Printed letters, November, 14, 2012

Thirty years ago, the Piceance Creek area southwest of Meeker supported a wintering mule deer herd of more than 30,000 animals. Today there are only half to two-thirds that number wintering there. Much of this reduction in deer numbers is due to habitat loss and increased human activity associated with energy development.

The Bureau of Land Management’s White River Resource Area is amending the 20-year plan for oil and gas development for the area. Currently, there are approximately 1,800 producing oil and gas wells in the resource area, but up to 21,000 new wells are proposed for construction.

Although developing domestic energy resources is a high priority, protecting important fish and wildlife habitats is equally important. We must ensure that the last, best BLM lands for hunting and fishing remain intact and accessible to hunters and anglers or we risk losing an important economic resource as well as a valuable part of our Western heritage.

A new category for identifying and managing BLM lands that are important habitats for wildlife is gathering support on the Western Slope, as well as in other Western states. This new concept is called a backcountry conservation area.

BCAs will allow on-the-ground managers to do a number of things to benefit wildlife, including the following:

✓ Restore and improve habitats to benefit fish and wildlife;

✓ Keep access open to public lands;

✓ Maintain livestock grazing;

✓ Prohibit surface occupancy for oil and gas drilling.

While no surface occupancy would be allowed on BCAs for oil and gas drilling, directional drilling from the perimeter would be allowed.

Wildlife conservation groups recommend that approximately 230,000 acres (15 percent) of the 1.4 million acres included in the BLM White River Resource Area be set aside as BCAs.

This proposal is a prudent and reasonable recommendation to keep our public lands biologically viable and accessible. Support the creation of BCAs in BLM land management decisions if you value hunting, fishing and the wildlife needed to sustain these activities.

JOHN ELLENBERGER

Grand Junction

GOP can rebuild itself 
beginning with local races

Last week’s election was the end of a long-fought battle. Many of us in rural America had no idea it would turn out the way it did. We figured — given the economy, global tensions, debt, deficit, unemployment and gas prices — there was no way Obama could be re-elected.

We were wrong. The blame games for our loss have already started: Our candidate was too conservative, our candidate was too liberal, our candidate was too successful, our candidate was too nice, our candidate was too Mormon.

For every disgruntled voter there is a different reason why we lost the most important election of our lifetime. Whether all or none of these reasons is true, the fact remains we have President Barack Obama as the leader of the free world for four more years.

I know many people would like to find a place to hide for the next four years, hoping that it will all go away, but we all know that things are going to get worse. There will be more debt, more deficits and much more government to deal with before this president leaves office.

The midterm election in two years will be our next chance to right some of the wrongs and repair damage that will be done in the next two years.

Right now, the dollar is collapsing, the debt is unsustainable and we are on the path of many failing European economies. This is when we need to dig our heels in and overcome the forces of a corrupt mainstream media, an uninformed electorate and power-hungry government bureaucrats who are shredding the Constitution.

To do this, we must start locally, with school boards, town councils, political party leadership, etc. All politics are local, and we need to begin pushing against the bureaucracies and their unfunded mandates that are destroying our way of life and our country.

Don’t give up. Even though we will be paying the price for this election for many years, there is still hope and we can make America what our Founding Fathers envisioned.

DON SUPPES, Chairman

Delta County

Republican Central Committee

Eckert

 

America hasn’t died 
due to election outcome

Boo hoo. Republicans lost.

No, America didn’t die on Nov. 6. What died was the tea party’s dream of taking the country back to the 1850s.

As for the letter writer whose health insurance went up by $600, I’m betting that was even before Obamacare was approved by the U.S. Supreme Court. Back in 2002, my healh insurance went up by $500.

The cost of health insurance has been skyrocketing for at least a decade. Individuals can’t afford it and businesses can’t afford it for their employees, thus making it necessary for government involvement.

I know in a few years, Republicans will be right there in line in front of me, taking advantage of this as sure as they are now drawing Social Security and Medicare.

MICHAEL McKEE

Grand Junction



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