Email letters, July 18, 2012
Roan Plateau court ruling gives wildlife, Coloradans a second chance
The Piceance Basin has been called the mule-deer factory of western Colorado. The truth is, while it still boasts the country’s largest migratory mule deer herd, the Piceance Basin’s has a herd that is less than half of what it was in the early 1980s when there were more than 100,000 deer.
There may be a number of reasons for the decline, but one thing is certain—the current oil and gas development and the 10,000 to 20,000 new wells projected for the area over the next 20 years or so will only ramp up pressure on wildlife.
Those of us who’ve hunted on the Roan Plateau and surrounding areas can remember a time when we could draw multiple deer licenses because the state was trying keep numbers down. These days, you can walk all day and see just a handful of deer –- or none.
The recent federal court decision requiring the Bureau of Land Management to take another look at the drilling plan for the Roan Plateau is a chance to hold the line against more losses. The Roan provides crucial winter and summer range for big game on top and at the base and habitat for genetically pure native cutthroat trout on top.
The BLM acknowledged in its 2007 plan that ``some areas of high-quality wildlife habitat would be lost or permanently altered’’ as a result of road and well construction and there could be ``a permanent loss of wilderness character as a whole.’’
We can do better by Colorado’s fish and wildlife, which are a cornerstone of our economy and heritage. The alternative will be isolated pockets of wildlife instead of the awe-inspiring gatherings and movement of animals across the landscapes that define this part of the country and help shape us.
Treaty may be sneaky way to impose gun control
Just recently I caught wind of a so-called treaty soon to be proposed. It sounds troubling to me. But then, most government sponsored things sound troubling to me these days.
Now I have no dog in the gun rights fight, nor am I an avid Second Amendment purist. In fact, I don’t even hunt or sport shoot, but this treaty just smells fishy.
The way I understand it, it’s an effort to limit the sales of small arms to foreign countries. (Can you say “Fast and Furious”?) But, it smells like something that could be a backdoor path to gun control in this country. Since Congress has repeatedly refused to pass any such thing, then obviously the public doesn’t want it.
Isn’t using “treaty powers” to get around what the public doesn’t want and Congress won’t pass a little sneaky? Or maybe a whole lot sneaky?
What’s that old saying about the ends justifying the means? Just what is the end game here? Would somebody please explain?
News magnate left out of news report
It’s curious that Gary Harmon did not mention that Andrew Hendricks is the son of Discovery Channel and Gateway Canyons owner John Hendricks.
Rebuild 28, 28 ½ Roads to reduce hazards for schoolchildren
In your article of July 17 you reported the city council and city administrators met to prioritize capital projects. Although you did not report it, I would hope the rebuilding of 28, 28 ½ and Melody Lane were near the top of the list.
These are high speed/high traffic streets in residential areas that have been completely ignored by the decision makers for decades. At least 28 Road from North Ave. to I-70B has shoulders for pedestrians to stay out of traffic.
That is not the case on 28 ½ Rd. between Elm and I-70B. There, pedestrians and kids waiting for the school bus get to compete for the pavement with the cars driving on it. Without any shoulders (or curb and gutter) pedestrians have no choice but to walk out in traffic.
I am only addressing the safety concerns. The drainage problems and flooding during almost any storm are also ongoing issues.
Several other streets in that area are in the same condition. City administrators and council members need to move these streets, as well as the entire area, up on the priority list.