Dear Editor:

Your editorial of last week, “Got Plans? Check the history,” resonated with me. According to the editorial, “To resist change is futile; there is no way, and no reason, to do it. To shape change is desirable, but hard to do.” Ultimately, as you said, “Pagosa Country will be left to our descendants and, more particularly, to relative newcomers.”

Change is very difficult for some — those who have power and influence want to keep it and many view the past through sentimental lenses and desire to go back in time. Some just cannot imagine a bright vision for the future, so they cling to the past.

But regardless, change is inevitable.

You suggest we remember our community’s history and authentic character when we contemplate the future. You go on to lament, “the area is being swept into a new era — one that unfortunately mirrors a too-common suburban model — a model that is counter to the history here.”

I couldn’t agree more.

The new, young families and other “newcomers” did not choose to come here to see Pagosa become more like the urban communities they left behind. They came because of Pagosa’s uniqueness — our small town character, laid-back lifestyle, authentic people and natural recreation and beauty and, yes, our history.

Will we drift aimlessly along and allow change to just happen to us? Or do we make a future community of our own choosing?

Prosperity is not an accident. Neither is success. It is time to push through the negativity, bring people together to define the desired future and make our community better, stronger and more prosperous.

Economic development will either be done by us, or done to us. Decisions have consequences, but so do non-decisions. Let’s proactively define our own unique path to prosperity.

As you suggested, I looked to past community efforts. Lots of the community was involved a few years ago in creating a vision. But those who resisted change ultimately succeeded in suppressing forward momentum, so the work was shelved and has been gathering dust since. Worse yet, those who contributed so much left frustrated, disappointed and hurt. So what were some of the conclusions?

• Archuleta County treasures and preserves its past, its heritage and the uniqueness.

• The community is noted for its connection and appreciation for the natural, healing, creative, healthful, social and spiritual.

• We appreciate open space, big views, wildlife, outdoor recreation and the pristine natural environment.

• We are proud of the work/life/play balance that our community offers.

• We strive for a cohesive community that, while we may have differences, can come together for the good of the whole community.

• We seek cooperation between our local governmental, educational and business entities to move our community forward. Economic development begins with strong town/county leadership.

• We seek to honor the past while moving forward to the future. We seek to balance our traditional ideals with modern values.

Together, let’s build on the past to create our own unique, prosperous future.

Muriel Eason

This story was posted on August 8, 2013.