Vail Daily column: Thankful for our lands
Ryan Summerlin November 21, 2012
The beautiful and inspiring Rocky Mountain landscapes we enjoy in Eagle County fuel our lives and feed our souls. The purple mountain majesties, snow-capped peaks, lush green meadows, tall majestic forests and crisp clean rivers – these are the hallmarks of our beloved valley. During this time of reflection and giving of thanks, let us pause and remember why we call this very special place our home, as well as our playground. Our precious open spaces, expansive soaring views and unlimited outdoor recreational opportunities are the things that make Colorado dreams come true.
Our scenic vistas, open spaces, historic lands, waterways and wildlife habitat help define the character of our special community. We have unique and unparalleled natural beauty and natural resources all around us, and for this we should be thankful. As we give thanks today for our lives, our families, our friends, our freedoms and our country, let us also give thanks for our precious natural environment and its sustaining bounty.
Be thankful for our rivers and streams. Be thankful for our mountains and valleys. Be thankful for our ranches and meadows. Be thankful for our forests and fields. Be thankful for open spaces and the great outdoors!
Be thankful for our aspens and pines. Be thankful for our wildflowers and sage brush. Be thankful for our deer and elk. Be thankful for our bear and trout. Be thankful for our eagles and hawks. Be thankful for diverse species and abundant wildlife!
Be thankful for our ski runs and powder stashes. Be thankful for our biking trails, hiking paths and horseback rides. Be thankful for our hunting spots and fishing holes. Be thankful for our campgrounds and parks. Be thankful for our float trips and whitewater adventures. Be thankful for our snowshoeing and bird watching. Be thankful for our exciting and plentiful outdoor recreation opportunities!
We should be equally thankful for the generous and hearty spirit of the people of this community – outdoorsmen and women, sporting enthusiasts, conservationists and environmentalists, all of us – we are the stewards of our land and our water. We place a high priority on community involvement, and nowhere is that involvement more apparent than the protection of our natural resources to enhance our special quality of life. We believe in paying it forward for our future generations and leaving our natural environment better than we found it. Let us also be thankful for the people of this extraordinary community; we are the caretakers of our natural world.
Our land and our water physically sustain us and emotionally connect us. Our history and our heritage, as well as our future and our legacy, sprout from our Rocky Mountain landscapes. The open spaces and special places throughout our awe-inspiring valley guarantee our quality of life and propel our economy. The great outdoors, the exhilaration and the emotional feeling we all experience in the nature that surrounds us … this is worth being thankful. Happy thanksgiving to the entire Eagle River Valley.
Kara Heide is the executive director of the Eagle Valley Land Trust. For more information about your local Land Trust, visit www.evlt.org or contact her at 970-748-7654 or email@example.com.