Dear Editor:

Ancestry … this unique place where we live has a great ancestry.

Surrounded by both National Forest Lands and Indian Lands, we are extremely blessed. I often think of those early settlers who came to this area and how very inconvenient things must have been for them. However, they came “by choice,” there was something special that drove them to stay — Maybe 300 days of sunshine? Maybe great snow? Maybe the hot springs?

Maybe adventure? They came, they built, they stayed. Many living in this area today are descendants of those early folks. Years later, their sacrifices made it possible for folks like me to “settle” here without so much sacrifice. It was the simplicity of life-style, along with our beautiful natural settings, that drove us to come here and live these past 27 years and hopefully, many more. We want to preserve those things that attracted us to come. So it is, all of us need to seriously consider the decisions we make, e.g., do they change what is special about this place? Our decisions to enhance must also preserve the personality of this ancestry. Is it good to construct a huge building that we don’t need on a beautiful piece of river property that is now a park? Is it good to cover a beautiful meadow with a paved, well-lit parking lot to accommodate a huge Big Box store that we don’t need? If we are not careful in the decisions we make, one of these days we will wake up and find our “unique” place is no different from any other.

Patty Tillerson

This story was posted on February 13, 2014.