E-mail letters, May 25, 2011

ATV club opposes
White River travel plan

We thank the Garfield County Commissioners for their time regarding the White River National Forest Travel Management Plan. The White River Trail Runners ATV Club was in attendance at the May 23 County Commissioner’s meeting opposing the travel management plan.

Beginning August, 2011, acres of riding area will be closed off to unlicensed vehicles, including ATVs and dirt bikes. This will penalize elderly folks and those with disabilities who are unable to hike at high altitudes. Further, local and out-of-state hunters who utilize their ATV will be forced to go elsewhere, taking much needed revenue with them.

The WRTR club alone spent more than 250 volunteer hours cleaning up trails from the Grand Mesa to the Flattops. Closing the areas listed in the travel management plan will greatly reduce the difference we make.

We are asking people to write letters of appeal to USDA Forest Service,Rocky Mountain Region, 740 Simms, Golden, CO 80401; FAX: (303) 275-5154. The deadline is June 20.
Susan Nichols-Alvis, President
White River Trail Runners ATV Club

Water needed for food
rather than oil shale

For years, oil and gas companies have been researching oil shale development technology in the West. Yet we know as little about the water requirements from those technologies today as we did when those companies received federal oil shale research leases almost four years ago.

The best information I have seen reveals that oil shale development could consume 378,000-acre feet of water each year, about 50 percent more water than the entire Denver Metro Area consumes annually.

As an organic vegetable farmer in the vinelands of Palisade, water proves to be our most valuable asset in production. It is disappointing to see how easily water consumption can be overlooked without any concern about those trying to provide local food for the community.

As more water is being diverted to Denver metro area due to population increases and now the water
needs of the West Slope oil shale, what is left for the most fundamental necessities of our existence: food? Why must the solution to energy consumption be more production and not education and efficient use? Why don’t we support the occupations that our vital to our lifestyle and our local economies rather than those which continue to keep us on fantasy island?

Food production is a known need for humans. Why should we sacrifice water for an energy source that has never been produced commercially as an alternative to conventional fuels.

It is critical that we take a methodical and careful approach on oil shale and its impacts on our critical water. If we move too soon to auction off our public lands and begin approving oil shale projects without proper oversight and analysis, the critical resource that makes our lives possible out here in the West may pay the ultimate price.

I keep reading that the research on oil shale won’t be complete for years. Why would we risk losing water for future use now? Unproven, dirty fuels that consume large quantities of water, like oil shale, are not the answer to our energy problems. Save the public lands of western Colorado for recreation and wildlife, not oil shale.
Ben Wilke

Many prefer gossip
to substantive debate

Some people have asked why so many are discussing the transgressions of the former governor of California. The answer is really quite simple. Many people much prefer to gossip rather than discussing substantive issues, as the latter requires not only knowing about things but understanding them.

Those who are serious about issues know that it requires extensive preparation, while gossiping does not. All that is required in order to engage in the latter is to have one’s lips move or put down words on paper, and nothing else.

Gossiping is also a favorite activity of the “tut tut” crowd, and affords them an opportunity to feel superior to others

It is really sad to see so many suffering from that self-inflicted malady.
Robert I. Laitres

Netanyahu set example
U.S. politicians should follow

Netanyahu’s speech to the assembled U.S. House and Senate Monday was a brilliant example of statesmanship, the likes of which is conspicuously absent from present American political dialogue, no matter the party.

Tempered by requisite diplomatic considerations, the Israeli prime minister nevertheless delivered a clear, cogent and honest description of Israel’s position as one of the most threatened countries on the planet. In so doing, he presented a logical policy outlook, based in identifiable reality, which quietly refuted the cavalier if not arrogant suggestions President Obama so glibly mouthed about returning Israel to the pre-1967 borders to appease the Palestinians.

Even understanding that the president is in an all-consuming campaign mode, I could not believe he is so personally benighted or poorly advised as to attempt cheap-shot points at the expense of our one true ally in the most dangerous and troubled region of the world.

Given that this obvious lesson appears to be lost on our presiden,t is there anyone out there in the great American political wasteland who will note and adopt the Netanyahu example of honesty and reality in political discourse? God I hope so.
Bobby Johnson

How many more cuts
can District 51 survive?

School District 51 had to cut $12 million last year and $13 million this year. That is $25 million in two years. At what point does the district say we can’t cut anymore money?

Does the district stop teaching and educating? How much more can a school district cut before the say enough is enough? If the school district was a private business, it would have to close its doors eventually.

As a parent, I am concerned that the children are going to be affected by the budget cuts in a negative way. It seems that the state always cuts education first because it is the largest amount of money spent, but it is the most important part of the budget.

There has to be other parts of the budget that can get cut, so our children can learn and be become well-educated adults.

Kyle King
Grand Junction




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