Letter: Remember May 16 is Colorado Public Lands Day | SteamboatToday.com

Letter: Remember May 16 is Colorado Public Lands Day

We need nature to nurture us. I am sure that many of you have heard this phrase spoken by friends or from discussions about the positive impacts that nature can have on maturing children. I think about the many couples, individuals, elderly and families who are quarantined in their tiny apartments or small homes in the larger towns and big cities. There are few parks in those cities, and those that have access to such public places fear for the lack of safe space and the contagious coronavirus as a threat to their safety.

Those of us who live in the Yampa Valley are lucky as there is a very small population and a great deal of public space and public lands surrounding our homes. When we are asked to stay at home that includes these public lands that surround us, as long as we follow medical scientists’ recommendations of 6-feet spacing, washing hands and not gathering in groups of more than 10.

As each of us struggle with the quarantine that protects the health of all our community from the coronavirus, the positive community response has given hope to many of us. Yet at the same time this pandemic has been used to undermine the protection of public lands and our health. In the wake of the coronavirus, many laws that protect the water we drink, the air we breathe, the food we eat, the good health we need and the public ;ands that keep our spirits up are being undermined by the present administration to the benefit of a few influential special interests.

Right now our main focus is on staying healthy, preventing others from becoming sick and preparing to open up our economy safely. We should be especially wary of those who would degrade our public lands and sacrifice our economy in the name of getting their own economic interests going first.

Let us continue to protect the public lands that surround us, which gives the community the energy, emotional solace and the nature to nurture us through this pandemic. Remember Colorado Public Lands Day is May 16.

John Spezia
Steamboat Springs

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