Letter to The Editor: Why I Support The Via Ferrata

in Wyoming outdoors/News

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By John Brown, Lander

In 1970, the American peregrine falcon was listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Conservation Act of 1969. This was largely due to the widespread use of pesticides like DDT.

Did you know that in August 1999, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed the American peregrine falcon from the list of endangered and threatened species, marking one of the most dramatic successes of the Endangered Species Act? 

Post-delisting monitoring occurred in 2003 and was to have been carried out in 2006, 2009, 2012, and 2015. Results from 2003 showed the population continued to climb and was estimated at about 3,000 breeding pairs in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.

Did you also know that peregrine falcons have been highly successful in large urban areas with many tall buildings and LOTS of people around? There are NUMEROUS “falcon-cams” you can find all over the internet where people can witness their progress from eating , nest-building, breeding, and egg hatching.

I think it’s safe to say the American peregrine falcons will do just fine in whatever environment they find themselves in, even if people are close by.

The folks who oppose the Via Ferrata are not stupid, and they know the falcons will be just fine. So what is their REAL motivation for trying to stop it?

I’ve seen several yard signs around Lander saying “#sinks_wild” which suggests they want to preserve the wild nature of Sinks Canyon.

Well, the bus left that station probably a couple of decades ago (perhaps that power line that runs deep into the canyon to that campground next to the Popo Agie Falls trail is familiar to most of you?). For sure, it was no longer truly wild when Bam-Bam the ram died over eight years ago.

Some other folks suggest that there is a parking issue that will cause problems. Seriously? Parking? That seems like the smallest problem mentioned. Surely, parking can be increased without ruining the entire state park.

I’ll just say right up front that I don’t know for sure why folks want to stop it. I suspect many just don’t want to attract any more attention, tourists, residents, etc., to our town. That is shortsighted, however.

Many people have said, “If you’re not growing, you’re dying.”

Perhaps these folks haven’t realized that if there’s NO growth, this town will eventually shrink and die.

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