Email letters, June 18, 2013
Investing in wildfire protection would be worth high price tag
Sen. Steve King’s recent bill for state wildfire protection is a law that has become necessary. But it’s unfunded. Why? No one wants to pay for it. It’s up to the citizens, I guess. So, why don’t we put it on the ballot?
Funding could come in a variety of ways with the first being an increase in state sales taxes. Also, there are lottery funds with perhaps a combination of lottery and sales taxes.
Make no mistake, this is a very pricey service. There are no minimum wages in this type of operation and no low-cost equipment. And there should be at least two, if not four, service centers around the state. It won’t eliminate the need for federal firefighting, but they’re stretched pretty thin, and with more and more people moving to the West it will only get worse.
It could even be set up to help neighboring states, if they’re willing to pay for the service, when an occurrence such as a fire in eastern Utah could use some help.
In western Colorado “tax” is a dirty word, and no Republican would even suggest taking the question to the people even though that’s how they designed the TABOR law. If, however, people want a service, they should have to pay for it.
However true it may be that Democrats like to tax and spend, it’s also true that Republicans just like to spend and then promise constituents if they’d just “buy stuff” it could be paid for.
But remember, the TABOR law ratchets down when the economy gets better. State funding may never get back to where it was after this past recession.
I’ll bet Colorado Springs would be a unanimous vote.
BLM encouraged to preserve Hunter Canyon, other wildlands
This past spring I had the chance to explore a few side canyons in an area north of town known as Hunter Canyon. It was awesome.
We found gorgeous and colorful hoodoos, flowing waterfalls and bear, elk and deer scat, and we enjoyed trying to locate the many birds whose song accompanied our adventure.
There were tons of opportunities to route find, and we even had the chance to use ropes as we navigated the challenging terrain. It’s landscapes and opportunities such as these that make me a proud, lifelong resident of our Western Slope.
I wholeheartedly encourage BLM to protect this area and all our remaining high-desert wildlands in its Resource Management Plan.
Mesa County representatives turn in lackluster performances
As I read the Sunday, June 16, issue of the Denver Post, I noticed the article about the members of the Colorado Legislature and their voting records. It showed no mention of Reps. Jared Wright and Ray Scott or Sen. Steve King.
Maybe we need to do away with the representatives from Mesa County. It appears that they don’t do anything anyway or carry any weight in the Legislature.
Keeping bad-mouthing the governor — that’s what they do best.
RON STONEBURNER, SR.