Don’t mess with Wildernest |

Don’t mess with Wildernest

Patricia McNeelege - Wildernest

I applaud all the letters to the editor regarding the Wildernest Fire Station, especially Dave Weissman’s very informative letter June 28. I probably missed some of the letters because I was out of town for Ride the Rockies. The ones I did read, I found most helpful.Cheers to the firefighters and police officers who responded to the fire.I have lived full time in Wildernest for four years and I was unaware the fire station was not staffed. When the Treehouse Guest clubhouse burned down in 2000, the firefighters did an excellent job to contain the fire. I also believe they did an excellent job with the recent Deck Gore Range fire despite some idiot drivers not pulling over for the equipment on Buffalo Mountain Drive. I was on Buffalo Mountain Drive when the emergency vehicles were coming up the hill.When I heard that the Wildernest fire station was closed, I was more than angry. Why? Because I was one of those voters who approved the mill levy increase for the fire district in 2001. The next time you ask to raise our property taxes, make sure you fund that fire station. Otherwise, don’t even bother asking the residents of Wildernest to pass the measure.For the past four years, I have heard more and more about how Summit County ignores the issues of Wildernest. I’ll give you a list of issues. The first is that it used to be that roads in Wildernest were impassable in winter because the county did not give them priority in plowing. So, the Buffalo Mountain Metro District was formed and now the roads are always cleared of snow in a timely manner.Last summer, the metro district began the building of a recreation path along Ryan Gulch Road and making improvements to the drainage system. This should have happened years ago. But once again, Summit County did not want to help out Wildernest. Yes, it finally put some money into the pot, but I think it took years of arm wrestling by the metro district to get the county to contribute. Pay attention Summit County commissioners. Don’t ignore the northern part of the county. We, Wildernest residents, pay property taxes and we vote.Recently, Frisco business owners took it upon themselves to start studying the building of a road from Frisco to Wildernest which would cut directly through National Forest in Wildernest.Did these people bother to ask the Wildernest residents about this proposal? No, they did not. What did they find out? Don’t mess with the residents of Wildernest because we know how to organize. We know how to write to Rep. Mark Udall to stop any National Forest land donation for the road and we go to the voting booths to vote.Let me clue everyone into the population in Wildernest and Mesa Cortina. First, there are a high number of full-time residents in Wildernest, both renters and owners, and the numbers are growing each year. Second, we know how to get to the voting booths. Third, we know how to write to our government representatives. Conclusion, don’t ignore us or write us off, ever. Out of sight (can’t see all the housing units from I-70) doesn’t mean we don’t exist. Get the point?Lastly, my sincere condolences to those who lost their dogs (Mary Jane and Dunerakin), condo units and personal belongings in the Deck Gore Range fire.

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