‘Facts not in evidence’ stymie park discussion

Rep. Scott Tipton recently voiced reservations about a proposed bill to make Colorado National Monument the nation’s 60th national park. His rationale for those reservations is more than a bit disconcerting.

Either Tipton doesn’t understand that any law or regulation that affects national parks applies to monuments as well, or he’s engaged in a deliberate attempt to misdirect the public on the facts.

Neither is good.

A change in designation is a name change. That’s it. There’s no change in protection, funding or restrictions. That’s why we’re supporters. A national park increases the likelihood of more tourism without encumbering the community with any more federal authority than already exists.

So, when Tipton voiced concerns that the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers are considering rule changes that could result in regulatory headaches for our community based on park status, he’s either misinformed or misapplying the facts.

Any federal rule change that might affect a national park would affect a national monument in exactly the same way. To suggest otherwise reflects a serious lack of understanding.

Unfortunately, that’s all too common in this debate.

We’ve seen growing examples of a common courtroom ploy applied to discussions about park status.

If a plaintiff’s lawyer asked a defendant, “When did you stop beating your wife?” any competent defense lawyer would object because the question assumes facts not in evidence. Questions loaded with any unsupported statement — preposterous or not — are unfair because they can pollute the minds of jurors. It’s dirty pool in trial practice and will draw a quick rebuke from a judge. It’s also dirty pool outside the courtroom.

Some folks have posed questions containing propositions that are patently untrue, such as the following: Are you concerned about the enhanced air quality standards for national parks? Will the increased bus traffic require a widening of Rim Rock Drive? Will the National Park Service impose one-way travel over the monument? What about limits on oil and gas activities in proximity of the monument? Isn’t it just a matter of time before the National Park Service expands the boundaries of the park to create a buffer zone?

Questions like these are designed to suggest, for example, that there actually is a real issue about enhanced air quality standards if the monument becomes a park. (It’s not true, by the way.)

We would hope that Tipton has the inclination — and the resources at his disposal — to better understand how redesignating the monument will affect our lives. Questions about the impact of greater tourism are far more relevant than whether park status will invite regulatory overreach.


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Today’s editorial – “’Facts not in evidence’ stymie park discussion” – exposes the profoundly disingenuous nature of Congressman Scott Tipton’s dubious “representation” of the 3rd C.D.

Tipton’s “disconcerting” rationale for squirreling the proposal to rename the Colorado National Monument as the Rim Rock Canyons National Park is the “tip of the iceberg”.

Indeed, since he was elected in 2010, Tipton has “engaged in a deliberate attempt to misdirect the public on the facts” pertinent to virtually every significant issue.

Tipton voted 51+ times to repeal, replace, and/or defund the Affordable Care Act (more accurately dubbed “ReaganCare”), all the while using taxpayer funds to spew spurious misinformation about that “conservative”, market-based approach to insurance reform.

Tipton disseminated fabricated deficit projections to justify his insistence that “spending is the problem”, while opposing any measure that would recoup the billions in federal revenues gratuitously diverted to the “1%” by the Bush Tax Cuts.

Tipton talks “Jobs, Jobs, Jobs”, but opposes any legislation that would actually create jobs by investing in infrastructure repair (e.g, our 600,000 structurally deficient bridges).

Tipton bemoans the National Debt, but denies Republican responsibility for the failed economic policies that produced it and opposes proven policies that would reduce it.

Tipton talks “tax reform”, but opposes any legislation that would reduce the $1 trillion in annual “tax expenditures” (corporate welfare) that could fund restoring the social safety net, investing in infrastructure repair, and/or paying-down the National Debt.

Tipton talks “fiscal responsibility”, but participated in the “debt ceiling” extortion that threatened the “full faith and credit” of the U.S. in 2011, and caused the biggest one-day increase in our National Debt in history.

Tipton even lied about not having voted to “shut down” the government in 2013, while admitting that the effort was futile (but cost the economy $28 billion).

Don’t re-elect Tipton.

By Mrs. Price,
Facts to not trust the federal Gov’t. to honor any commitment.
Lets start with the BLM who was trying to take over the water rights at Powderhorn Ski Area. Then their is our forests which little if any effort to properly maintain them as evidence by driving in the mountains. Pine beetle kill everywhere and now we have the spruce beetle. I have not seen any activity to remove and reforest these areas to protect the water shed. Given the fires and floods of last year, citizen beware. Then if you look at Yellowstone Nat’l Park, the EPA introduced the wolf and were to keep it to maximum of 100. They were left unchecked and have proliferated by more than 10 fold. There are so many wolves that the natural habitat is being decimated and the environmental balance destroyed as well as local ranchers cattle. And the EPA will not take the wolves off of the endangered species list. The EPA changes the rules to suit what ever agenda suits them. Then just here in Mesa County the BLM wanted to restrict access to public lands. Furthermore, I have visited the monument and didn’t find anything extraordinary about it to warrant a National Park status.
So what is the real reason behind this push or do we just have the wait and see, which seems the norm for Washington with no regard to its citizens or its lands.

Personally I think Colorado and all of the states needs to take back all of the lands under the Federal Gov’t.,lands that were supposed to be turned over to Colorado in August of 1876. They have illegally held these lands here and all over the west for a century and a third. That is the full faith and favor of the US Government. All we get is more people and more bureaucracy for an enormous amount of money that do little or nothing constructive. We could eliminate the Dept. of Interior, Federal forest service, Bureau of Land Management and the EPA.

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