Thursday, May 04, 2006

Wenatchee's Foothills Trail

A step in the right direction

Central Washington's Wenatchee certainly isn't the following:

1. on the way to becoming a major city

2. A liberal bastion

3. naive when it comes to protecting its beautiful environment

While Puget Sound cities explode at the seams and residents old and new alike watch coveted open space disappear-the scene in eastern Washington is a little different. Yes, growth threatens to usurp communities east of the Cascades, too. But it is no where on the level that is ravaging the countryside around Puget Sound. And yes, while eastern Washington residents may be leery of urban environmentalists' plans to make the state greener (Ever notice that the greenest greenies come from the most developed places!)-the folks here are no bumpkins when it comes to protecting their land too. They just don't want some big city mayor who owns three vehicles (umm-Mayor Nickle and dime ya) telling them to give up their cars so that they can have a cleaner environment. People in eastern Washington are pragmatic and they have a working relationship with the land. Something urban Washington seems to lack.

So, when the Chelan-Douglas Land Trust initiated a program to build a Foothills Trail in the canyons and small peaks on the western edge of town-and to greenbelt those lands-a good portion of the local people bought in. And as the trail was built-the people came! Yes, this area has a long ways to go in realizing that you have to have some planning to protect your community-and that some planning doesn't mean that you are being locked out of your land. But if other parts of the state don't want to become like Pugetopolis-then they better get protecting the lands that surround them-and by doing so-protecting their communities. The Chelan-Douglas Land Trust is a step in the right direction-and an organization right for Wenatchee.

No comments: