Thursday, October 09, 2008

Vote the Environment…And Save the Roadless Areas

I’ve been waiting for the opportunity to speak my mind about the upcoming political election. I won’t propose a candidate to vote for, but I will implore you to ponder one of my most important issues. The environment is at the top of my list, period. One of my favorite quotes about the environment comes from David Brower. He said “There is no business to be done on a dead planet.” Think about it. I have and I believe it trumps every other issue on the table.
Now you’re probably thinking I’m one of those left-wing, bicycle commuting, organic food eating, Chaco wearing, righteous thirty-somethings, right? Probably, but who cares. I care about the world, this big blue ball that we live on. It provides the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat. It sustains life and without it we have nothing, we are nothing.
Whoa! Where did this come from you ask? Well, as you know, I have a lot of time to think while riding my bicycle. As I pedal I think about a lot of things – food, where we’re going to sleep, what I’m going to do when we return, and most recently, who will be the next administration in the White House. At some point I wanted to put something on the blog and I wanted it to be well said and get your attention.
Today is the day my friends. When we arrived in Bagnols Sur Ceze ( a little town in southern France) and checked email, I knew it was time.
We received an action alert from IMBA (International Mountain Bicycling Association) about Colorado Roadless Areas. The USFS is currently proposing a new management plan. The new plan will not be as strong in protecting roadless areas as compared to the original 2001 plan. I’ve spent a lot of time in these places and I feel strongly about keeping them sans roads. I won’t go into the lengthy details, but I will throw out a few facts. First, there are nine miles of roads in the National Forests for every one mile of highway in the US. Second, should the management plan change in Colorado, places like Kenosha Pass, Rabbit Ears Pass, Crested Butte, and Hermosa Creek will suffer the consequences.
So now I’ve got to bring it all together. When you vote next month, on the first Tuesday in November, think about more than your taxes, healthcare, and the war in Iraq. Think about fall colors, powder days, and when the flowers bloom in the spring. Think about the taste of a fresh tomato from the garden, the smell in the air after a summer rain, and how much you love to ride your favorite trail. Think about the environment and then vote.

Raising my righteous finger in the air,

Resources and ways to take action:
2008 Presidential Election
League of Conservation Voters
Vote the Environment

Roadless Rule
Colorado Roadless Areas Action Alert
Video from Outdoor Alliance

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