilling, road building, and motorized recreation.

For while we recognize the importance of developing domestic energy supplies, and acknowledge that many outdoorsmen prefer to do their recreating or hunting on motorized vehicles, I think we can all agree these activities – which erode the soil, fragment habitat, facilitate the spread of invasive, non-native plants, displace and disturb wildlife, and pollute the air and water – are not appropriate everywhere, and certainly not at the expense of the natural resources that sustain us and the natural beauty that brought us here in the first place.

So thank you, Secretary Salazar, for upholding our western values and livelihood, for caring about this great landscape, and for helping ensure that our grandchildren will be able to experience the great American West as it has looked, felt, sounded and smelled for millennia.

Karin Teague

Basalt


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