Letter: All this in our own backyard?
Want a good workout? How about taking a shovel and burying 175 piles of human waste? Want to ramp up the workout? Try carrying 586 pounds of trash from Conundrum Hot Springs back to civilization to dispose of properly.
Does it sound like a fairy tale, or better yet, a nightmare? It happened this past summer. Six Forest Service rangers did it! How lucky are we to live here and have all this in our own backyard?
Last week, there were two significant meetings, one in Carbondale and one in Aspen, regarding the blatant disrespect some overnight hikers and campers have for our wilderness resources.
Karen Schroyer, Aspen-Sopris district ranger, presented “Wilderness in Peril: Overuse in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Area.” About 50 people attended each meeting. You can see it on YouTube. Go to “Aspen Center for Environmental Studies,” and look up “Wilderness in Peril.” The short presentation also features a four-minute film that shows in living color the human irresponsibility, degradation, disrespect and disregard for our wilderness and for one another. Though most of the overnight campers at Conundrum last summer were not Roaring Fork Valley residents, it is incumbent on each of us to be stewards of our own backyard. All you have to do is realize how fragile our wilderness is and how each of us plays a role in preserving it. If not us, then whom? Help to educate your friends from here and out of town when they go out for an enjoyable wilderness experience.
If this type of disregard for our wilderness continues, none of us will be able to have any kind of natural wilderness experience, which includes the essentials of solitude in untrammeled and undeveloped space.
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