The Chesapeake Bay Foundation arranged a river trip for local political leaders on the Rivanna last Saturday. The Rivanna and the Chesapeake Bay, they are the same water. The EPA’s attempt to improve the health of the Bay is looked upon by many upstream as an unfunded mandate. It is a gift of awareness. We are critters, we live in an ecosystem. Clean air and water matter. Dirty water kills critters.
People who love nature and want to preserve access to public land understand they are dealing with a tricky balance, but they generally believe that in order for something to be protected, it must first be loved. A wealthy landowner will put 300 acres in trust for that love (and for a tax break), but the public will rally to preserve 10,000 acres of forest land only if they use it and know it.
The Rivanna River was our first highway. It is also beautiful and can only become more so if we turn our faces to it, as a community, instead of showing it our backs. Those of us who prefer secret, wild places also delight in the hunt for new ones.—Giles Morris, editor C-Ville