Big problems in Little Hawaii | New
Little Hawaii is the Internet’s best kept “secret”. A quick online search yields pages of results, with stories and links on many platforms dating back to 2013.
Whether it’s a personal blog or a Tripadvisor review, the beautiful Lower Bear Creek Preserve Gorge region is in danger of being loved to death. The unexpected boom in visitors last summer has exacerbated the need to manage the area. The Telluride Open Space Commission has had several discussions recently, including Monday, on what to do.
“We talked about the number of social trails and the need to document the impact on the trails and the Bear Creek area of the tours, especially from last year,” said commission chair Angela Dye, about previous discussions. “… We talked about remedies such as the use of natural barriers, essentially trying to minimize and eliminate, if possible, and revegetate social paths and trails.
City program director Lance McDonald added that no decision has yet been made, but the region’s major social media and online presence are just as important as the physical impacts of using it. increased.
“Little Hawaii has been there a lot,” he said.
Introducing the work session item, McDonald’s shared their screen during Monday’s virtual meeting to show committee members what happens when someone searches for “Little Hawaii Colorado” online.
“It’s really up to you guys to also talk about how we don’t highlight this,” he said.
Commission Member Todd Brown suggested the city’s public information officer David Nepsky could help with online efforts to remove Little Hawaii’s data from other sources and minimize mentions.
But websites aren’t the only web resources that hail Little Hawaii, as location geolocation on social media also shares directions.
“What I see on Instagram is that there are hundreds of people giving direct feedback on their photos. I wonder if the city is writing a message that says’ Please don’t post like this’ and why if that would be a good idea to help curb the phenomenon, ‘said Jonathan Yaseen, commissioner. .
The physical changes, whether it’s closing some trails or reducing signage, will lead to a culture shift, commission member Nancy Craft suggested. She used the Soil Valley and Keystone Gorge trails as examples, as both are wildlife areas that prohibit dogs off leash.
“If people know why we’re doing something, they’re more likely to feel sympathetic to our efforts,” she says.
Dye agreed, “We talked last time about a possible culture change. We know there is a lot of peer law enforcement on the river trail about certain actions like dogs. … We need to make people aware that (overuse) has repercussions and why we need to do something about it. “
Discussions like this are not unique to Telluride. Similar resort destinations in the West, such as Crested Butte and Sedona, Ariz., Are negatively impacted when it comes to scattered camping and trailhead parking, respectively, due to increased usage.
“I can’t find the silver bullet for any of us,” Dye said. “The very idea of continuing what we’ve done a very good job of, which is public stewardship, I think, is the way to go, whether in social media or just general culture. Getting this message across seems to be accessible to everyone. “
The committee decided to continue the discussion at a special meeting on May 24 at 4 p.m., to be held after a walk around the site on Monday. The next regular meeting of the committee will be on June 8 at 4 p.m.
Monday’s meeting started on a dark note as the commission remembered longtime member Jerry Greene who died on Saturday.
“I want to admit that we regretfully lost one of our longtime members of the Open Spaces Commission, and someone who is a city alumnus, if you will, and an initiator of KOTO and well other things to Jerry Greene, ”Dye said to open the meeting. . “He was just at our last meeting a week ago, but he didn’t make it to this one. He will be missed as well as his frank opinions. He loved this city and loved this community.
Greene, a community pillar who also founded Baked in Telluride in the late 1970s, has always been an advocate for local wildlife and nature.
“I will really miss Jerry. I’m so sad. He was passionate about open spaces. Every blade of grass, creature, drop of water was of great importance to him, ”said Craft. “… He’s a great person and an old Tellurider. He will be sadly missed by all of us.
Commission member Jessie Rae Arguelles, who was born and raised in Telluride, also shared her heartfelt condolences.
“We talked about Jerry in church for a while (Sunday), and I realized that I had known this man all my life. Growing up he was always at Baked In Telluride, ”she said. “He was a pious Jew and he always observed his religion, which I have a lot of respect for because it is not the most prevalent religion here in town. He was a man of convictions and he supported what he believed in without fail. We will miss him. It’s hard to imagine not here. … His absence will be felt in many ways throughout this community. I hope he is happy wherever he is, and I hope he knows that he has left a huge impression on this community and that he will be missed.
Craft added, “In Judaism we say that his memory is a blessing.”