Printed letters, December 26, 2012

The BLM environmental assessment for Bangs Canyon includes plans to expand access to motorized use in the Bangs Canyon area and to the steep slopes of Horse Mesa.

The expansion was promoted by an organization interested in increasing motorized use and biking, but other public involvement was not a part of the initial proposed action. Commercial interests should not drive any BLM plan.

The expansion of motorized access to Horse Mesa slopes should be curtailed for several reasons. This area supports mountain lion and deer, as can be proved by their scat and tracks. The expansion requires denuding the area of dense vegetation — native trees and shrubs.

Flags on the slopes of Horse Mesa indicate the position of new motorized routes. This area is so geologically unique that it should have enhanced protection, not degradation by increased motorized use.

In total, this environmental assessment would open up 21 more miles to motorized use for the mega 4x4 rock crawlers, ATVs and single-track users. The BLM should leave the plan alone so that hikers and horseback riders can still enjoy the area.

Proposed motorized trails 2, 5 and 6 are close to Horse Mesa. There is plenty of damage to the area, including erosion and pollution from oil and lubricants. Quiet use, including walking and horseback riding, is minimally destructive to the land and promotes exercise sorely needed by Americans.

The new environmental assessment for Bangs Canyon is not only devoid of environmental considerations and quiet use, but also the main paved road, Little Park Road, would most definitely need to have additional egress lanes built in blind areas for safety.

Why ruin a beautiful area? Leave Bangs as it is, and do not implement the project.


Western Colorado Congress


Connecticut tragedy shows lack of care for mentally ill

Recent violent events such as Sandy Hook, Aurora, Portland, Virginia Tech, and Tucson have one thing in common beside guns: mental illness.

The failure of the various state and local mental health systems to bring treatment where most needed is evident.

This all began with “deinstitutionalization” in the 1980s. Although certainly full of advantages, freedom and rights for the mentally ill, the pendulum has swung to where the system is overburdened and underfunded.

After having worked in the mental health business for years, I have no qualms or illusions about persons with mental illness, but I do have a problem with the psychiatrists, psychologists and politicians who treat the mentally ill with cavalier indifference.

The Aurora incident alone shows a system that kicked a can down the road and was just as culpable for 12 deaths. What became of treatment, duty to warn and common sense? The lack of proper care for the mentally ill is just as responsible for these unspeakable tragedies as those other victims — the untreated mentally ill.



Where is the outrage for 
those killed by abortion?

The recent tragedy in Connecticut was covered in depth by all the networks and by your newspaper. The loss of life was decried.

But where was the outcry about the number of babies killed by abortion the same day? This number slain in Connecticut pales in comparison. And the babies were slain by persons who had taken an oath to protect life.

I haven’t heard anyone calling for the control of abortionist tools.


Grand Junction


Economic development 
needs innovation, cooperation

Thank you for the Dec. 16 guest column by Kelly Flenniken about economic development incentives. I am a new board member to the Grand Junction Economic Partnership and recently got more involved because I believe in the new direction the organization is taking. Through my involvement with GJEP, I have had the opportunity to see firsthand that incentives are an important tool to economic development.

And I’m pleased that Mesa County has a strong leader at the helm, guarding the taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars. More importantly, however, I am encouraged by the innovation and collaboration that GJEP utilizes to encourage economic development. GJEP understands that incentive monies are few, so it thrives on thinking outside the box.

A recent example of this was seen in GJEP’s efforts to incentivize a company to take on an anodizing process as part of its operations. This innovative idea creates a handful of jobs today and enhances our community’s opportunity to recruit new jobs in the aviation sector for years to come.

As business leaders, we need to get involved in organizations such as GJEP. We need to be collaborative and innovative if we are truly going to see successful economic development in our community. Great ideas are only great if you share them and act on them.

TIM FOSTER, President

Colorado Mesa University

Grand Junction


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