Letters to the Editor (07/10/14)

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Preserve public lands for future generations

The Cibola National Forest has recently undergone public comment and review of its newly formed Assessment Plan, asking average town and country folks for suggested Need for Change statements to its 1985 planning document, which is long past due for drastic revision.
Since 1985, our world today has been seriously altered from how life was nearly 30 years ago. Look at human population expansion, rapid advances in technology, and shifting climate. It is vital that concerned citizens comment on the Forest Service plan. The new deadline is July 31, 2014.
I admit it, I am a tree hugger. In fact, I’m a tree sniffer. I love to draw close to a ponderosa pine and smell the vanilla aroma in the bark. Then, too, I revel in the various forms of an alligator juniper. My husband and I have enjoyed hikes along Timber Ridge and through Water Canyon past wide open meadows and colorful displays of wildflowers with our senior center hiking club from Albuquerque.
The outstanding views into the Rio Grande valley below and across the ridges to the Langmuir Institute are always rewarding. Why despoil this quiet pleasure with more roads, more dust, and more noise? Yes, of course, access is easier and quicker, but we need the fresh air and invigorating exercise of a grueling trek into the mountains.
Over 40 years ago, I chose to live in New Mexico because of the abundance of public lands. My son grew up relishing our ventures into the wild parts of our state and now as a young man, he still thrives on an energizing hike in the forest.
Yes, I am a big city dweller, primarily making a living here, but public lands spell relief from stress, and offer peace and tranquility. I care deeply for the wild critters that inhabit this planet with us and desire a world safe from exploitation to prove power over nature, a world where future generations can find solace.
Public lands belong to all of us, not only the local human inhabitants nearby.

Linda Starr