Letter: Leave it as it is
In response to Mick Ireland’s commentary (“Keep open space, open,” Aspen Daily News, June 20):
Hi, Mick — a group named Responsible Citizens for Open Space has been organized. In principle, we are opposed to a 25-year or even 20-year extension of the tax to Pitkin County Open Space and Trails, as no entity anywhere deserves a tenure of that length. Open Space and Trails wants to redefine “trails” as “transportation corridors” and to change the name “historic agriculture” to just “agriculture.” We are vehemently opposed to such name changes, as they are historical and valid names. What purpose would the name changes serve? We also are opposed to humans invading the backcountry where wildlife has been disrupted so badly that mountain lions are now invading rural areas such as Woody Creek and mauling small children because of man-made trails that go into the wilderness, where people don’t belong on bicycles or any motorized vehicles, often even foot traffic. The bears, lions, elk, deer, bobcats and so on don’t have anywhere left to go but to invade our backyards here in Woody Creek, where we try to keep a balanced life of farming, ranching and fostering the wildlife in the backcountry, which is becoming increasingly difficult. Yes, we want to keep a gravel and rural road for a trail system, as this is a rural area. You are in an urban area where the roads are paved, and I assume you want to keep those roads paved and urban. We don’t try to impose our will on you; why impose your wants on us down here in Woody Creek or in our rural ranching areas? It does not make any sense, Mick — leave us to our lives here, and stop funneling your agenda and activities into our backyards, where they impact more than just farmers and ranchers and just plain folk trying to live a rural existence, as it hugely affects the wildlife that is severely impacted by your wants and needs. There are dozens of trails already and dozens of places to ride your bicycle, so have at it, but stay out of Woody Creek if you don’t like it the way it is, and leave our neighborhood alone!
As Theodore Roosevelt said: “Leave it as it is. You cannot improve on it. The ages have been at work on it, and man can only mar it.”
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With all the noise around testing Ms. Owens, I fear the real testing issues for our community, which impact our lives and livelihood, have been missed by one and all.