Letter: Thankful for new adventures in wild places | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Thankful for new adventures in wild places

This Thanksgiving, I am 2,000 miles away from my family and friends, but I am extremely thankful to be spending the holiday in Colorado. I moved from Connecticut to Denver just over two weeks ago, a college graduate in search of adventure and in search of a connection with the environmental presence in this thriving city. Not only did I hope to find a job, but also I hoped to explore national forests and parks that I never before had access to. The White River National Forest, Mesa Verde National Park and Dinosaur National Monument all existed to me previously only in photographs, and I am thankful that at this time in my life I have the chance to explore them. I know, however, that these amazing places are at risk of being fracked. Coloradans have reason to be so proud of their unique landscape, a landscape that beckons people from all over America to come experience. Locals and travelers alike need to know that wild places are out there waiting for them, forever free of views of oil- and gas-drilling rigs, roads and well pads. Colorado’s national parks and forests provide countless tourism and recreation opportunities, nourish rivers and streams that provide drinking water, and protect native wildlife. These are places where fracking does not belong, and we need to urge Sens. Michael Bennet and Mark Udall to pressure the federal government to protect our national parks and forests permanently from drilling. Permanent protection of these places will provide peace of mind that all of Colorado will be thankful for every day of the year.

Kristen Stearns