Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
I support the Hidden Gems Wilderness Campaign in its totality.
Howard Zahniser believed, “We deeply need the humility to know ourselves as the dependent members of a greater community of life.” This is the ideology, the selfless self-interest, from which wilderness advocates are acting; it is far from elitist. Again, it is not about greedy hikers, nor is it about an aversion to mountain bikers. Rather, it is about the land and our place with it.
Civilization has its champions; civilization has continued to march on – relentlessly and often thoughtlessly – to ever-deeper reaches of the Earth. With a little here and a little more there, species are exterminated, habitats are destroyed, and ecosystems are disabled. And, in the process, pages are torn out of the book of life – pages written over a period of 4.6 billion years, by a power greater than ourselves, and in a language we still do not understand – pages gone forever. The Hidden Gems effort aims to preserve a little more here and a little more there; it is essentially a campaign to preserve ‘Those Little Bits Left.’
These lands represent the geography of hope for a vast majority of people who will never be reduced to “users” or “consumers” of the “commodity.” Writer Terry Tempest Williams claims she heard it best put at a congressional hearing on Alaska lands. A man in his twenties, a blind piano tuner from Texas stood up. “Gentlemen,” he said, “I may never get up to the Arctic and I certainly will never see wild Alaska, but in those days when my own world seems dark and small, just to know such places exist will fill my soul with hope.”
I encourage the politicians to have the courage to act on behalf of the voiceless and the voteless. The largest special interest group must be heard; they are the foliated, the feathered and the furred. They are the true silent majority. I have yet to hear the scientific argument which claims that more Wilderness is a bad idea?
Thinking Like a Mountain,
Trevor A. Washko
I have a story to tell. Saturday I was on my way into PetCo to deliver a cat for adoption from the Rifle Animal Shelter and also to help out at the Pet Photo with Santa Event. At Canyon Creek I had a flat tire! Two wonderful gentlemen came along and offered to help me. By the time I closed my car’s manual and put it away (opened to the chapter “How to Change a Flat Tire”) they had changed the tire! Unfortunately, the spare looked a little on the lean side. Within minutes, one of the men had called his wife and she appeared with a small air machine. I was soon on my way again. To be certain that I wouldn’t have any more problems, the men followed me … slowly … to Big O. I really needed new tires and so I decided to bite the bullet and go for four new tires. I explained to Bill at Big O about my needing to get to PetCo soon and suggested that if he could get someone to drive me, the kitty, and all of our “stuff” over to the mall, he could have my car all afternoon to mount the new tires. He offered a better solution and gave me his keys, loaded my “stuff” and the kitty crate and let me drive over in his truck (the biggest truck I’ve ever driven)! When the photo shoot slowed down, I returned to Big O to pick up my car. And if that wasn’t enough … as a result of my purchase, Big O will make a donation to the Friends of the Rifle Animal Shelter.
In this busy time with Christmas shopping, buying, wrapping, sending, decorating, writing cards, baking, planning for family and friends to visit, I realized the greatest gift anyone can give is the gift of kindness! Thank you all!
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