'Sense of place' bought and sold

  Dear HCN,

A very heartfelt essay by George Sibley (HCN, 3/18/02: How I lost my town). Unfortunately, Colorado is not the only place in the West which is suffering this plight. Before moving to Reno 12 years ago, I was a resident of Truckee, Calif., 30 miles "up valley" to the west. The former railroad/mill town has been transformed into just another quaint little resort town with its pricey clothing boutiques, gourmet restaurants and high-priced real estate.

The sense of place has not been destroyed in this town, it has simply been altered - some would say "twisted." For better or worse, this is happening throughout the West as the sawmills and mines shut down, and the golf courses and real estate developers move in. These changes take some getting used to, but in the end are a better deal for all concerned. True, you may have to commute from "down valley" or work two jobs to afford to live in town, but you have the satisfaction of breathing clean air and drinking clean water while you recreate in the surrounding public lands.

Everything comes with a price in our money-oriented society, and sometimes our sense of place is just another commodity to be bought and sold.

Tim Holmen
Reno, Nevada