by Greg Walcher, E&E Legal Senior Policy Fellow
As appearing in the Daily Sentinel
Don’t you hate leading, when nobody follows? It’s the story of my life, so I don’t take it personally anymore. I have tried for years to lead a conversation about restoring healthy forests. Yet I continually look around and nobody’s there. Even with constant news showing the despair of people losing their homes to forest fires, most Americans remain disconnected. Maybe because it isn’t their home?
I remember the 1965 Jimmy Stewart movie “Shenandoah,” about a southern family trying to stay out of the Civil War, the patriarch stubbornly insisting, “It doesn’t concern us.” When his own son is taken prisoner, Stewart’s character finally saddles up and joins the fight, with the solemn proclamation, “Now it concerns us.”
This year Colorado lost some of its most iconic scenery, perhaps forever. Will the state take the management of these national forests and parks more seriously when some of its most cherished natural wonders go up in smoke? Or continue to ignore the inevitable result of poor management choices?