Printed letters, December 6, 2013

Thank you, bunny huggers and tree lovers, along with your sponsored government regulations. One mining company down (Oxbow) and two to go.

Now that the coal industry is on its way out, it is time for the environmentalists to prove they can support the tax needs of Delta County with their individual five acres of organic grapes and/or apples.

They also need to be able to support the small businesses and housing industry that depended on the coal miners. May they enjoy the cold and dark winters ahead.

LARRY M. HEAD 

Hotchkiss

BLM aims to curb access 
to many hunters, anglers

Last spring we all experienced the BLM land-grab process of “public” input for “resource managment plans” that would reduce motorized access roads by 67 percent and close areas that hunters and anglers have been able to access since the beginning of time. After a lengthy and heated discussion of their plans, BLM officials advised us they would submit their final recommendation to Washington sometime in 2014.

Now, a letter to the editor in The Daily Sentinel claims Colorado’s hunters and anglers are in favor of reducing population growth, energy development and off-highway vehicles that have steadily eroded quality wildlife habitat in our state.

First of all, I resent the Colorado Backcountry Hunters & Anglers making statements about how I feel as a hunter and angler regarding the BLM and its land grabs. Second, I wonder if writer David Lien has even been to the Uncompahgre Plateau or had “boots on the ground” on the Western Slope?

The BLM managers are proposing to change access to our public lands in a way that will curtail some of our recreation, including hunting and angling, hurt our jobs with more energy restrictions and further concentrate our growth on private lands. If you don’t believe it, just ask the folks from other states who have been barred from their public lands use by our government.

The bottom line is President Barack Obama owes the radical environmentalists for their support. He is repaying them by letting them strangle the real hunters and anglers from access to our public lands.

I know that the wildlife habitat is already protected by laws regarding damage by energy companies and off-highway recreationists. The public lands do not need to be restricted to a few hikers, bikers and horseback riders to protect them.

If the BLM can’t enforce the laws already on the books, it should return management of the lands to the people of the state the lands are in and leave town.

JAMES O’MALLEY

Grand Junction

 

BLM must work to keep 
state’s wild lands wild

It is no secret that Colorado holds some of the finest hunting and fishing opportunities in the world. As an employed guide for both of these pursuits, I work directly with families, groups of friends and solo hunters and anglers from all over this nation and places beyond.

Colorado has some of the healthiest fisheries in the West, world-renowned mule deer hunting and nearly three times the number of elk as the next closest state. Why?

A big reason is because we have the habitat to support these populations. In particular, we have great backcountry and wilderness areas that provide clean sources of water for the creeks and rivers and ultimately for the fish. We have vast mountainous terrain that provides necessary habitat in the spring, summer and fall for elk and deer (and so many other species), as well as quality winter range in our sagebrush habitats and lower grasslands. Quality habitat results in billions of dollars for our state from resident and nonresident hunters and anglers, every year.

As the BLM office in Grand Junction drafts its new resource management plans for the Dominguez-Escalante NCA and the Uncompahgre Plateau, I hope it keeps these wild places protected well into the future. The relentless push of human encroachment could very easily tip the scales out of favor for the quality hunting and fishing opportunities thousands of people have been able to enjoy year in and year out.

Oil and gas development, ATV use and roads all certainly have their place, but I can’t stress enough the importance of allowing these activities to exist in as responsible a way as humanly possible. Keeping our wild lands wild and protected will provide so much more for so many more in the long run.

ADAM GALL

Hotchkiss

 

Pugliese and Justman only 
serve tea party interests

It is time to talk about recall of Mesa County Commissioners John Justman and Rose Pugliese. These people only work for the tea party.

They want to defund anything that helps the low-income people of this valley. They are willing to risk losing funding of GOCO, for a paltry amount of money.

If you want more sales taxes, raise the minimum wage and watch people spend money! Allow marijuana shops and reap the taxes and benefits of better paying jobs. The reason we are so far behind in recovery is because we are regressive, not progressive, compared to the rest of the country.

JENNIFER BOWDEN

Grand Junction



COMMENTS

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The main flaw of legalizing and taxing pot is that taxes may make the price so high that people will just do what they always have done and go to their neighborhood underground dealer for cheaper untaxed pot.

Mike Mason, who continually loses the school board races in Delta County, wants to teach ‘American history’ via a book where Rush Limbaugh the radio host pretends to go back in time???  I, for one, am confident I voted correctly—along with the majority of folks that voted this last time in Delta County.

Not sure why that ended up here, GJ Sentinel’s strange system that refuses one to have more than one browser tab open…  Larry Head is incorrect.  The Oxbow mine was not shut due to bunny lovers or tree huggers but a mine event.  But for some its easier to image a binary world of us v. them rather than a more messy complex reality.

Mike Ludlow the Executive VP of Oxbow, in an interview with Aspen Public Radio stated, “...miners were laid off because of dangerous working conditions. Part of the mine caught fire twice in the last year and efforts to make it safer were unsuccessful.”
The interview continued with, “Since the fires, costly mining equipment is sealed deep below the ground and laying idle. Estimates are that it would be as much as eighty million dollars to replace it. Still, despite the layoffs, parts of the mine are operating.”
Brad Goldstein PR for Oxbow said, “He says higher costs and tighter government pollution rules did not play a role in letting go of half its workforce at Elk Creek.”

So Mr. Head, what part of this situation leads you to say it is the fault of environmentalists? A knee jerk reaction brought on by a lack of information or a just a regurgitation of propaganda that you have been listening to? For sure you were not reading the papers or listening to the people involved.

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