It’s time to remove Pendley from BLM

In response to the Sentinel’s recent article “Calls mount to end Pendley tenure atop BLM,” it is about time William Perry Pendley is removed from his position as director of the BLM.

It’s one thing to have extremist anti-public land views. He has a right to that as an individual. However, when those views directly influence policy positions and management of public lands for all Americans, that’s a big problem. Putting an extremist in charge of an agency that oversees over 245 million acres of public lands and over 700 million acres of subsurface minerals that belong to the public is a terrible idea.

As the article highlights, Pendley has indeed attempted to undermine tribes and tribal sovereignty, and denies climate change — while millions of acres in the West is literally on fire.

For the first time in eight years, the entire state of Colorado is under drought conditions. Not to be an alarmist but rather a realist, we are dealing with an evaporating Colorado River. Instead of showing leadership to address these issues, and listening to the public pleading for solutions, Pendley ignores the public over corporate interest, exacerbating the problems.

That is what is happening with Pendley as acting director of the BLM. He spent a career working to sell out public lands to corporate polluters and has a large web of connections to corporate interests. He claims that by moving BLM’s leadership to the West that decisions will better reflect Western values. Yet it appears this move is truly an attempt to gut the agency of its experienced personnel.

This administration plans to favor oil and gas development over other important uses like protecting clean water for farms and ranches, supporting Colorado’s outdoor recreation economy, and looking out for our hunters and anglers by protecting wildlife habitat. The BLM headquarters relocation is already proving to be a thinly veiled effort to carry out Pendley’s extreme vision for the agency. Enough is enough.



Our legislative history is full of progressive measures

Which of the following federal acts or programs do you think should be continued and which should be abolished? Please keep score.

The Federal Reserve Bank system, FDIC, SLIC, Securities Exchange Act, Federal Trade Commission, Federal Communications Commission, Consumer Financial Protection Commission, anti-trust acts, REA, Food and Drug Administration, Whistle Blower Protection Act, Forest Service, BLM, Soil Conservation Service, Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, OSA (workplace safety), Fair Labor Standards Act (wage and hour law), National Labor Relations Act (unions, strikes, mediation), HUD (Housing and Urban Development), Social Security, emergency assistance for needy families, unemployment insurance, food stamps, Americans With Disabilities Act, Medicaid, Medicare, Affordable Care Act, the GI Bill, Veterans Administration, Head Start, women’s suffrage, Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, Anti Discrimination laws, Title IX, Civil Rights Act, Voting Rights Act.

Most of these famous acts and agencies were created from 1900 to now and can be labeled “socialist” or at least “progressive” since they would have been promoted by socialist parties here and in Europe in the past. Most were passed under Democratic administrations with the early acts having strong Republican “progressive” support and have stood the test of time and constitutionality.

Looking at these acts, can you say there are ones that have hurt you and other Americans? Also please make a list of non-mentioned “socialist” acts that have hurt you. Now those of you who oppose those “socialist” acts that have probably provided monetary help to you and your family in your lifetime, please feel free to return the money to the government, especially the checks you received in the last few months, which increased the national debt.

Would the present Democratic Party proposals, mostly building upon the above acts, really be “radical” and destroy America or make life better, fairer and safer for most Americans and with more opportunity for all to succeed in the face of increasing monopolization of the economy and work place by large multinational corporations? Keep in mind that there is no Republican Party platform to compare.


Grand Junction

Human decency is orphaned by the ‘politics of humiliation’

The Daily Sentinel on Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, printed an editorial by Thomas Friedman with the headline “Who can win America’s politics of humiliation?” Friedman suggested that humiliation and the quest for dignity are two of the most powerful human emotions.

“Trump supporters are not attracted to his policies. They’re attracted to his attitude…his willingness and evident delight in skewering the people they (his followers) hate and who they feel look down on them.”

At the Washington correspondents dinner in 2011, then President Obama took apparent delight in roasting Trump, debunking the ludicrous theory of “birtherism,” while Trump sat seething and no doubt felt humiliated. The politics of humiliation commenced that fateful night and “The resentment borne of humiliation is a most potent political sentiment.”

Trump’s relentless assault on all things attributed to Obama has never abated. His own decision to employ humiliation as a powerful tool to denigrate others (commonly known as “losers” and “suckers”) is wielded daily upon his perceived foes (i.e., anyone who deigns to disagree with him).

Nelson Mandela once said, “…there is nobody more dangerous than one who has been humiliated.” The quest for human dignity requires a total departure from the politics of humiliation. Think about it when you cast your ballot.



Forget raking forest floors — but we need serious thinning

The wildfires, most particularly in California, have, once again, been catastrophic. Last year, with the terrible fires in California and many lives lost, President Trump criticized fire mitigation efforts in the state and suggested they needed to “rake” the forest floor!

This was an absolutely ignorant statement from someone who had no clue regarding fire prevention of wildland fires. I spent 34 years in the U.S. Forest Service in five regions. I was on countless details to fires as a member of both a Type I and Type II Incident Command Team. Most of the major fires I was on were in California.

President Trump probably is unaware that the chaparral in southern California is the most flammable fuel in the world! He also does not take in the factor of the accelerating heating of the Earth because he does not believe in “climate change.”

Forget the rake; a massive federally financed timber thinning and brush mitigation program could have a hugely beneficial impact. Thinning would have to be somewhat severe.

This severe thinning would be much more likely to allow a wildfire to be of a lower intensity and stay on the ground rather than rapidly spread from tree to tree and “blow up.” The trees remaining would receive more light and moisture, improving health and growth. Prescribed burning should follow thinning. Brush mitigation would ideally involve making “islands” of the brush so, in essence, you would ideally have fire lines surrounding these “islands.” Finally the public needs to step up and make their homes and property “fire wise.” Google “Firewise USA” for great advice on how to do that!



Child care providers persevere through the pandemic

Child care is not just a place where children go when their families work. It is a crucial learning environment for children, the country’s next generation of community members and workers. A child’s future is molded in the first few years of life and increasing accessibility to affordable, high-quality care is a key part of supporting this development. In Mesa County, many families were already struggling to find affordable child care before the pandemic. With financial strains caused by COVID-19, the cost to a family and profit margins for providers are teetering on the edge of sustainability.

All who are caring for children during this time know the demands that each day can bring, but the rapid response and resourcefulness of child-care workers adapting among ever changing industry circumstances warrants much applause. The crisis has showcased the essential need for this work in the community and from it, many temporary solutions have been enacted. Without innovative and robust long-term investment in the child care industry, families cannot thrive.

Many local efforts are being made to support this industry, including the work of Mesa County Public Health’s Child Care 8,000 initiative and the work of the Partnership for Children and Families. These collaborations create strong partnerships to support an industry that stimulates our economy by allowing our families to go to work and provides our community’s children and families with quality care and early childhood education, a foundation to healthy human development.

Join us in supporting this industry and celebrating the genuine care for children that holds it together. To get involved in the early childhood efforts of our community, check out or follow along on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram @mesacountypcf.


Grand Junction

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