Email letters, Nov. 12, 2012

Conservation areas would protect White River wildlife

Thirty years ago the Piceance Creek area southwest of Meeker supported a wintering mule deer herd of more than 30,000 animals. Today there are only half to two thirds the number of deer wintering in the same area. Much of this reduction in deer numbers is due in part to habitat loss and increased human activity associated with energy development.

The Bureau of Land Management White River Resource Area is in the process of amending the 20-year plan for oil and gas development for the area. Currently, there are approximately 1,800 producing oil and gas wells in the resource area, but up to 21,000 new wells are proposed for construction. Although developing domestic energy resources is a high priority, protecting important fish and wildlife habitats is equally important. We must ensure that the last, best BLM lands for hunting and fishing remain intact and accessible to hunters and anglers or we risk losing an important economic resource as well as a valuable part of our western heritage.
 
A new category for identifying and managing BLM lands which are important habitats for wildlife is gathering support on the western slope of Colorado as well as other western states. This new concept is known as a Backcountry Conservation Area. BCAs will provide on-the-ground managers a number of tools to benefit wildlife, including, but not limited to, the following: (1) restoring/improving habitats to benefit fish and wildlife (2) keeping access open to public lands (3) maintaining livestock grazing allotments and (4) not allowing surface occupancy for oil and gas drilling. While no surface occupancy would be allowed on BCAs for oil and gas drilling, directional drilling from the perimeter would be allowed.

The Teddy Roosevelt Conservation Partnership along with a coalition of conservation organizations including Colorado Wildlife Federation, National Wildlife Federation, Western Native Trout Initiative, Colorado Backcountry Hunters and Anglers and Bull Moose Sportsmen’s Alliance all support the implementation of BCAs. The above groups are recommending that approximately 230,000 acres (15 percent) of approximately 1,456,000 acres included in the BLM White River Resource Area be set aside as BCAs.
This proposal for a change in public lands management is a breath of fresh air. It is a prudent and reasonable recommendation that keeps our public lands biologically viable and accessible. For the White River Resource Area oil and gas amendment process to be successful in protecting important wildlife habitat for hunters and anglers, the BLM must recognize that certain areas are too valuable to be compromised by energy development done the same old way. These areas need to be conserved to protect wildlife habitat and help safeguard our sporting traditions and heritage. These values are very important to thousands of hunters and anglers in Colorado.

Support the creation of BCAs in BLM land management decisions if you value hunting, fishing and the wildlife needed to sustain these activities. 

JOHN ELLENBERGER

Colorado Division of Wildlife (retired) 
Grand Junction
         

Reader finds irony in front-page photo

The picture on front of The Daily Sentinel of Nov. 8 said it all. After the 2008 election Michelle Obama related that she was finally proud of America and “now your kids will finally be educated.”

RICHARD HEGER
Cedaredge

Sheriff Hilkey unrealistic in 100 per cent statement

I’m surprised that Mesa County Sheriff Stan Hilkey chose to use such a ridiculously unachievable statement to buoy his fears that responsible marijuana use doesn’t happen. Apparently, our county sheriff has a tendency to embellish to accentuate his point.

I don’t believe there is, or has ever been, anyone who has helped Hilkey’s hopes, concerns and fears not come true when he sets such unreachable goals and then singles out and vilifies specific group as not being able to accomplish his unattainable expectations.

Does Hilkey realize what he said? I, for one, would be extremely interested in any names or examples of anything or anyone who has actually achieved Hickey’s requirement of 100 percent of the people involved, being so (100 percent) responsible 100 percent of the time. We can’t even say that for Hilkey’s own department. I’m thinking about the inadvertent major release of personal information a short time ago.

Was Hilkey irresponsible, or was he so positive that couldn’t happen, he just didn’t do his job? You see, there were several people acting irresponsibly to advance that incident to the point of damaging innocent people’s privacy or possibly their lives.

I would hope Hilkey’s next statement contains facts that support him, rather than his making suppositions about things that can’t be attained. When you set up a situation to fail, it’s easy to appear you’re right when you can’t be wrong.

I sincerely hope Hilkey’s attitude and objectivity are much more appropriate when he’s investigating a crime that has really happened, as opposed to the fear, fantasies and concerns he only dreams about. Very few people do anything 100 percent, much less everything!

Can’t we be a little realistic here and not accuse friends, family or neighbors of something that hasn’t happened? Come on!

RALPH HICKS
Clifton

After Election Day voting problems, country needs election reform

Now that the election is over and after watching the televised election process all over this country, it shows us that we as a nation are far from being a democracy or a democratic republic when it comes to the freedom to vote.

The unalienable right to vote has been trampled, suppressed and manipulated all over the country. We have governors and legislatures making voting rules and laws without due process. We have voting machines owned by those with conflicts of interests. We have people being turned away from polling places because they were at their jobs late and much more. We had hundreds and maybe thousands of people standing in long voting lines for hours. So, there were thousands of people that did not get to vote in last Tuesday’s presidential election.

Our nation needs serious election reform. First, spending limits are severely needed. Citizens United needs to be repealed, and SuperPACs need to go away. This might help to eliminate nasty campaign ads and special interests from buying elections and candidates.

It is time that we make Election Day a national day off or a national holiday. Also, the polls could be open longer as well. We need to celebrate our right to vote with a special day off to express this special freedom. No obstruction, no manipulation, no suppression and no bad voting laws and rules.

We need open primaries in Colorado. Registered independent voters represent 30-40 percent of the registered voters in Colorado. We need to change or fix the rules in this state and end the discrimination against Independents participating in the election process ASAP.

Let the 2012 election be the lesson for the future. Let’s move forward and work together to make these changes to preserve and protect one of our most treasured Constitutional rights—- the right to vote! 

RANDY FRICKE
New Castle

Beware of those making Cheeto runs

The downside of living a long life is all the corrosion you notice around. For instance, moral decay. It’s so obvious, we don’t even need to bring the subject up anymore.

Then there are automobiles. I’ve seen them evolve from heavy steel and iron gas-guzzlers to the little fuel-efficient tin foil and plastic deathtraps of today. And all along the way, as cars got smaller, lighter and more deadly, drunk drivers who have been destroying families for years became more and more noticed. That’s when MADD burst onto the scene.

Nowadays, there’s a smorgasbord of distractions. From cell phones and texting to I-pads. It’s a crapshoot just wondering if one of those will be the one that gets you today. That was bad enough, but now, we added another one by legalizing pot smoking. The acronym MADD could easily stand for Mothers Against Driving Distractions.

With all those distractions tempting drivers, the odds of being hit by them was high already. Now, with Amendment 64 passed, we can look forward to the odds being even higher.

Who out there is so naive as to believe those good old boys smoking legal pot on the couch won’t decide to drive somewhere later for more Cheetos?

AL CARLEY
Grand Junction

Election a happy outcome for freeloaders, potheads

After the election I think it’s time conservatives start facing the truth about the new America. First, it’s obvious by the voting demographics that a huge segment of Americans don’t want jobs and they don’t want to work. They’re doing just fine with their entitlements, and they want to keep it that way. If they wanted jobs, they would have voted for Romney.

Of course, these people will be pressing the poverty-creating Democrats to raise taxes on the rich and middle class, so we’ll keep paying for their freeloading ways. It’s called socialism, and it’s great for Democrats because poverty keeps them in power.

Second, from seniors to kids, elections are not about what’s best for America. It’s “What’s in it for me?” and they don’t give a damn about the national debt.

Third, it doesn’t matter how much a president lies as long as he delivers the free goods. And last, just like all Christian Democrats, you must throw the Bible into the trash and join the Democrats’ war on Christ and the Bible if you want to be president. You simply drop God from your platform and “check your faith at the door,” just like Biden said he does.

As I see America going more and more godless, all I can think is, “Good job, Christian Democrats. America now mirrors Babylon, thanks to you. So grab a joint, pass out a few free contraceptives to kids, catch an abortion on the way home and enjoy the new America. I’m sure God’s doing the same.”

MIKE BAMBINO
Grand Junction

Election results upset mass of citizens

“Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Definition of insanity.

Electing a candidate with socialist actions and having government think it is its job to create jobs?

Name one thing the government has ever taken over, run more efficiently and more profitably and made easier on its citizens to partake in.

You elected him, folks. Now you get to deal with him and the mass of citizens he ticked off the first four years.

RICHARD BRIGHT
Grand Junction

President restricts freedom in his quest for socialism

As the daughter of a disabled WWI veteran and the wife of a WWII and Korean conflict veteran, I deeply resent the American voters electing for a second term a man who is determined to take our country down the road to progressive socialism.

I resent my freedom being diminished by more rules and regulations in every area of my life. I don’t need someone to tell me what health insurance I need, what kind of car I can drive, that I can’t give my children my property without sharing with the government, and that I must believe in man-made climate change.

I love my country, and I am now becoming sorry that my dad and my husband, plus millions of others, sacrificed so much to keep our republic and Constitution alive.

ROBERTA REDMOND
Grand Junction

Fox News also airs liberal opinions

In Jim Ciha’s letter evidently he thinks the purpose of Fox News is to elect a Republican president. Yes, Dick Morris, Karl Rove, and Newt Gingrich are there giving opinions, but there are plenty of liberal people there also such as Juan Williams, Alan Colmes, Bob Beckel, Sally Kohn, Geraldo, Stossel and many others.

Karl Rove was questioning the same thing I was, and that’s how you can make a judgment when so many votes are not yet counted.

If you’re not getting other points of view, then you’re not watching very many of the programs on Fox News. In the evening the shows are mostly opinion shows and therefore are not really news shows. However, if you watch the news programs during the daytime, you’ll hear both the conservative and the liberal point of view. Unlike most of the other “news” channels, Fox doesn’t just give one point of view.

I like to hear both sides, and then I can make up my own mind as to what I think is right based on my personal beliefs. It makes me think. If not for Fox News, our views of what’s going on in the country would be very one-sided.

LAUREL GALLEGOS

Grand Junction

Many agree with Alan Metcalfe about declining American values

Thanks for printing Alan Metcalfe’s column Sunday, Nov. 11. There are a lot of us feeling the same as Metcalfe: “That was our America. Requiescat in pace.”

The column reminded me that I saved an old magazine, The Atlantic Monthly from February 1994, because of its 21-page cover article, “The Coming Anarchy: Nations break up under total flow of refugees…” by Robert D. Kaplan.

The article is too long to attempt a summary, but it does mention, “During the Second World War and the decade following it, the United States reached its apogee as a classic nation-state. During the 1960s, as is now clear, America began a slow but unmistakable process of transformation.”  The article quotes author Saul Bellow, writing about his immigrant family in turn-of-the-century Chicago. “The Country took us over, it was a country then, not a collection of ‘cultures.’”

Of course, no one remembers those years after WWII except us of the older generation. And no one really believes that the United States could collapse and disappear or that western civilization could suffer a catastrophic downfall.

Before it becomes too late, we must open our eyes. One only has to compare maps of the world made in different eras to realize that nations come and go with astonishing frequency and that civilization has always been a fragile enterprise.

There is a well documented human failing, known as “groupthink,” that was documented by Yale Professor Irving L. Janis in 1972. Janis warns about 1.“An illusion of invulnerability… which creates excessive optimism and encourages taking extreme risks. 2. An unquestioning belief in the group’s inherent morality… 3. Collective efforts to rationalize in order to discount warnings… 4. Stereotyped views of opponents as evil…”

Scientific research confirms that civilization is more fragile than we think. The lifespan of the average civilization is about 421 years and more recent, those since the fall of Rome, only 305 years. (Ref. Michael Shermer, “Why ET Hasn’t Called,” Scientific American, August 2002) One reason for the shorter life span is that modern civilizations are more complex and more expensive to maintain.

Just because a civilization has been around for two or three hundred years, one cannot assume it will last forever. According to Joseph Tainter in his 1988 book, The Collapse of Complex Societies, it is lack of sufficient energy coupled with the costs of maintaining ever-larger government, public works and social benefits that break the camel’s back.

I hope that America survives—what do the rest of you think?

GEORGE E. CORT
Montrose

Rely on fact-checking sites before hitting ‘send’ button

Sometimes I have trouble sleeping and go to the living room and turn on the TV. Often I find infomercials. They are amusing for the most part. They are pushing some amazing and wonderful device, potion, cream or pill that will solve some serious problem. For the most part I consider them entertainment.

I remember the slogan, if seems too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true. We, as a society, are pretty wary of such claims. Obviously there are some who say to themselves that the thing might work and they are offering a money-back guarantee. Why not try it? I can get my money back if it does not work. If anyone reading this has done this and has asked for his or her money back and gotten it without trouble, please let me know anonymously. I suspect the number is small.

There is another, more insidious type of advertising or information floating round on the Internet. First, we have to agree that everything on the Internet is not always true. There is no Internet czar who reviews everything posted and passes on its veracity. So, when someone sends you an email about a product you tend to be wary, especially if it is from someone or some firm you don’t know.

Now, we come to the email sent to by a friend. We should accept something a friend tells us, right? Not always. Remember, that they might have received it from a source, which is not trustworthy. What can you do?

The first thing you can do is to check it out. There are two sources I know of. One is Snopes.com and the other is factcheck.org. There are probably others that are just as good.

Factcheck.org is a site that looks at political things, such as half-truths and lies that each party makes about the other.

One thing I found on Snopes is that in 1998 the Alabama legislature passed a law to redefine pi from 3.14159 to 3 to reflect what the Bible says. We all probably think that is balderdash, but it was passed around and some people believed it.

I have received two spurious emails in the last week. One concerned a pro Muslim US postage stamp that President Obama was issuing for the holidays. Of course, it turned out to be totally false.

So what should you do if a friend sends you an email that appears outrageous or suspicious? I recommend checking it out before you send it on to 45 of your closest friends. If you are not sure, do nothing. No one is harmed by a chain letter broken. You can always reply to the sender and ask him or her where he or she got the information.

Suppose it confirms a suspicion that you have about something that you were not sure of. You really want to tell your friends about this item. Well, go ahead, but tell them in the forward that this is not confirmed truth. Let them check for themselves.

If you find out later that what you sent out is not true, tell your 45 friends that you made a mistake. It is the Christian thing to do.

WILLIAM BAER
Parachute



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