Printed letters, July 17, 2012
As a result of a partisan fishing expedition that masqueraded as a congressional hearing on forest management in Montrose last May, Rep. Scott Tipton and some of his colleagues have introduced a bill that specifically calls for more state control on forest management decisions in high-risk areas on national Forest Service lands, as well as lands under BLM jurisdiction.
Coming after the disastrous Lower North Fork fire last March in Jefferson County that scorched more than 4,100 acres of land, burned 27 homes and killed two elderly citizens — the result of a state Forest Service controlled burn on Denver Water Board land — the Tipton bill seems particularly ill-timed.
But then Tipton has never let nasty little facts stand in the way of his anti-environment agenda.
Unwieldy permitting process bogs down gas development
On July 10, The Daily Sentinel posted an excellent article detailing the contribution that energy development makes with regard to employment and revenue for the country. The same day, a letter to the editor was posted that complained about the gas permitting process.
Mineral and gas development in the United States is completely bogged down in bureaucracy, undue regulation and constant harassment by out-of-touch environmental groups. The permitting process can take more than 10 years to procure approval in the United States. The process is streamlined and takes minimal time in other countries.
Because this process is uncertain, cumbersome and so difficult in this country, many companies are taking U.S. money and jobs to other places. The catchy phrase today for this is “outsourcing.” As a result of these burdens in the U.S., we are outsourcing thousands of jobs and billions of dollars because we are giving into pressure from select groups with specific agendas.
These agendas may give us a warm and fuzzy feeling, but the truth is they are detrimental to our country, the future of our kids and any hope of an economic recovery. We are already seeing government supported “green jobs” either being outsourced or bankrupted once federal subsidies dry up. At the same time, the facts provided in the July 10 article clearly show the jobs created and the contribution the mineral and gas industry has on the economy.
Let’s get busy supporting these businesses and bring the country back to the position we once were proud of. Whether it is mineral development or gas development, today it is done in a responsible, safe and efficient manner. These businesses do not need the misguided help from uninformed and agenda-driven groups that have no interest in jobs or the tax base. The tax base generated by mineral and gas development is a major contributor to school systems, roads, libraries, police and fire protection and all the other services and jobs that our county and state governments support.
What kind of jobs and tax base do these so-called environmental groups provide? Truth is, they drain the economy instead of improving it.
Let’s remember the 52,678 jobs and $12.2 billion in economic impact that the article talked about and support those who created it.
Romney drew young people to his town hall meeting
An article last week, below the fold, indicated the Mitt Romney town hall meeting drew a “diverse” crowd of among others, “curious Democrats.”
I wonder how the reporter was able to make this characterization. Looking over the overflow crowd, how was he able to determine who was a curious Democrat? I didn’t see any “Obama” T-shirts or any other signs of anyone being other than very enthusiastic Romney supporters.
What was notable but not mentioned was the surprising number of young people in attendance. This was a very successful display of united opinions on the answers that Romney gave to questions from the audience that prompted many standing ovations. This was all done without notes or (also not mentioned) Teleprompters.
Thinning trees is great insurance against fires
The July 13 Daily Sentinel article by Dennis Webb gave many good reasons for creating fuel breaks when living in wildfire-prone areas. Having spent 35 years with the U.S. Forest Service, including 15 years on a Southern California Incident Command Team, I would like to add a few more reasons.
When a major fire occurs, resources are always in short supply. Firefighters will allocate equipment and personnel to where they will have the best chance of success and at acceptable risk to firefighters.
A home with no fuel treatment probably can’t be saved, and it is often too risky for firefighters to attempt. Also, the home can be insured, but the loss of property value when trees burn cannot.
Fuel treatment costs are insurance. Another insurance is thinned stands, which result in less competition for soil moisture and conifers becoming less likely targets for bark beetles in drought years.
If you try to save all the trees, in the long run you probably won’t save any.