Letter: Protect our backyard | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Protect our backyard

The Roan Plateau is one of Colorado’s most treasured areas. It is one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems in the state and is loved for its hunting, fishing and other outdoor recreation opportunities. In 2008, the Bureau of Land Management wrongfully finalized a plan that allowed drilling for oil and gas on the entire Roan Plateau. Parcels across the landscape were subsequently leased. Local communities and sportsmen filed a lawsuit to block this plan and won. This was a major victory for our community, but the work isn’t done.

The BLM is now completing a new management plan for the area, and I urge it to create a plan that protects the stunning wildlands on the Roan. This landscape is one that many of us are familiar with and one that many of us have enjoyed at one time or another. Whether we appreciate the Roan because it is scenic or because it boasts good hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation opportunities, in one shape or form the Roan has served us all. The Roan will never be the same if the Southeast Cliffs and the Anvil Points are developed. If Parachute and Trapper creeks do not get the protection they deserve, then we will lose important habitat for genetically pure Colorado River cutthroat. There is plenty of land on and around the Roan Plateau open for development. Coloradans support balance, and that means the BLM should protect the last undeveloped areas on the Roan Plateau for current and future generations to enjoy.

The time to be proactive about these invaluable landscapes is now. Protection is less costly and more beautiful than restoration. Conservation leaves resources like these available for future generations. We have the opportunity to be leaders and good stewards for the community we live in by standing up for what is important in the long term, not short-term economic gain that will benefit fewer people than a long-term, healthy, intact, viable ecosystem on the Roan. Our landscapes are an extension of ourselves — let’s take care of them like our heart and soul depend upon them.

Jason E. Evitt


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