Printed letters, Jan. 10

Is “Energy Alley” a blessing or a damnation? It depends on your perspective. For the profit-hungry energy industry and a nation striving for energy self-sufficiency, it may indeed be a blessing. For those of us impacted by gas wells going into our backyards, it’s a damnation.

In the Daily Sentinel’s series on “Energy Alley,” on Dec. 30 Dennis Webb wrote concerning the vast natural gas resources and level of activity in the Piceance Basin. He wrote of it again on Jan. 1.

I am amazed that, as seemingly thorough as his articles were, he did not once mention Antero Resources and its plans to drill 200 gas wells in the Battlement Mesa community. I should think that a driller’s decision to drill 200 gas wells in a populated area comprising less than 1/10 of 1 percent of the gas rich Piceance Basin would be newsworthy. To those of us so damned it certainly is.


Can we promote energy and preserve way of life?

I commend The Daily Sentinel for the research apparent in the eight-part “Energy Alley” series.

But the overall optimistic forecast for the extraction industry didn’t pay much mind to the social, environmental, health and economic impacts inherent in an alley of this type.

I wonder how our cities, counties and state would brace for the boom-and-bust cycles historically connected with mining activities, or if anybody out there knows how to get rid of chemical and radioactive waste.

I also wonder if we can promote such an alley and still attract tourists with our blue skies, streams, rivers and wildlife — the very reasons many of us came to the Western Slope.

This spring, as I leaf through the pages of the Sentinel’s “Vacationland” special section, I will wonder if such a wondrous vacation land can coexist with an Energy Alley.


Grand Junction

Hidden Gems plan will close too much land

We are writing from the standpoint of the multi-user, as we are both active in our national forests as backcountry skiers, climbers, mountain and dirt bike riders and trail runners.

We don’t understand the purpose of the Hidden Gems Wilderness Proposal when there are already a travel management plans currently in process by the U.S. Forest Service in both the White River and Gunnison National Forests. These proposed travel management plans have been in process for several years and have been designed to assess how we best utilize and manage our forest lands with respect to wildlife, conservation, the environment and use within the forest. They take into account how we best manage the forests as our population grows and the popularity for all types of outdoor recreation expands.

Since 2002, the current White River Forest travel management plan has proposed 82,000 acres for closure to wilderness designation. The Hidden Gems campaign proposes a blanket closure of 400,000 acres without due process, which includes necessary environmental impact statements and public input from all user groups, not just a select few.

The White River National Forest does not support the Hidden Gems proposal. We simply cannot afford to lose more public lands to wilderness designation beyond what the Forest Service proposes. By reducing the variety of user groups to foot and horse traffic only, wilderness effectively eliminates the number of stewards advocating responsible use, augmenting the Forest Service with their time.

We believe that every one of us who uses our forest lands in any capacity wants to see it protected and preserved for future generations. We want to continue to have the capacity to care for and protect these lands in conjunction with the Forest Service and to access them responsibly in our chosen mode — without exclusion, and with tolerance to all users.




Those who come illegally are not ‘immigrants’

Ruben Navarrette has written more realistically regarding our so-often-called “illegal immigrants” than many columnists. However, in his column, “Despite Sotomayor, it really ought to be ‘illegal,’ ” Ruben is concerned about the wrong word.

Politicians, the media, columnists and so-called immigration activists all seem to have their politically correct moniker for individuals who are in this country illegally. Almost all of these include the word “immigrant.”

Ruben is right — they are here illegally and as such the term “illegal” is justified in any verbal description. But they are certainly not “immigrants.” It is a grave injustice to those many, true immigrants in this country to even hint that those here illegally should in any way, shape or form be called “immigrant.”

Ask any true immigrant what he or she had to endure to become an actual U.S. immigrant and you’ll quickly understand why the term “immigrant” should never be used to describe someone here illegally.

Both Supreme Court justices and media columnists are supposed to be expert wordsmiths. For either to use the term “illegal immigrant” or “undocumented immigrant” shows that they are not what they should be.

According to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement glossary, immigrant is “a term generally used to refer to any foreign-born newcomer to the United States.” ICE categorizes immigrants as those who have attained permanent residency or a green card. ICE categorizes everyone else as a non-immigrant, even though they’re in the United states.



Project may mean lights out downtown

This letter goes out to the planners of the latest downtown fiasco.

I remember when the words “Main Street” brought to mind thoughts of casual shopping along shaded sidewalks downtown. Not any more. That was in the past. With all the streets leading there barricaded, how would I ever get there?

Today, it evokes images created by the movie “Jaws”: “Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water.”  After the last round of forced beatification, it could now be, “Just when I thought it was safe to go back downtown.”

I have no doubt the finished project will be beautiful, park-like, in fact. And, if the planners say it’s something we need, well then, I guess we do. But, when it’s finished, will there be any stores left? Or will the vanishing shoppers and higher taxes have caused “lights out”?



‘Energy Alley’ is not a blessing for many


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