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Oppose Dolores monument: ‘Leave it unique’

I oppose the Dolores River Canyons National Monument proposal.

You’re welcome to explore off the beaten path, uncovering hidden gems, escaping the hustle of your everyday life. You’re welcome to appreciate the authenticity and beauty of these places without a map, without crowds. To witness what the locals cherish, love and strive to preserve in uniqueness. Just leave it as you found it.

One negative impact of sightseers in rural areas is the potential harm to the values and cultural heritage of its communities. When rural areas see a sudden overgrowth of tourists, there is a risk of cultural dilution, erosion of traditions and values that have been passed down for generations.

Visitors bring their own customs, behaviors and expectations, which may clash with the local way of life, resulting in artificial displays of cultural practices, embellished traditions performed for entertainment, rather than genuine expressions of the community’s values.

Travelers, services and attractions put economic pressure on rural communities. Meeting these demands, local businesses may prioritize profit over the preservation of traditional practices, further diluting cultural values and authenticity- disrupting the social fabric of rural communities.

As more visitors flock to these areas, residents may feel overwhelmed and intruded upon, leading to a loss of privacy, and potential societal tensions and breakdown of community bonds.

Tourism has its benefits; it also has nonmonetary impacts.

Once cultural heritage and the sense of community become diluted, charm is diminished and the undiscovered turns into the mundane.

Just leave it unique.

Jessica Davis