To Sen. Risch…

An open letter to Senator Risch:

The character of America was forged out of wilderness.  In 1964, the U.S. Congress had the bipartisan vision to preserve remnants of this country’s vast resources that had once seemed limitless. They realized that once wilderness is gone, it is gone forever. They knew that the social, economic, and scientific benefits of wilderness far outweigh any extractive uses. They cared about future generations. Through your support of the Scotchman Peaks Wilderness, you demonstrate that same vision. I want to thank you for that support.

I grew up on a Midwest farm and did not see a wilderness until I was well into my twenties. I remember how thrilled I was to discover that true wilderness still existed in our country – it was part of my personal American Dream and one of the major reasons I moved West. I have lived in Colorado, Arizona, Oregon and Idaho, where I hiked and backpacked in some of the most spectacular landscapes designated under the Wilderness Act. Scotchman Peaks is one of those special places. I have spent many days exploring its unique character, and will continue to do so as long as I am able. When I am no longer able, I will be grateful that those rugged terrains are still there for others to enjoy.

There is an argument that Scotchman Peaks does not need wilderness protection because of its ruggedness and lack of economic value. However, as our technology advances, what is not viable today could be feasible in the future. Without protection, we will be more likely to squander our children’s and grandchildren’s heritage.  The alliance forged by the Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness is comprised of people from all walks of life, including those who work in the extractive industries. Do not let the few naysayers overwhelm the general local support for wilderness designation.

Thank you again for your support.

Bonnie Jakubos

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