Printed letters, August 18, 2013
The Aug. 8 article about rounding up wild horses on the Little Book Cliffs range said, “The range can support 90 to 100 horses, but the herd now numbers an estimated 154 head.”
There are 154 horses on the range, but the appropriate management level for the Little Book Cliffs is 90 to 150, not 90 to 100. Our local BLM wild horse personnel are so conscientious that they would have called for a removal long ago, the minute we surpassed the high end if it were 100.
The statement that 50 horses will be removed is also incorrect. The number of horses removed from the range will be determined around Aug. 20, based on “current range conditions and utilization levels,” according to the decision record for the gather plan.
The decision record states that, “If utilization levels are light to moderate in August 2013, the population would be gathered down to 130 to 140 head…” It goes on to say, “If utilization levels are heavy to extreme, up to 50 wild horses may be removed.”
From what I have seen of the range and the condition of the horses since our wet monsoon season began in July, I am hopeful that only 15-20 horses will be taken off. I can’t imagine it will be 50.
In the article, BLM spokesperson David Boyd said, “The nice thing is that all the horses will be adopted locally.” In a perfect world, all of our Book Cliff horses would be adopted locally. In reality, this has only happened once in our 10 local adoptions of horses from the Book Cliffs range.
For example, in 2007, 55 horses were removed and only 41 of these horses were adopted. The other 14 went to long-term or short-term holding facilities at a great expense to taxpayers.
Since all of the horses to be removed this year will be ages 5 and under, there is a chance they will be adopted locally. I’m keeping my fingers crossed and praying for more rain.
Determining acceptable level of risk in fracking is the key
I agree with the recent writer who urged the North Fork to get the facts on fracking before opposing fracking for natural gas in our valley.
A good place to start is on the Internet with a Google search on “fracking dangers.” Once you scroll down through the gas industry-paid sites, you come to thousands of sites to “non-industry” articles outlining the monumental danger fracking can cause to the air, water, land and humans, like us, who inhabit this land.
You will find credible articles reporting damage to drinking water sources, seismic activity created by fracking causing earthquakes, air pollution from fracking chemicals creating greater risks of serious health problems and many other bad outcomes.
Keep in mind, as you analyze the divergent conclusions, that the gas industry is making billions from drilling wells all over the United States. There is so much gas being produced in our country that we are building export terminals so that liquified natural gas can be exported internationally.
The real question, based on the conflict between “facts,” is to decide what the acceptable level of risk is for you. Check out the facts, evaluate the source of the facts and then make up your own mind.
If you are looking for a compromise, consider the North Fork Alternative Plan that seeks to allow fracking in specific areas yet protects the current agricultural, coal and tourist economy by designating certain areas where gas exploration and fracking are prohibited.
Some want benefits without the impacts of gas drilling
There were five governors at the governors’ summit this summer in Aspen. All more or less were sitting astraddle the fence on the subject of drilling and fracking for natural gas and oil.
Following this news item was one showing protesters opposing all drilling and fracking for development of oil or gas.
The next news story was about people in the corridor from Glenwood Springs to Aspen being elated over how their air quality had improved since the public transportation buses had started using compressed natural gas.
There has been drilling for oil and gas for more than 100 years. If it is so bad for the environment and Mother Earth, why hasn’t the sky fallen by now?
Not in my backyard. Can we have it both ways?
Organizations, volunteers praised for river cleanup
Great thanks are due to Bob Richardson and the Western Association To Enjoy Rivers for organizing the ninth annual “Colorado River Clean Up” float trip.
The cleanup was a big success, with 70 volunteers removing more than 22 cubic yards of trash, 24 tires, two TVs, two grocery carts and one hot tub (yes, a full-size hot tub) from the river. That’s a lot of trash.
Thanks also go out to the 5-2-1 Drainage Authority, Grand Valley Drainage District, Mesa County, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Bureau of Land Management, Grand Junction, Fruita, Palisade, REI and Cabela’s. All contributed by way of waived fees, prizes or financial support. And thanks for the BBQ dinner prepared for the volunteers.
The cumulative effect on the riparian habitat is tremendous, and we should be proud that our community leaders support the volunteers who work to clean up the river.
And, please, don’t throw hot tubs into the river. They are hard to get out.
Thanks again, Bob. Great job.