PI Editorial: We’re all responsible for keeping things safe and sane this summer | PostIndependent.com

PI Editorial: We’re all responsible for keeping things safe and sane this summer

Post Independent Editorial Board

We’ve got some work to do this summer.

The Garfield County community currently faces a number of challenges, but that doesn’t mean you or I are powerless in the face of them. When it comes to fire prevention, minimizing wildlife conflicts and keeping our public lands clean and pristine, we all have a role to play — and in doing so, can help our community even on the individual level.

— First off, let’s talk about minimizing fire risk for everyone in our community this summer. With the Fourth of July right around the corner, some people might be feeling the urge to make a few bangs and pops here and there. Please, just don’t. There are plenty of ways to celebrate the nation’s independence — barbecues, pool games, good music are just a few options — without putting our entire community at risk of yet another major fire.

— Secondly, consider the bears. Glenwood Springs in particular has seen more bear activity than usual this year. Many of us are not doing our part to keep potential food sources locked and kept out of reach from our ursine neighbors. There’s even concern that some people are intentionally feeding them. We need to take more responsibility for our actions and have more respect for the wild nature of where we live. Keep your trash locked up or put away in a garage or other secure space and don’t even think about leaving a treat out for them or any other wildlife. Whether it’s bears, deer or even chipmunks, teaching a wild animal to see us as a source of food is almost certainly a death sentence for that creature.

— Finally, consider this recent story from High Country News highlighting the strain we are putting on some of our most treasured natural spaces. One Zion National Park ranger even reported hauling out 9 pounds of human feces from just one stretch of trail last summer. Now, you might think that you would never pop a squat right next to a trail, but what about your dog? Canines have a lot more freedom in choosing where to go, but we have to do our part as their stewards and pack it out. That doesn’t mean bagging it and leaving it on the trail, either. To borrow a phrase from a Duluth ad campaign, there is no poop fairy. As is obvious, the same goes for trash and everything else we bring into the outdoors with us. Pack it out.

The bottom line is that we are seeing a lot of signs that we aren’t taking our roles as individuals within a community very seriously. Most of us choose to live here because of the access to public lands, but that privilege comes with great responsibility. If we won’t take care of our environment, who will?

The Post Independent editorial board members are Publisher Bryce Jacobson, Editor Peter Baumann, Managing Editor/Senior Reporter John Stroud, and community representatives Amy Connerton and Karl Oelke.

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