We applaud The Durango Herald’s editorial board for their piece “O.R. in CO: Welcoming the Outdoor Retailer Show to Colorado provides a cautionary tale,” published Jan 27.
The editorial acknowledges a key topic that has been missing from the conversation on the value of Colorado’s outdoors and the outdoor recreation industry: how to care for these natural places in the face of increased impacts from tourism and recreation.
As the state’s leading stewardship nonprofit, Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado has worked with Colorado’s land managers for over 30 years, witnessing first-hand the rising degradation of our public lands.
Colorado’s outdoors are being appropriately recognized as a cultural and economic force for our state, but without the systems or resources to preserve them, these places – and their potential value to local communities – are perpetually at risk.
While the management of Colorado’s public lands is a complex and multifaceted issue, most people don’t realize that they have the power to play a hands-on role in taking care of these outdoor places. By volunteering with stewardship organizations or local land managers, Coloradans can make an immediate difference and learn about the issues facing their public lands.
The more that citizens can engage in the conversation and participate in active stewardship, the more we can ensure that the development and maintenance of these outdoor places accurately reflects and supports the surrounding communities and their cultures.
As the editorial board aptly stated, “It is, after all, the Colorado way of life.”
Jeff Trujillo Board Chair, Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado