Printed letters, December 25, 2012

After reading the letter about the Bear Ranch Land Exchange recently, I feel compelled to correct a few inaccuracies. I’m sure they were unintentional, but the “facts” just aren’t accurate.

According to the letter, the proposal “takes away and locks the public out of good hunting land forever … they cannot dispute it no matter how many pretty fliers in color they send out.”

Well, I can dispute those claims, and I need to. I am on that flier.

I tried hunting the BLM strip in question last year and was very disappointed. It’s not exactly what I would call gorgeous. More specifically, it’s very narrow. So narrow that it’s almost impossible to harvest an animal without trespassing on private property.

The road also dead-ends way before getting into the Raggeds Wilderness. Area.

Because of the ruckus over the exchange and my experience during hunting season, I was interested when Bear Ranch publicized public tours, and I took the opportunity to learn more.

Fact is, the exchange will improve public access to the Raggeds, not lock out the public.

The new improvements proposed on the Buck Creek property will be a boon to the public, and the Ragged Mountain Trail off Munsey Creek Road will continue to provide access to the same Forest Service land. Access for hunting, fishing, horseback riding, off-roading, etc., will remain, but will be improved with two new trails and a safe, new trailhead and parking area.

“As a hunter and a local in the area, I am very excited about the new opportunities for accessing the Raggeds from Buck Creek Ranch.” I stand by that quote, on or off the flier.

I support the land exchange, and I am sure those who do their own research will as well.



Denver Council’s stance on 
West Slope resources insulting

Concerning the Denver City Council voting on a resolution supporting the BLM’s draconian oil shale plan, I suppose we ought to at least be thankful that a couple of folks on that council recognize that they do not occupy the center of the universe.

Councilman Charlie Brown appears to be one of the only members of that body to realize that. I have to agree with him that the resolution will “increase the rift between the Western Slope and Denver.”

The arrogance displayed by the Denver City Council in adopting the resolution is astounding. Never mind the council’s ignorance on the topic of its resolution. What makes its members think that they have any right to our water or to tell us how to manage our resources?

In their proclamation, they inform us that our water is theirs to decide what to do with, and then they weigh in on whether and how we should develop the other resources in our backyard — namely oil shale.

This resolution seems to confirm the open secret that Denver considers the Western Slope little more than an extension of its municipal area, a mere source of water and other resources, annoyingly populated by a bunch of backward hicks who occasionally need to be put in their place.

Oil shale is a tremendous resource and blessing to the Western Slope. If Denver decides it does not want to share in the benefits of oil shale development, fine, that is its call. But for Denver to feel entitled to our water and at the same time decide it appropriate to pass judgment on an issue that so greatly impacts our regional economy smacks of arrogance and conceit that are, as Brown understands, insulting and offensive.


Grand Junction


City of Denver justified in 
its interest in WS resources

It was encouraging to read about the leadership being taken by the city of Denver in supporting a slow and cautious approach to oil shale development in western Colorado (Dec. 18: “Over objections Denver raises oil shale water concerns.”)

However, as a fourth-generation rancher and farmer deeply concerned about water issues, I was a little disappointed to see some paint the city’s action as “controversial.”

After all, clean and abundant water is as equally important to Front Range communities as those on the West Slope. Although oil shale development will likely not be economically viable any time in the near future, if and when it does, it will have a profound impact on all of Colorado’s environment and water supplies.

There should be nothing contentious about our elected representatives expressing concern about this and encouraging a common-sense approach going forward.




Insurance firms use prospect 
of Obamacare to jack up rates

Don’t let the insurance companies fool you, they love Obamacare.

My wife’s health insurance has doubled the past four years. Last year we raised her deductible to where she could still be considered covered.  This year the insurance company raised her coverage to a little more than $900 per month.

The accompanying letter said she was lucky that she was grandfathered in, otherwise, her insurance would be considerably higher.

Next year she should be eligible for Medicare. Then some other poor taxpayer can help pay her medical cost.


Grand Junction


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