A walk in the woods

I've never been much for genealogy. To prove that, I had to actually look up the spelling of the word. But when my uncle invited my family up to the Manti-La Sal forest to visit the forestry service station where my great grandfather A.W. Jensen served as supervisor in the forest service there, it seemed like a worthwhile activity. Not only did we get to experience the incredible peace and beauty of the mountains and enjoy the company of my family, but I learned how much we benefit from the steely resolve of those who came before us. Many years ago this mountain range was over forested, and over used for grazing by ranchers everywhere. The mountain was literally being washed away through landslides because there wasn't enough vegetation to hold it together. My ancestor helped put in place the regulations that allowed the land to heal, and once again be the thriving range it once was. He resisted pressure from local farmers, civic leaders and even high ranking religious leaders in order to reclaim this land. Nearly a hundred years later, as I walk through the towering trees, enjoy the beauty of a field carpeted in yellow flowers and look out on the beauty of the unspoiled landscape, I am grateful for A.W. and other's like him for having the courage to stick to their guns and to restore order and balance to such a beautiful place.



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