Letter: Rivers 101 | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Rivers 101

Riparian areas around North Star are being compromised. They’re at risk of loosing the ability to support wildlife due to the invasion of multitudes of human visitors who do not realize the negative impact of their presence. Slightly upstream from North Star, shores of the river are being bulldozed, having severe impact on riparian zones at the rivers edge. In Basalt, the river is scheduled (potentially) to serve as a backdrop for mega development, benefiting none but a very small group of investors.

Our human population exceeds 7.8 billion, too numerous to live in wild abandon, forsaking all others. Relatively speaking, we live on a planet the size of a pea.

The more we learn, the more we realize that we know practically nothing about anything. Let us respect the world around us — we know every little about this precious world except that everything we do has consequences. Tread lightly for we have great impact.

Therefore, may we treat North Star as we’ve learned to treat such places such as the Grand Canyon; limiting access in order to preserve the environment, requiring that attendees agree, in writing, to behave with genuine respect of the environment that they are visiting.

Could we revisit our local, state and national riparian laws while issuing permits to bulldoze riparian areas (pertaining to the area upstream of North Star)? Could we renegotiate such permits once we see how detrimentally such invasions impact wildlife and the environment in general?

In the town of Basalt (where riparian areas were altered decades ago), many are pleading that we value the river’s presence. Universally, we know that the more time we spend “adoring” and “appreciating” the natural world around us the more we learn. In the town of Basalt, the river serves as a source of connection to the natural world regularly as it is physically in town. It runs “through” the town. Insightful community members urge us to welcome the river as part of our social evolution and environmental awareness by not blocking (with brick and mortar) our opportunity to be reminded daily of this natural wonder. Frequent encounters with our natural world reminds us of why it’s valuable to respect it.

Patty Lecht