This week’s photo is from the Maroon Bells, near Aspen, Colorado. Like many of our national parks and wilderness areas, this one’s being loved to death. Crowds have increased to the point where shuttle busses are now required, and soon we may see a quota put on reservations. I’m all for those restrictions to better manage these amazing wild areas, but we still need to do more.
Too many of folks didn’t grow up learning and understanding how to appreciate wilderness without impacting it. Take only pictures, leave only footprints was a mantra in the Boy Scouts long ago, but we went even further, and would always pack out more than we packed in. Unfortunately that’s all too easy to do, as vandals and careless or inconsiderate visitors only think of themselves or expect that Mom’s there to clean up after them.
I have my disagreements with some in the wilderness and environmental movement – capitalism and conservation can co-exist, but finding the right mix isn’t easy. One thing we do agree on is that these amazing places need to be managed to ensure that they’re there for future generations. Do your part and Leave No Trace – and make sure that your children and friends do the same.