Printed letters, March 19, 2010

Staff of coroner, sheriff deserve praise for actions

My wife and I had a rough February — not as rough as our neighbor, though. She lost her husband and while she was dealing with her loss, my wife and I, along with our neighbors, tried to help.

In our relations with the Mesa County Coroner and the Mesa County Sheriff’s officers, we were fortunate to deal with some very professional and kind people. The officers who were on site were very patient and diligent in their duties, and Mr. Stogsdill was compassionate and caring. They all dealt with a tough situation with smiles and genuine concern.

Their praises should be sung for their efforts in a terrible time. We hear all the negative and seldom hear the positive.

Please let the good people of this valley know that we have some invaluable representatives in our law enforcement and coroner’s office.

Thank you again gentlemen.

MIKE PARKER

Grand Junction

Innovative proposal will protect Dominguez waters

Regarding the March 11 editorial by The Daily Sentinel, “Future may be clear for Dominguez waters”: Trout Unlimited applauds the Sentinel for supporting a balanced, innovative plan to meet the water needs of the Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area and Dominguez Canyons Wilderness Area.

Healthy wilderness rivers and streams require more than minimal flows. They also require larger “flushing” flows in the spring to ensure that natural stream processes and hydrology are maintained. In last year’s Black Canyon of the Gunnison settlement, for instance, all parties agreed on the need for flushing flows to mimic the flow variability that occurs under natural conditions.

In the Dominguez case, the BLM plan is innovative in calling for the state to claim water rights to meet the flow needs of the federal wilderness area.  This arrangement allows Colorado to maintain control over the water resource while satisfying the purposes of the federal wilderness designation which, as the Sentinel points out, resulted from a constructive, cooperative effort.

The Colorado Water Conservation Board should approve this plan to keep the Big and Little Dominguez creeks running wild.

DREW PETERNELL, Director

Colorado Water Project

Trout Unlimited

Boulder

Ritter should stand up to latest EPA regulations

While governors from 18 U.S. states have been urging Congress to nix the EPA’s “harmful” regulation of greenhouse gas emissions, Gov. Bill Ritter chose to stand idly by.

The EPA’s plan will directly impact five western Colorado counties: Mesa, Rio Blanco, Gunnison, La Plata and Montezuma. Yet Ritter has thus far refused to stand up for these counties.

The EPA is attempting to change the ozone standard from .075 parts per million to somewhere between 60 and 70 parts per million.

Fifteen Colorado counties will not meet the standard if it’s changed. And with this comes the potential loss in federal highway dollars, compliance costs and job loss.

The industry that will get hit the hardest if the standard changes? Oil and gas. If the rule is passed, our oil and gas operators will be hit with more federal regulations and, of course, more fees.

La Plata and Montezuma counties in the San Juan Basin had 340 active drilling permits issued last year, and Gunnison, Mesa and Rio Blanco counties in the Piceance basin held nearly 800 permits in 2009. These five counties produced more than 852 million cubic feet of natural gas last year and four million barrels of oil.

This proposed rule doesn’t have definitive science to back it up. If you read the Federal Register on the proposed rule, you’ll see the EPA states its decision is based on “inconclusive scientific and technical information” and that the risk of harm isn’t even “precisely identified.”

I don’t want a rule that isn’t based on science and will harm an industry that is the backbone of the Western Slope. Come on Ritter, it’s time to stand up for what’s right, time to tell the EPA we won’t put up with this political move.

SAM SUSURAS

Grand Junction



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