Keep Wyoming just the way it is

  Dear HCN,


After watching Elbert County, Colo., endure the nation's second-fastest growth rate for the past few years, I envy "Wyoming's unique mix of apathy and arrogance," as described by Paul Krza (HCN, 7/6/98). The correspondent reveals a disregard for the native values of Wyoming citizens, assuming that they're dull and backwards because they seek to be a natural-resources economy with little population growth.


I invite Mr. Krza to spend a few days in our county, as we make the shift from ranching to bedroom communities. Rather than have a view of the land as a producing asset - one of those quaint notions that has given people sustenance and a creative self-worth since the dawn of history - our new neighbors rush to own the next open hilltop, where they can build a trophy home and turn out a couple of horses, maybe some buffalo or llamas, and let their dogs run at large. The open spaces they moved here to enjoy don't rely on their 50-acre tract, but on surrounding ranches. Once the "entrenched" cattlemen get their fill of new roads and traffic, stray animals (including kids), higher taxes and urbanized schools, they sell out to relocate in places like Wyoming.


I wonder where that spirit of apathy and arrogance was in our county, before the development boom started. It might have helped us resist the urge to subdivide. For the sake of the West, let's hope that Wyoming continues to be a relict in our midst.





Chris Frasier


Limon, Colorado





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