Jeff Batt: Hippies not enemies

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Hippies not enemies

I was watching the 6 p.m. news last night (KUSA Channel 9, Denver), and saw the video of the before and after pictures of the recent Rainbow Gathering near Steamboat Springs.

I find it very interesting that the National Forest Service deems it necessary to point out the damage done by the peaceful gathering of 10,000 to 15,000 people on this land. The land will heal as the gathering was a congregation of God's children to promote peace and unity among ourselves -- all were welcome.

I would also ask that you ask the National Forest Service to show before and after photos of the numerous ski areas within our state, the many roads that cross the mountains, the shopping malls and condominium units that permanently smother the landscape around the tourist destinations, and the logging and mining sites that are so secretly hidden from our eyes as we drive the scenic highways in our state. How about all the animals that get run over by drivers? Are those drivers required to pay the National Forest Service for lost "property."

I guess one of the issues here is that the fine residents of Steamboat did not want a bunch of hippies converging on their pristinely conservative township, filling the air with the scents of patchouli, the sounds of tambourines and drums, along with the visual clutter of brightly colored clothing that does not camouflage itself, as does a hunter's.

The other truth here is that the Rainbow Gathering was not for profit. Is this the real issue with the National Forest Service? Does everything in this country have to be for profit? Had the Rainbows been able to "donate" a large sum of money, would they (the National Forest Service) be making such a big deal out of this?

May we as a people of a great nation come together and remind the National Forest Service that this land is all of ours, not just theirs and those developers or other special interest groups that buy out the National Forest Service.

Jeff Batt

Greeley

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