Printed letters, June 27, 2013

It is in everyone’s interest that motorized recreation on BLM-administered lands doesn’t become wreckreation. Dirt bikes, ATVs, jeeps, rockcrawlers and other powerful, enjoyable machines have the ability to overwhelm the terrain on which they operate.

Not to manage this activity will cause hard-to-repair damage to BLM-administered lands and will lessen the enjoyable experience of the next set or generation of users. Chewed-up landscapes with eroding, debris-littered, conflict-prone, shared-use trail experiences await all of us if the BLM doesn’t close to motorized use overly-route-laden areas and unsafe trails.

Open cross-country motorized travel must be limited, as it is in the BLM preferred Alternative B, to specific zones to prevent a few riders’ enthusiasm from ruining the landscape and everyone else’s pleasure.

In Alternatives B and C, travel management allows extensive access to almost everywhere while closing redundant trails and protecting resource areas.

As a fundamental principle of good stewardship that benefits everyone, the BLM should close to motorized use those trails that it lacks the budget and staff to monitor and maintain.

The long-term economic benefit from well managed, public lands requires restricted use. We all have to give up something to sustain the landscape that sustains us.

I used to raft without permit and camp wherever I wanted. I loved that freedom, now lost. Ruined, littered campsites were the result of unrestricted overuse.

Controlled use of public land is less enjoyable. Trouble is, it is essential.

CHARLES KERR

Grand Junction

Public can’t give up effort 
to change BLM resource plan

Well, the “deadline” for public comment has come and passed on the new BLM proposal — a proposal that will eliminate more than 60 percent of the motorized access to our public lands. Now the chess game begins between those who believe everyone should have access to our public lands and a governmental branch of the Sierra Club, the BLM.

The next phase of this three-act play is to convince the public that the BLM is carefully reviewing and considering all the suggestions and comments submitted.

However, this is going to take up to a year before the agency is ready to submit the final recommendation. In reality, BLM officials are counting on the public moving on to new issues and forgetting about their plan.

They will pick a couple of low-use road and trail suggestions to include in their original plan and quietly submit their final recommendation to Washington.

When the public finds out they disregarded the majority of the public’s suggestions, it will be too late. They will finally put out a statement that they considered all the feedback, but had to make their decision based on what is “best for the land.”

The bottomline is, all this song and dance will be for nothing. I believe they have already made their decision, based on the recommendations of the extreme environmentalists who have supported the current administration in Washington.

There are two actions we, the real owners of these lands, can take to fight this land grab.

First of all, we need to stay active on this plan process. Write your congressmen routinely to encourage their support in killing this plan.

Secondly, run and/or vote for the people at all levels of government that will protect your land rights.

Just remember that your voice can be heard if it is loud enough. Power is in the number of voters represented by action group. The key to the leftist success is in our apathy.

JAMES O’MALLEY

Grand Junction

 

Police should target real 
criminals, not panhandlers

I just thought that someone should let The Daily Sentinel know how much of a non-issue panhandling is. A full-page spread on Wendell Faircloth was unwanted and, as far as I am concerned, a waste of space in the newspaper for which I pay.

He is not special and should not be getting free advertising. Those crosses he makes are not made from juniper unless that happens to be the particular scrap wood he found the day he made them.

As far as the rest of the people panhandling, consider their choices: a limited number of seasonal jobs the illegal immigrants will get first or a limited number of day labor jobs at the day-labor services that are usually filled by 8 a.m.

I am not saying that everybody holding a sign is an angel, far from it. But I, as one voter and taxpayer, would rather see our police force going after criminals instead of worrying about some poor schmuck standing beside the entrance to Walmart and trying to beg a dollar.

MARIO L. AERICKO

Grand Junction



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