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Wednesday, 01 March 2017 17:13

How the mountain towns died

Written by 

To the Editor:

Once there was once a busy, thriving community nestled in beautiful mountains that surrounded the town on all sides. Residents and tourists had the luxury of waking up each day to the majestic sight of the sun coming up over the mountains and the unspoiled beauty of their surroundings. Hikers came into town for meals and lodging and to participate in many celebrations. Tourists by the thousands came to enjoy the peace and tranquility this area had to offer.

What happened to cause this beautiful little town to die? 

The end started when the federal government lifted the restrictions on oil well drilling, fracking, forest cutting and pipeline use in and around the national parks. 

Lumber companies began cutting down trees at an alarming rate, stripping the mountains of their green beauty. The once pristine landscape was now dominated by ugly oil rigs as oil companies cleared thousands of acres for drilling. Fracking companies dug huge holes in the ground to catch their toxic waste water, the seepage from which eventually poisoned the town's water system. Companies were allowed to run gas and oil pipelines through the mountains where ever they saw an easy path and the entire area was shrouded in thick brown smog.

The mountains were now nothing more than bare ugly rocks, without trees or wildlife and only oil wells and pipelines as the view. The tourists stopped coming, for there was no beauty to see. Without the tourists the town's income fell to almost nothing, downtown businesses went bankrupt, stores closed and jobs disappeared. The end came very quickly for this small town and most of the residents had to move away to seek jobs elsewhere.

The little community is now one of those ghost towns that cause people passing through to ask, “what happened to this town?”

Do you think this is just a fantasy story or fairy tale? Well, you couldn't be more wrong.

Congress is now proposing legislation which could allow companies to do all those things in our national parks and the EPA is slashing environmental protections. If this happens, our beautiful little mountain towns could end up just like the town in the story.

Call your congressional representatives and demand that they not pass bills that would permit any of this in our national parks. These mountains are our home, our income and the future for our children; don't let them be destroyed. Call now and demand that they be saved.

Bob Schroeder

Franklin

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