Printed Letters: May 1, 2014
Restrictions on state lands exceed those of the feds
There has been much talk lately of the states taking over management of our vast currently federally managed lands. Whether in support of the trespassing Cliven Bundy in Nevada or to plump up state coffers from resource sale and lease, a lot of folks are in knee-jerk support of such an idea. Perhaps people should stop and think before plunging in.
The lands the state currently manages are operated under far more restrictions than most federally managed lands. State Land Board lands are generally accessible only to the leasee and managed as his own (Bundy would like this) with very limited public access on a few parcels during hunting seasons.
State parks require payment of an entry fee with onerous regulations restricting public use. State Wildlife Areas also require the payment of a fee (Habitat Stamp) and are posted with a detailed list of regulations and prohibited activities, including camping. While these areas have their place in the public land management scheme, few public land users would want the vast tracts of currently federally managed land operated this way.
Our federal land management agencies do a good job of managing these expansive and endlessly varied tracts. They consider multiple uses from resource extraction to recreation in a balanced manner that considers impacts of any resource use on all resources. Yes, the federal government can get heavy-handed, and we all will find disagreement with their decisions from time to time, but generally they make decisions based on resource management objectives.
We all receive financial, aesthetic and recreational benefit from the current management and should use caution when calling for change — we may get what we ask for.
National Park Service should continue to oversee monument
The reason why we have a National Park Service is to manage our national parks in the national interest. But Rep. Scott Tipton wants to see a Colorado national park that is managed from the “bottom up” with an advisory board packed with local cronies and economic interest groups.
This was never the intent of the Organic Act of 1916, which created the National Park Service, and it will tie the hands of any reasonable park superintendent. If we think we have a world-class attraction that will attract outsiders to the Grand Valley, then we should be providing world-class management.
We don’t need representatives from the oil and gas industry or the chambers of commerce telling NPS personnel how to do their jobs.
If Tipton is such a proponent of local “bottoms up” management, perhaps he should consider making Colorado National Monument into a city or county park. Then all local residents with their own personal agendas can have their fingers in the pie.
Pot fests on Easter Sunday prompt health-care questions
Recent 4/20 celebrations of pot on Easter Sunday made me think of the perspective of things here in the old hometown.
Colorado used to be quite conservative, but as of late the communist takeover of the state houses and the governor’s office have directed us in a whole new direction — one I’m not comfortable with. President Obama has chosen to ram Obamacare down our throats, and the state houses and liberals have seen fit to legalize recreational pot?
So, with all the hazards of smoking we have been hearing about for over 30 years, the cost that adds to health care, even under Obamacare, and the long-term health concerns, how are we going to deal with the whole new set of circumstances that legalized pot has brought us? Out-of-state party hounds flying in on Easter to get high, food products with pot in them, drug testing for jobs and DUI offenses, personal safety on job sites — the list goes on and on.
The elected officials who profess to be “looking out for our welfare” because apparently we are too stupid to do it for ourselves seem to be more guided by political motivation than actual known outcomes of use of the drug. I think they were just looking for something else to tax, and if we smoke enough of it, we probably just won’t care. Never fear; Choom is on the job.