Last week, Rep. Jared Polis introduced the Eagle and Summit County Wilderness Preservation Act in Washington, DC. Designating Wilderness requires a daring and almost oxymoronic political act - one that contemplates and values future generations and the long-term over the immediate wants of a seemingly insatiable 21st century populace.
It is an act of humility by the planet's least-humble member. It is a rejection of the notion of earth as mere playground, or resource, in favor of earth as life-sustaining home. It is a recognition of the wisdom of the natural world and its processes, of its bounty and beauty when left unmolested, and of its innate right to exist as it is.
In return for simply being left alone, Wilderness gives back clean air, clean water, and intact ecosystems that support healthy populations of native plants and animals. And Wilderness affords all people the chance to experience wild nature and radical quiet.
Thank you, Rep. Polis, for your vision - for your willingness to trade the votes of those who see Wilderness solely through the narrow lens of who can ride which toys where for posterity, for the good will of generations to come who will thank you for your prescience, and for the gratitude the earth emanates in Wilderness.