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Rantings and Ravings

Guest contributor

The trouble with going on vacations is that you need to either double up on what you do before you go or do it after.

I am writing this a week ahead because of an impending trip. I hope there isn't any great breaking news that I feel the need to comment on in the meantime.

We have a lot going on right now that deserves comment. There is the war. Right or wrong there sure is a lot that people have something to say about it.

There is the controversial movie of the year, "Brokeback Mountain." Last year it was Mel Gibson's "Passion of the Christ." It's good we have movies that invoke discussion.

In our area there are always issues dealing with roads, wilderness and mineral development to get people going. I tend to take the side of the "greens." I am not a radical environmentalist but I grew up in an era where we celebrated earth day and decided that recycling was a good thing. I love to be outdoors and when I was growing up in Iowa we didn't have much that wasn't private land around us. I envied the farm kids who had places to run on their property. We had little patches of trees in between neighborhoods that bordered the gullies and had been left alone by developers. If we sat down we could pretend we were off in some forest away from everyone.

I grew to appreciate open land and do not take it for granted. I also grew up with an understanding of the fact that I could not have access to everywhere I wanted to go. That was just a fact of life. Many areas where fenced and marked "no trespassing." Others where bordered by private land that you couldn't cross. My childhood wasn't deprived by any means. I had it pretty good. We didn't live in a big city where concrete surrounded us at all times. But it wasn't like here.

I get frustrated by the polarization of both sides in issues dealing with land, road and mineral development. We need oil, gas and coal to continue the lifestyle we enjoy. Roads and trails are also necessary for our convenience and enjoyment.

But we also need to remember that despite the fact it seems like we have an abundance of open space, it is fragile and a limited resource.

As more and more of us want to occupy the same spaces for many different things, let's keep a respect for all views so we might find a way to get the most out of this land we call our home.

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