E-mail letters, Feb. 9, 2010

Salazar working to preserve our water

Global climate change is appropriately fueling concerns about the quantity of water available in the Colorado River basin to meet the needs of people, fish and wildlife. How we address the challenges of global climate change now will dictate the sporting opportunities for future generations.

Last week, former Colorado senator and current Interior Secretary Ken Salazar requested funding from Congress for $30 million for climate change mitigation programs and $9 million for Water Smart projects across the West.

This is an important step toward identifying and taking commonsense, collaborative actions that conserve and protect the Colorado River — lifeblood of the West — or all of our needs. And it is especially good news for those of us who enjoy the great fishing that protection affords.

GARY BERLIN American Fly Fishing Trade Association Louisville, Colo.

Health roadless areas are vital to state economy

Recent coverage of our national and state economies highlights the importance of protecting good jobs.

In Colorado, a critical aspect of supporting jobs involves assuring the responsible management of Colorado’s roadless areas. Healthy roadless lands are a vital component of a strong Centennial State economy. Economic studies have shown that the availability of high quality public lands, including roadless lands, is one of the major attractants for people and businesses moving to the Rockies, the “Third Coast.”

Colorado has approximately 4.5 million acres of unprotected roadless lands scattered from Durango to Fort Collins. These lands support healthy populations of fish and wildlife as well as providing solitude that recreationists crave. Sportsmen and women cherish these backcountry lands, and contribute financially to local economies, to experience some of the best hunting and fishing in the country. These outdoor opportunities will cease to exist if our roadless areas are not maintained in their current condition.

Hunting and fishing sustain more than 36,000 jobs in Colorado, contribute $1.03 billion annually to our economy and attract more than 700,000 sportsmen to the state’s high quality public lands each year. These visitors support countless small town outfitters, guides, grocery stores, sporting goods stores, motels and gas stations, many of which form the lifeblood of rural communities throughout the state. These are local jobs that cannot be outsourced to some other area.

Coloradans can support our state and local economies by raising their voices in favor of strong “roadless rules” for Colorado’s remaining roadless areas — laws that safeguard our fish and wildlife resources, outdoor traditions and jobs.



Healthiest government is a small government

I am writing in response to a recent letter to the editor by Eileen O’Toole. Please tell me how can business be dictatorial? And government is not? I can’t put my finger on it, but something is amiss.

Then there is Haiti. It’s totally capitalistic with very little government? Capitalism requires both capital and some government protection to flourish. Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Haiti’s culture promotes corruption, not capitalism. The Heritage Foundation 2010 Index of Economic Freedom places Haiti number 141 out of 183 countries ranked worldwide for economic freedom.

Language can be misleading. A Republican may not be conservative. An environmentalist may not be a conservationist. Neither of these “conserve” folks maybe be interested in socialism. Progressives like to report that Americans love their entitlements. It is true that we do not turn down Social Security, Medicare or cash for clunkers, but these actions don’t prove love for government programs.  They reinforce our tendency to act in our own self-interest.

The economy is either free market, totally controlled or somewhere in between. The healthy and wealthy live where markets approach total freedom. As the referee for business activities government should only provide laws, courts and enforcement to allow free markets to work, nothing more. Government protects us from many unscrupulous business activities. It should protect us from our foes and consistently enforce our laws. What protects us from government?

As a member of the Tea Party movement, I say, “keep it small.”


Grand Junction

Act of kindness renews faith in compassion

While waiting in a checkout line at the store recently, I saw a wonderful act of loving kindness occur in front of me.

Two ladies were ahead of me in line and the one who was in the process of checking out was $100 over on her bill. She had four, small children with her and proceeded to put items back.

The lady behind her said, “I will cover the balance for you”. The lady who was checking out said, “But I am over $100.” The lady behind her said, “That’s OK. I will pay for it.” The lady checking out could not believe what she was hearing and asked two more times for clarification, with the lady behind her each time stating the same thing, with no strings attached.

The lady checking out broke down, crying and explained that a relative had just died and that it had been a really hard week for her. Then she hugged the lady behind her and everyone who witnessed this extraordinary event had tears in their eyes including the checker and the lady who was bagging her groceries and myself.

This gentle, loving act renewed my faith in mankind, that we can be kind and compassionate towards each other. If each one of us could remember to spread a little kindness wherever we can, even just small gestures, the world would be a happier and more peaceful place. It was wonderful to be a witness to this pure act of loving kindness from one being to another. It put a smile on my face for the rest of the day and warmed my heart.


Grand Junction

GOP pulls play from Dems playbook

Hey, wait a minute. Regarding the Feb. 7 story “Measure introduced to block closure of Cameo coal plant,” Josh Penry and Steve King are using the legislative process to override a corporate management decision. If Democrats did that, Penry, King and every other west slope Tea Bagger would be screaming “socialism.” Isn’t this hypocritical?


Grand Junction


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