Printed letters, Feb. 17, 2011
Recreational users on BLM land have long whined about reckless use. If someone damages public land, they ruin the fun for everyone else. Monitoring and enforcement are sorely needed on its 1.5 million acres, but the BLM does not have adequate dedicated and commissioned law enforcement officer here.
But now there is an opportunity that should be cheered by both motorized and non-motorized users. The Grand Junction’s BLM Field Office has applied for a grant from the Colorado OHV Grant Program.
This grant would fund four part-time BLM rangers, as well as equipment and safety items.
Education would be a top priority. If approved by the State Parks Board, the grant will include frequent presentations to regional community forums, educational institutions and off-highway vehicle groups.
The rangers will be able to patrol areas inaccessible by full-size patrol units and install carsonite travel management signs on BLM routes.
This is a very positive approach to a problem that has frustrated motorized and non-motorized users alike. Education, monitoring and enforcement will provide a safer sport for everyone. And Colorado’s natural resources will be the big winner.
We need water solutions for the 21st century
The Colorado River and its tributaries have always sustained our agricultural heritage and rural way of life here on the Western Slope. According to recent reports, such as that by the Colorado Water Conservation Board, however, these resources are increasingly being called upon by competing interests, such as to quench the thirst of rapidly growing cities.
If we are to preserve the family ranching and farming traditions in the West, we must move beyond traditional “buy and dry” practices of the 19th century.
According to the Department of Interior’s 2011 strategic plan, “A new approach and creative efforts are required to sustain the economy, environment and culture of the American West.”
Common-sense programs like the Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand Study are critical to sustaining the Colorado River as a resource that serves us all. Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar’s inventory will, I hope, show us how to balance precious water resources to meet the needs of agriculture, cities and wildlife.
We need water solutions for the 21st century and those solutions can’t come a day too soon.
U.S. cannot afford cost of illegal immigration
Having traveled often in Mexico and Central America, I have a great admiration for the friendly, honest and hard-working people of Latin America.
I wish we could throw open our borders and let all who want to come in to find jobs could do so, but that just is not feasible.
With millions of Americans out of work and illegal immigrants taking jobs in construction from our citizens, it is harmful.
I know this happens, as we had thousands of dollars worth of stucco and sheet rock work done on our house, and I don’t think one of the workers who came were legal.
There is also the question of how states and the U.S. government that are nearly bankrupt can continue to provide services to workers and their families when most are paid in cash and do not pay taxes?
There are also billions of dollars leaving our country, going south to their families, money that we cannot afford to lose.
I also get tired of hearing anyone who objects to this being labeled “racist.” We are only trying to protect our workers and our families and do not like it that so many of our tax dollars are being diverted from our needs. We can’t even use the term “illegal immigrants” without being criticized for it.
I find it incredible that almost 4 percent of people living in this country are here illegally.
We cannot be all things to all people.