The more wilderness in Colorado, the better |

The more wilderness in Colorado, the better

Dear Editor:

I am very pleased that Sen. Mark Udall has launched an initiative to protect new wilderness in the central mountains of Colorado. I must admit that wilderness areas are very special to me and my family because they are places where wild nature rules, and we are just visitors. To witness life in the wild, unaffected by the development of facilities to serve human convenience, we appreciate a view of pure nature, available best where we limit human activity to travel on foot.

We treasure wilderness not just for the spiritual value it provides to us observers when we travel there on foot in summer or on skis in winter but more because wilderness is an act of human generosity toward the myriad species of animals, plants and insects that call wild nature their home. We practice dominance over nature in so many places on this Earth that leaving some places, the larger the better, in their natural state is simply the right thing to do.

The lands included in Udall’s proposal will not only provide excellent habitat for wildlife, but they also do so without compromising the amazing recreational opportunities in our area. I’ve been riding my mountain bike throughout the valley for decades, and I am happy to see a wilderness proposal that basically has no impact on the excellent mountain biking in the Roaring Fork Valley. Watching the valley change for the past three decades has left me with a strong belief that wilderness is crucial to our economy, community and environment. Each year the pressure on public lands grows as our population and technology increase. Wilderness remains the best way to ensure that there are still wild places left for future generations.

I am confident that Udall will be successful in his efforts to protect new wilderness, and I urge him to consider adding some lands to his proposal. Specifically, several areas at the headwaters of the Crystal Valley and just south of the Pitkin County line are especially deserving of wilderness protection. Though separated from us by a political boundary, places like Gallo Hill, Treasure Mountain and McClure Pass are strongly connected to the economies, towns and geography of the Roaring Fork watershed and would make great additions to Udall’s proposal.

Michael Thompson


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