Proud to be NIMBY | AspenTimes.com

Proud to be NIMBY

BANANA: Build absolutely nothing anywhere near anything. With more people it's becoming more difficult to find acceptable sites for even the most necessary facilities and improvements. But this is not the fault of NIMBYs. In truth, NIMBYs are some of the great American heroes. What's more American than defense of house, home and family?

The nasty stigma is propagated primarily by government and corporate America. NIMBYs tend to be very inconvenient to self-serving politicians and greedy businessmen (ie. Trump golf courses). They generally crop up when something's out of line.

Having lost a small fortune when nearby neighbors shut down my expensive new compost facility, and having opposed a very popular bike trail that destroyed wildlife habitat literally "in my back yard," I'm familiar with both sides of this issue. It was a course on hazardous material remediation and litigation at the University of Wisconsin (compliments of Pitkin County; thanks, y'all!) that enlightened me to the true value of NIMBYs. Many of the most serious, dangerous, and polluting cases of illegal haz-mat disposal have been first reported by vigilant neighbors, often the little old ladies generally referred to as "busy bodies" — NIMBYs.

NIMBYs are a logical, effective, and necessary extension of law enforcement and regulatory agencies. Neither could function very well without them. NIMBYs are an essential ingredient of the glue that holds this nation together. In a broad sense, the term includes efforts such as neighborhood watch groups and volunteer fire departments.

I don't oppose bike trails. I love biking and bike trails, even in my back yard. I despise disregard for wildlife or the environment in general. When I see wrongdoings, especially to innocent and helpless victims such as wildlife, I will oppose them. The closer it is to home, the stronger will be my opposition. I hope and assume that most folks feel the same way.

Jim Duke

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