Like the song says, “… till it’s gone.” Now that the 2020 election is over, it’s time to refocus on our beautiful Wood River Valley. Forty years ago, my senior partner told me he used to take a 17-foot Smoker Craft over to Mercer Island in the ’50s to deer hunt. At that time, the best duck hunting in the state was in the marshes south of the little town called Bellevue.
Forty years after he related that, Mercer Island is carpeted with gazillionaire mansions. The marsh has been drained and now paved with a huge parking lot for light rail. The “Emerald City” I moved my family to was failed by city fathers and transformed into one massive traffic jam, businesses boarded up, looted, burned out and thousands of homeless camped out on the streets. The exodus has started.
Between the three towns and Sun Valley, we must get this right. Developers are not evil people, but most don’t live here; they just see chances to “fill a need,” to make a buck where opportunity presents. Vast swaths of property are being bought in the southern part of the valley with exactly that idea in mind. Goodbye to fishing on the Wood, or to enjoying the peaceful solitude of a hike around Chocolate Gulch. Time to unite and make it not so.