Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Change or die

Now that the speculative bubble in residential properties has not only broken but totally evaporated in the wake of the worst recession since the Depression, the Sun Valley area has been forced to return to its roots as a recreation-based economy.

Yet, when this fact meets other beliefs or mere preference, the fur can fly.

Take the proposal to create a whitewater park in the Big Wood River paired with adjacent public land owned by the BLM.

The park would meet the continuing need in the area to diversify and broaden recreational opportunities.

Yet, some residents of a nearby subdivision and some recreational purists insist that a whitewater park would ruin the area and be an affront to Mother Nature.

As interesting as the project itself are the objections commonly raised when changes are proposed in the Sun Valley area. At one time, homeowners near Bald Mountain objected to the noise of snowmaking equipment. Neighbors of a proposed soccer field in the city of Sun Valley objected to being forced to hear the sounds of children's voices. Neighbors of a proposed community workforce housing development next to the Ketchum cemetery said noise from the development would be an affront to men and women who served in the military and are buried there.

The Wood River Valley lies south of the largest wilderness area in the lower 48 states, but it's not a wilderness area or silent retreat. It's an outdoor playground for young and old. That's its appeal. It's what supports the economy and gives homeowners a fighting chance to keep property values higher than those in other Idaho towns.

Suspending the area in amber won't help it; it will kill it.

Tastes and pursuits change and playgrounds must change with them. Skiing in Sun Valley started out with the Ruud Mountain chairlift on a Trail Creek Canyon hillside in 1936. The lift today is a relic and all the skiing is on Baldy with gondola access, deluxe lodges and wide, groomed runs.

Mountain bikes, snowboards, skateboards, whitewater kayaks and light backpacking gear all brought major changes to nonmotorized recreation.

Today, the Sun Valley area offers training in everything from snowboarding to mountain biking to rock climbing to horseback riding. It only makes sense to welcome an area where kayakers can practice safely, get training and have a lot of fun in known waters.

People in the area will come and go, but recreation must continue to change with the times. The day it stops changing, the day that people who hate the sounds of children's voices take control, the day the dead get more consideration than the living will be the beginning of the end.

About Comments

Comments with content that seeks to incite or inflame may be removed.

Comments that are in ALL CAPS may be removed.

Comments that are off-topic or that include profanity or personal attacks, libelous or other inappropriate material may be removed from the site. Entries that are unsigned or contain signatures by someone other than the actual author may be removed. We will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or any other policies governing this site. Use of this system denotes full acceptance of these conditions. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.

The comments below are from the readers of and in no way represent the views of Express Publishing, Inc.

You may flag individual comments. You may also report an inappropriate or offensive comment by clicking here.

Flagging Comments: Flagging a comment tells a site administrator that a comment is inappropriate. You can find the flag option by pointing the mouse over the comment and clicking the 'Flag' link.

Flagging a comment is only counted once per person, and you won't need to do it multiple times.

Proper Flagging Guidelines: Every site has a different commenting policy - be sure to review the policy for this site before flagging comments. In general these types of comments should be flagged:

  • Spam
  • Ones violating this site's commenting policy
  • Clearly unrelated
  • Personal attacks on others
Comments should not be flagged for:
  • Disagreeing with the content
  • Being in a dispute with the commenter

Popular Comment Threads

 Local Weather 
Search archives:

Copyright © 2020 Express Publishing Inc.   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.