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Development harms wildlife

Post Independent Writer

Dear Editor,Deer are often in the road, but it doesn’t follow that this is good for them. The Post-Independent article, “Well: Wildlife doesn’t seem to mind” (Feb. 9) commits this fallacy, jumping from particulars to generalizations. (Since deer are seen on well pads, it suggests, drilling must not be bad for them). Most biologists agree that energy development harms wildlife. In comments submitted earlier, Colorado Division of Wildlife biologists noted that the cumulative effects of this level of development would be detrimental to the wildlife resources of the Roan Plateau Planning Area. In its draft plan, the BLM acknowledges that drilling on the plateau’s top would harm wildlife: Between one-third and half the deer herd would be eliminated under the three total-lease alternatives. Hunting on the plateau, which brings nearly $4 million annually into the county, will be harmed and the draft notes that areas could be closed to hunting once drilling begins.Although energy companies say they use “best available science,” they confuse the issue with anecdotes and pictures of deer on well pads. Such “evidence” would not stand up to scientific review. But if it gets industry what it wants, apparently that is all that matters. Pete KolbenschlagColorado Environmental CoalitionPaoniaMore rail service on existing tracksDear Editor,Anyone who has lived in, and is a year-round resident and taxpayer of the Roaring Fork Valley from Glenwood Springs to Aspen, should certainly applaud the recent action of the board of directors of RFTA.They voted to continue exploring some form of rail service that could be established using the existing right of way of the ex-D&RGW’s Aspen branch, at least that portion of the line from Glenwood to Carbondale.One doesn’t have to be a rail fan, or a rail buff, to point out use of the right of way exclusively for a bike or foot trail is poor utilization of a valuable piece of property. There is no reason why the trail couldn’t be built adjacent to the existing rail line.I’ve taken note of how little the existing trail is used. For instance, do you ever see anyone crossing Highway 82 on the bridge built by the Colorado Department of Transportation below Lazy Glen?I’ve noted a comment in the Glenwood Post Independent by one Alice Laird, who says a dinner train wouldn’t be practical. I’ve not seen any report that qualifies her as an “expert” in that field. Her seven years of debate on that subject do not make her qualified to pass final judgment on such a proposal.Delbert GerbazGlenwood Springs


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