I was pleased to read that the U.S. Forest Service is in cooperation with the White River National Forest and the Sopris Ranger District to maintain the integrity of our wild and special places.
It is sad and shameful that those who claim to care about, enjoy and love our wild places do not have an environmental ethic that requires attention. A fire pit left hot, food in a plastic bag hung at head height on a tree branch, camping trash, dog and human waste, empty beer bottles on the picnic table and more are all unacceptable. Users, those who love and enjoy and either live here or visit here, need to accept responsibility for care of these special places. I admire Pitkin County’s concern for those who are homeless and who may need special attention. Those users usually are not the ones who destroy the place of residence. I don’t think the board members need to worry that the Forest Service won’t recognize those who are responsible and caring guests and those who are violating the rules and have yet to learn that our wild places will remain that way only with diligent care. We must become responsible public land advocates and users. Locally, we are blessed to have the many agencies and individuals and organizations dedicated to the care of our lands and our special places. Every individual must accept the responsibility of caring for these lands and special places. It is called environmental stewardship.