Vail Daily letter: Wildland protection essential for water
Vail, CO, Colorado
I am writing to thank Sen. Udall for taking the initiative to protect more of Colorado’s wildlands. He knows, as do most Colorado citizens, that our wild and scenic areas are what bring tourist dollars to our economy.
But even more importantly, we rely on these pristine areas to filter and store our precious water resources. I have been involved with Colorado’s River Watch program for 15 years now and am currently monitoring eight stream and river sites, sending in data to the network.
Many people do not realize that sedimentation is one of the worst kinds of water pollution in that the sediments tend to stay in the streambed, destroying valuable habitat for aquatic life.
Other types of pollution will often wash downstream and only have a temporary impact.
Development of wildlands adds sediment pollution to our watersheds. Fortunately, the wildlands that Senator Udall seeks to protect do not currently have roads or mechanized trails in them, so we will not be losing current recreational opportunities by protecting these areas.
Wilderness areas have served, through recreational hiking and backpacking, to connect humans with relatively uncontaminated (by human activity) environments, exposing them to the wonder and breathtaking beauty of clear mountain lakes and streams and rainbows in the mist of waterfalls.
We protect what we love, we love what we value, and we value what we understand.
Water is the essence of life on this planet. It is possible for humans to contaminate and damage the water resources on this planet to the extent that it makes us all less healthy. Is that what we want?
As we prioritize our choices, I hope that protecting our watersheds for the future will be paramount. Thank you so much, Sen. Udall, for stepping up and encouraging us all to protect our future and that of future generations!