Preserve open space to offset progress |

Preserve open space to offset progress

Fred Stewart

Dear Editor,

The first great riches of the valley were accessed and enhanced with railroads and irrigation ditches. These are being replaced with highways and subdivisions. This is fine, but when they become entities unto themselves, it begs the meaning of the word “progress.” Progress does not mean change in itself; it is deliberate and steady with a predicted outcome. Progress is part and parcel of what preceded the present and what should be in the future.

To follow up on my letter of Thursday, Oct. 30, upon preserving the integrity of the valley, it’s worth a reflection back when the four-laning of Highway 82 began in the early ’60s. Do it, knowing that sentiment is nice, but there is more at stake here than remembering: it is a matter of the loss of continuity laced with lack of accountability.

To offset this kind of cultural schism, other areas of the country have set aside and preserved more land and infrastructure. They reflect on who they are, and target kernels of real estate that capture that essence. Whole adjacent areas benefit from lands that have been set aside. Rail links and bike paths on old ditch lines have been talked about in the valley, but there has not been enough energy to get it done. Too many uneducated newcomers usurping everyone’s rights, I lament. Show them what abounds and everyone will be repaid many times over.

Fred Stewart

Grand Junction

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