Having moved to Vail in 1966, I became quite interested in and well acquainted with edible native plants of the Rocky Mountains, often through two Vail legends, Ella Knox and Barbara Parker. When I forayed for mushrooms on the mountain, I often was the only one. My passion escalated every summer. But, as I observed more and more people taking up my same interest, I would say to myself, please, let me never see the day when a permit is required! Well, that day is here!
Recently, I attended a seminar at the Four Seasons with the knowledgeable Larry Evans, only to be informed this year a permit is required by the Forest Service. Why? And what is the motivation behind this? Is it simply Vail Valley or all of Colorado?
As an environmentalist, it is not that I object to protecting nature, but why a permit? If greed and ravaging and pillaging the mountainside is the reason, please allow me to encourage those newcomers to educate themselves — either by taking a class (perhaps at our wonderful Walking Mountains or down in Denver at the botanic center) or through books, so as to discourage needless waste in their personal learning process.
Remember these precious pockets of intense vegetation are ours only to borrow from our children. Let us promise to have a fierce loyalty to them and know “in wildness is the preservation of the world.”
Kay Kauzlarich Cherry