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Letter: Take care of what you love

Thank you to Joe Langereis for your recent letter about people hitting golf balls off the top of Vail Mountain. It brings up the issue of education about what is appropriate in nature and what isn’t.

This valley was conceived and built on an ethic of love and appreciation for the natural world. People came here because of their love for the mountains, wildlife, skiing and outdoor recreation opportunities. Many newcomers and visitors aren’t aware that the mountain culture also includes personal stewardship of this special place.

Eagle Summit Wilderness Alliance is an all-volunteer citizens group that educates people about the do’s and don’ts in our spectacular environment. Through face-to-face contact on the trails, we educate about Wilderness and specifically Leave No Trace principles:



  1. Plan ahead properly (water, food, first aid, map, etc.)
  2. Travel on durable surfaces (stay on the trail)
  3. Dispose of waste properly (leave only footprints)
  4. Minimize campfire impacts (scatter fire rings and remove all evidence of ash and fire)
  5. Leave what you find (take only pictures)
  6. Respect wildlife (don’t feed, tease or approach animals and keep dogs on leash)
  7. Be considerate of other visitors (golden rule)

In August alone, our volunteers spoke with over 3,000 people using trails in Eagle and Summit Counties. ESWA also helps the U.S. Forest Service maintain trails, remove noxious weeds and cut away fallen trees blocking wilderness trails.

Now that you know, please practice Leave No Trace and enjoy our beautiful mountain areas with a minimal impact. Learn more at EagleSummitWilderness.org. Take care of what you love!

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.



Frances Hartogh

East Vail


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