Email letters, April 11 2013
Will governor ban knives next?
The tragic mass stabbings at a Texas college has me wondering if Gov. Hickenlooper is now going to ban knives.
Hopefully, we will never have mass killings involving a toothbrush as the murder weapon.
Thompson Divide drilling would hurt hunters, others
As a sportsman, I was encouraged to read that Rep. Scott Tipton is open to supporting legislation preserving some of the best hunting grounds and wildlife habitat in Colorado.
Hunting is a way of life for me, and I see it as a major contributor to our local economy. I’ve met hunters who have traveled far and wide to hunt our lands, stay in our motels and shop in our local stores. Here in Delta County we’re fortunate to have some of the best big-game hunting in Colorado.
Game Management Units 42, 43 and 521 provide more than 20,000 licenses annually for mule deer, elk, bear and mountain lion. These units converge at the Mesa, Gunnison and Pitkin county lines – the heart of what is known as the Thompson Divide.
Not only is the area prime hunting territory, but it also serves as critical range and calving ground for elk and supports our larger tourism-based economy. Local outfitters rely on this land to maintain a livelihood. They’ve opened up a business that relies on the habitat within the divide and with the expectation it will remain that way.
Drilling on the Thompson Divide will put this pristine land at risk. It has the potential to disrupt migration corridors and reduce wildlife populations, which will drastically impact many outfitters who depend on this land for their livelihoods.
This isn’t an argument against development everywhere. I believe in a responsible and balanced approach towards energy production. But, when it comes to domestic energy production, the Western Slope, especially Garfield County, is doing its fair share.
Protecting the Thompson Divide is about balance. By signing on to legislation supporting a middle-of-the-road approach to protecting this pristine area, Rep. Tipton would signal that he is truly on everyone’s side.
‘Travel restricted’ areas a boon to big-game hunters
Let’s hear it for the BLM! No, really, thanks.
I’m a big-game hunter who purposely seeks out those “travel restricted” areas. I enjoy late season hunts on low elevation public lands (BLM administered) and last year killed a nice bull in one such place.
In my opinion, the “travel restricted” areas hold more game. The health of our public land must be the main focus of the BLM. Healthy land provides clean water, livestock grazing and nice bulls.
Low-elevation public land in Western Colorado was in terrible shape back in the 1930s due to drought and decades of severe overgrazing (see Ken Reyher, High Country Cowboys, Western Reflections Publishing). There were too few elk to hunt.
The Taylor Grazing Act of 1934 established the U.S. Grazing Service, a predecessor to the BLM, and called for the prevention of overgrazing and the improvement of the public range. A Colorado congressman, Edward T. Taylor, sponsored the bill and, as noted by Reyher, Western Cattlemen, endorsed the bill.
So, the politics of the 1930s brought large swaths of public land in Western Colorado under the control of a federal agency. Since that time the range has improved, allowing me to harvest that bull, and the BLM deserves the credit.
Once again, important land use decisions need to be made. Let’s leave land management to the experienced professionals (county commissioners and chamber members need not apply) and support the BLM’s preferred alternative resource management plan.
Select leaders based on more than just campaign rhetoric
First, I want to commend The Daily Sentinel editorial staff members for their strong stand on character issues on April 10, concerning election of officials and leaders to public office.
I still believe that voters desire to elect officials who are trustworthy and possess character values that we can rely on. However, I confess that I don’t usually look into these attributes enough when I go to the polls. I usually rely on recommendations and endorsements and the statements candidates make for publication. A person can say anything in a persuasive manner and be accepted for candidacy for office.
We should select our leaders for more than what they say; we should know them well enough for who they really are and what they stand for. In my thinking, leadership is modeling the best for our community, and creating a desire in us, to want to follow their example and rulings.
Yes, leaders do live in glass houses, but more like mirrors, not only for examining themselves, but also for us to reflect their lives by example.
I personally know one of the elected officials very well this time and had no hesitancy trusting him to serve me in city Council. He has served before, and people know his temperament and what he stands for. These kinds of people can lead to Grand Junction and America back from the “cliffs ” ahead.
If we require background checks for weapons, is it not just as important for government officials?
DR. PAUL DIBBLE