I recently listened to Dr. Jane Goodall speak about having hope in spite of all the challenges facing our planet. I, like many environmentalists, have been left wondering if there is any chance that our society will muster the resolve to make the necessary changes to prevent the worst impacts of climate change. Just this summer, I experienced some firsts for my 27 summers in the valley: local reservoirs are under fish salvage orders, Silver Creek Preserve is closed to fishing access, and temperatures hovered near 90 degrees for over a month. Stack that on top of all the other regional and world climate anomalies, and it was enough to bring on despair in even the most optimistic person.

Dr. Goodall offers us a path forward. In her words, “You can’t have hope, just, ‘Oh, I hope it’s going to be okay,’ and not do anything.” Hope doesn’t come from sitting on the couch waiting for luck to strike. Instead, it is the result of hard work, time in the trenches fighting for change, and finding a way to use your skill set to do something. Hope is an action word and from that effort you see a different future. Imagine the folly of hoping to run a sub-three-hour marathon without putting in the work preparing for the race.

That’s my challenge to all of you reading this. If you hope that we continue to have cold streams that support trout, if you hope that snow falls in enough quantity to maintain the skiing you love, if you hope our air remains clear, if you hope that our valley achieves 100% clean electricity by 2035, then you must get involved.

Looking for a first step? Join the Climate Action Coalition (visit haileycac.org) of the Wood River Valley.

Scott Runkle, Hailey

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