Printed letters, Oct. 28, 2011

The U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals recently upheld the 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule, which serves to protect some 50 million acres of federal roadless lands across the United States. Colorado has about 4.2 million of these acres in 363 separate roadless areas.

As hunters and anglers know from boots-on-the-ground experience, national forest roadless areas provide some of America’s last undisturbed fish and wildlife habitat and the finest publicly accessible hunting and fishing in the country. Having too many roads increases big game vulnerability to excessive motorized vehicle disturbance and can result in shorter seasons and fewer available tags for hunters.

High road densities also decrease the quality of streamside habitat, which is detrimental for wild trout and reduces angling opportunities. In Colorado, roadless areas comprise more than 58 percent of native cutthroat trout habitat and more than 50 percent of the public land in the 15 most-hunted game management units. Twelve of those GMUs each contain over 100,000 acres of roadless public land.

In addition, 92 percent of all national forest lands in Colorado already lie within one mile of a road. There are currently over 17,000 miles of roads in our national forests, and the Forest Service has stated it only needs 20 percent of the current road system.

In 2005, 100 biologists and game managers with the Colorado Division of Wildlife examined wildlife values in the more than 300 roadless areas in forests across the state. Unanimously, they opposed road building in every area. As hunters and anglers (and their DOW brethren) know from firsthand experience, roadless areas in Colorado are invaluable. Without affording them lasting protections our sporting heritage will struggle to survive.

We’re glad U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals agrees.

DAVID LIEN

Colorado Springs

Tipton should have done more to protect airsheds

This letter has to do with the vote Rep. Scott Tipton cast on H.R. 2681, failing to stop 150 cement factories from using the airshed as a dumping ground.

Regarding Tipton’s awkward, backward, negative vote on H.R. 2681: He should think forward. He should think how many men and women would be put to work installing stack scrubbers to clean up stack emissions. Then he should try to think forward instead of backward to a cleaner airshed. It would be a giant stoe forward to bring the American airshed infrastructure into the 21st century.

I do believe he owes the voters an explanation.

FLOYD SCHNEIDER

Grand Junction

Palisade community doesn’t need dispensary

Feelings are running high on controversial Measure 2B. The question is not whether people are for or against the use of medical marijuana, but whether there should be a dispensary.

The owners of the local dispensary argue they are providing a public service. Having a father who died of brain cancer, a mother who died of ovarian cancer and a week-old daughter who had three surgeries and chemotherapy, I can understand pain and suffering. Never did they require marijuana for pain relief. They were able to control their pain with prescribed medicines.

For those who can find relief only through the use of marijuana, its ingredients are available through pharmacies like other prescription drugs, eliminating the need for a dispensary.

As to the community services the store owners provide, such as fixing up the ball park, my son fixed up that same ball park as an Eagle project six years earlier.

Regarding the money this store brings in, I refer to Sheriff Stan Hilkey’s comments about the legal ramifications of increased marijuana use. When our law enforcement officers are against something, we had better pay attention. They know the costs to our youth and community.

All of the research done in the 1970s about the use of marijuana is still relevant. Is it worth it to allow this shop to remain open and distribute marijuana all day long, every day, to people who have the opportunity to obtain their pain relief at a pharmacy? Do we really want that much marijuana available in the community with no regulation? As you go to the polls, look ahead five or 10 years at the cost and decide if it is worth it. Then vote “Yes” on 2B.

MERRIJO GARDNER

Grand Junction

Dodd, Frank should be held accountable

Thank you to Denny Herzog for his Oct. 23 column titled, “Rep. Frank deserves big share of blame for our economic mess.” It was very informative. While I do not always agree with Herzog, this one was a winner.

My personal belief is that both Rep. Frank and former Sen. Dodd should somehow have been held accountable for what they did. But, as Denny said, “All we can do, is ask the people of the Fourth District of Massachusetts: Why do you elect this guy?” — which they keep doing.

MARY ANN SHIPPERT

Grand Junction



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