From the pages of
The Sublette County Journal
Volume 5, Number 13 - 11/22/00
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

In the Year 2025 ...
Stringin' Along
by Paul Rock

The Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee is asking folks for help in creating a vision for Sublette County by having us write down what we want the area to be like in the year 2025. The committee wants responses by November 30. Rather than just mail my vision statement in to the county planning office, I thought I'd respond this way.

In 2025, I'll be 86 and no doubt a doddering old fool, instead of just a middle-aged one as now. This is assuming, of course, I am even still in this particular earthbound plane of existence. I'm planning on hanging around awhile.

Most importantly in 2025, I want to be able to breath air I cannot see and drink water that is still considered to be among the purest in the land. I want vast herds of wildlife all over the place: on the ground, in the water, and in the air. I want to have to bring my vehicle to a complete stop at various places on the highway, like years ago, to allow hordes of deer and antelope to cross from one side of the road to the other. I want moose still wandering the streets of Pinedale so I need to keep my eyes peeled when I go for walks around town.

I want scientists coming here in 2025 to study the remarkable comeback of the sage grouse and the trumpeter swan. I want to hear choruses of coyotes yodeling out on The Mesa and every once in a while, the cry of a big cat along Pine Creek before its seemingly inevitable execution. I want my wife coming back from fishing trips on the New Fork and Green all gaga with tales of monster trout she has caught (and released).

In 2025, the Sublette County commissioners will include a member of the Green Party. Recycling will be mandatory. Pathways for human-powered activity and travel will be heavily funded and given the right-of-way at intersections. I will still be able to buy everything I need at Faler's General Store and be disciplined enough to know that if they don't have it, I really don't need it. I don't want to have to walk very far out of town to hear the blessed sound of silence instead of a continual din of traffic. Out of their windfall profits, rich land speculators will be required to build affordable housing so working folks have a decent place to live. By 2025, we will be seeing lots of this especially in the Bondurant area because a modest single-family house in Teton County will by then cost about $1 million.

I want newcomers coming to Sublette County to feel immediately welcomed and encouraged to share their ideas with the various commissions, boards, councils, and committees. I want those same newcomers to realize, however, that people who have been living here for 20 or 30 or 60 years just might have insights worth considering. No sense in leaving one rat race just to build another around yourself. This might go some to slow down or even neutralize a growing witless vehemence in this regard.

The lodging tax will have been out of use for 21 years by 2025 after folks realize by 2004, and probably well before, that there are already too many people wanting to come here and no need to advertise for yet more.

Residents of Boulder and Daniel and Big Piney will be using an expression like, "we don't want another Pinedale," to explain their hopes for the future in much the way we now say, "we don't want another Jackson."

In 2025, I want those nighttime satellite photographs of the United States that display all the lights of the country's monstrous urban centers to still show a big dark area in the central part of western Wyoming so I can walk out from town just a little ways and stare up in perfect wonderment at a sharply defined universe.

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