The real threat to wilderness

I am responding to the Telegraph’s “Temporary Pain in the Ass” article (Nov. 9). I didn’t see any mention of the actual real menace to Chicago Basin and similar wilderness areas. And that is, the multitudes of boots on the ground causing irreparable damage. From what I have heard first-hand from very reliable sources, there is an average of hundreds of people at one time in the basin/ day and thousands per season. These individuals and/or groups are unregulated by any type of permitting process. Again, from reliable sources, there is toilet paper and the stench from human urine and human feces in the basin and along the trail literally everywhere, and unregulated by the Forest Service.
The trail into the basin is not a trail anymore but a ditch that has not been maintained properly since pre-COVID. So compared to how it was just a few years ago, the erosion caused by too many hikers in the basin and on the approach trail is reprehensible.
Ron Yeager and his family travel into their property a few times a year on mule. It is doubtful that the Yeager family has, quite frankly, done any damage to that wilderness. Or comparably speaking, a fraction of a fraction of what hikers have done.
I’m all for a wilderness experience, and I am sure some folks traveling into Chicago Basin are respectful of the Weminuche Wilderness. But to single out the Yeager family, who have contributed to this area more positive impacts than most from the many generations they have lived in La Plata County, does not seem fair. I just wanted people to read a bit more about the bigger picture in Chicago Basin instead of focusing an unfair microscopic look at genuine stewards of the land, the Yeager family.
– Larry Ruiz, Durango