When President Obama flew from California to Denver yesterday, did he look out the window?
If he did, the “purple mountains majesty” that graced the horizon were a reminder that the American West contains some of the last remaining and most magnificent wild landscapes in the world. As President, Obama has the ability to significantly influence the future of these lands – if he chooses to act.
And Colorodans are asking him to act. Earlier this month, sixteen outdoor business owners from seven different communities in western Colorado sent a letter to Obama (opens in PDF) urging him to “provide the highest level of protection for the Greater Canyonlands area.” They wrote:
Many of us have hiked, rafted, climbed and camped in the Greater Canyonlands for years and can attest to the area’s world class scenic, recreational, cultural and ecological values. As people who make their living in the outdoor industry, we also know how important preserving the wild landscapes of the Greater Canyonlands is to the outdoor and tourism-related economy of Colorado.
Over this summer, more than 2,000 Colorado citizens signed postcards urging President Obama to provide protection for the Greater Canyonlands area. In addition, a number of elected officials personally wrote the administration, urging President Obama to use his administrative authorities to protect Greater Canyonlands.
All of this reflects the widespread enthusiasm that exists across Colorado for protecting Greater Canyonlands. While Coloradans love the mountains for which their state is famous, many residents consider Greater Canyonlands part of the landscape they call “home” and cherish this awe-inspiring area as a place of recreation and renewal with family and friends. Their plea to Obama is provide Greater Canyonlands with the kind of meaningful protection it truly deserves. Let’s hope he is listening.