Email letters, Dec. 13, 2012

Colorado senators deserve thanks for defending public lands

My thanks go to Sen. Michael Bennett for his eloquent defense of our public lands (Magnificent land owned by all still needs proper stewardship, Dec. 6). I, too, believe that public lands are far more valuable as accessible and affordable places for all Americans to visit and enjoy than as parcels sold to the highest bidder.

As a business owner in a small mountain town, I see firsthand how protected public lands are the foundation of our tourism economy. This was proven repeatedly in recent studies showing that the higher percentage of protected public lands in a county, such as wilderness designations, national monuments and national parks, the higher rate of employment, personal income and population growth.

Places such as Treasure Mountain, the Dillon Pinnacles and portions of the West Elk Mountains in Colorado need lasting protection, and I want to thank both Sens. Bennet and Udall for working toward introducing legislation in Congress that would safeguard these areas.

Their foresight will leave a legacy that all Coloradans will be grateful for, and proud of, for generations to come.

ARVIN RAMGOOLAM
Crested Butte

Urge Congressman Tipton to clean up DC mess

Our U.S. House of Representatives is stuck between a rock and a hard place. In doing what is right, saying no to raising taxes and asking for spending cuts, it is incurring the wrath of President Obama, Democrats and liberals. If it does what is wrong, by giving into the left, or doing nothing and allowing tax increases and more spending, it will be extremely disliked by constituents, Republicans and conservatives.

What should Congressman Scott Tipton do about this mess created by the current administration and partly by the previous one? Having spoken with Tipton, I feel that he’s doing what is right—voting against tax increases and more spending is what he will do. Raising taxes on the 2 percent “rich” will only pay for 8 1/2 days of federal expenses and cause many of them to move out of the U.S., which is already happening. And taxes will be raised on all us, anyway.

It is well known that lowering taxes will create more income for the government, more jobs for the jobless and a prosperous country overall. Scott understands that, as well as that cutting spending will reduce the need for more revenue (the U.S. gives away too much money to other countries and wastes billions with poor management of social programs and entitlements). It is obvious that the president doesn’t understand how to intelligently run our country’s economy. All he has done for the U.S. is deeply divide the American people and put us terribly into debt.

Let Tipton know you want him to do what is right. You can call his Grand Junction office and leave him a message.

SUE BENJAMIN
Grand Junction

Bureau of Reclamation shows foresight in managing river basin

I read with interest The Daily Sentinel’s article on Dec. 6 entitled “Western States Eye Missouri River Water.”  The diversion is listed as one of more than 100 ideas submitted to the Bureau of Reclamation.

I would like to commend the bureau for its foresight of the future of the Colorado River Basin. The basin consists of seven states and Mexico.  Within Colorado, five hundred thousand acre feet of water are being diverted through the Continental Divide into two other basins – the Platte River that flows through Nebraska and the Arkansas River that flows through Kansas.  The water diversion is for the benefit of eastern Colorado agriculture and domestic uses.

The Missouri River diversion plan could release 500,000 acre-feet of water back into the Colorado River Basin. The water flow of the Colorado River Basin is very critical to fish and wildlife, more than 30 million people, millions of acres of farmland, recreation and water for energy development.

The water users of the Colorado River Basin, both upper and lower basin states, need to cooperate.  We are in this together.  In order for this diversion to work, we will have to be willing to work together.  The seven states involved have a total of 14 U.S. senators plus U.S. congressmen in the House.

The article also stated that the bureau has suggested recharging aquifers in Kansas, which would greatly benefit it and also the farmers in Colorado’s Arkansas Valley.

JOHN J. BUTLER
Palisade

President Obama won decisively

The quote below should have resolved this matter if my fellow Republicans abided by the will of the people. But they refuse to accept the people’s will. President Obama won by more than 4.6 million votes, so it was not a squeaker.

“Struggling to hold together a caucus that never really respected his “leadership,” John Boehner is trying to rally his troops by ripping President Obama’s supposed disregard for GOP control of the House. But back in July, Boehner said the election would be a “referendum on the president’s economic policies.” On Nov. 6, Obama won that referendum.”

ORVILLE BRUCE JONES
Fruita

It’s time for nation’s leaders to stop posturing, find solutions on fiscal cliff

It’s time for Congress and the Obama administration to compromise for the good of our nation. The political bickering and posturing by both sides only serve to weaken us. Do we face difficult economic choices? Absolutely, but indeed compromise is not a dirty word.

If we look around the world and see so many nations reduced to turmoil because both sides or even all sides believe to be right and all those who don’t hold the same beliefs are wrong, we should be aware that we are also moving in that direction. Whether they are right or left, conservative or liberal, heartfelt ideas can have validity, but often the extremes can be used to define the middle where viable solutions can be found.

The Republicans and Democrats are repeatedly walking us to the cliff because of a lack of guts to stand up and proclaim that it’s time to compromise and find middle ground; it is disgusting. It sickens me to see members of Congress afraid to stand up to John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi and tell them to knock off the posturing and find answers for the good of our nation’s citizens.

LARRY EDWARDS
Grand Junction

Tomlinson captures western Colorado’s magic

I don’t envy many or much, but I’ve got to say that every time I see one of Chris Tomlinson’s photos I feel a little envious. 

Just this week there have been two amazing photos, and I can’t help but think that he must have the best job in the world. That man just doesn’t stay home. 

Good job, Chris, and thank you for sharing your eye for the magic of the area.

LINDA SAUNDERS-MARTINEZ

Grand Junction

Reading a bill before voting on it helps

Oops! To make health care affordable, they added a tax to medical devices.

I guess the Dems should have read the bill before they voted for it.

L.W. HUNLEY
Grand Junction

Bear Ranch swap would prohibit public from prime hunting land

The Bear Ranch land exchange is a bad deal for sportsmen and the reason is simple: Their proposal takes away and locks the public out of good public hunting land forever.  That is a fact, and they cannot dispute it no matter how many pretty flyers in color they send out.  Their latest flyer claims “Sportsmen Win” with the land exchange. This is false and misleading.

The main parcel they seek will remove more than 800 acres of gorgeous BLM land that many people hunt.  Bowhunters, muzzleloaders and rifle hunters, both resident and nonresident, hunt this area.  It is a great area to hunt with easy 4WD access.  How in the world can privatizing public hunting land and then locking the public out forever be a win for sportsmen?

The Backcountry Hunters and Anglers and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation both oppose the exchange.  With groups such as those voicing their opposition, the Bear Ranch’s claim that “sportsmen win” doesn’t make any sense.  Colorado’s own congressmen have not supported this proposed land exchange for several years in a row.  This land swap is not necessary, it’s not wanted, and it serves to benefit one person, Bill Koch.

It is disturbing to me that one individual who spends little time in our valley, who is getting on in his years and who will probably never even walk the lands he desires wants to lock out non-hunters and hunters alike forever.  This applies not only to those of us enjoying those lands now, but to our kids and all the future generations who aren’t even around yet.  The Bear Ranch land exchange is a losing proposition for sportsmen and the public in general, and I hope the public will speak out in opposition.

ADAM GALL
Hotchkiss

Marijuana decision to send country’s future up in smoke

The American people have proved themselves to be really gullible and vulnerable when they passed the recent marijuana laws.  Where is there any freedom in using an addictive drug?  Where is freedom found in polluted air?  Where is it to be found in scrambled brains? 

Please, someone who is important and has authority should kick this thing back where it came from. Otherwise, our country is going down the drain … and most of our young people with it.

BARBARA THOMPSON

Cedaredge



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