I am a retired professional forester with over 40 years experience with the Arkansas Forestry Commission.
My two brothers, nephew and I have visited and hunted in Colorado since 1988, and we all take exception to the article, “Tearing up the backcountry,” published in the Oct. 22 edition of the Post Independent. I am shocked that you would allow such a biased and self-serving (to outfitters) article to be printed in your newspaper.
I have ridden ATVs and horses for many years and know from personal experience that ATVs hardly leave a track in Colorado’s dry climate. Also, they will not go everywhere as stated in the article. When the ground is wet or freezing and thawing, horses and cattle will absolutely mangle the ground.
If, as stated in the article, the outfitters camps are being disturbed by motorized vehicles, why don’t they move into the wilderness area to set up their camps? Motorized vehicles are not allowed in wilderness areas.
I am not saying that hunters do not abuse their privileges. I am saying that the vast majority of hunters only use their vehicles to get to where they wish to hunt and to retrieve their game, (if they are lucky enough to get any).
These folks take care of their equipment and the land and are in no way the crazed and irresponsible people that the outfitters and the U.S. Forest Service have implied.
I believe the vast majority of this so-called damage, credited to four wheelers, is due to pleasure riders who ride the entire summer and most other months when they have the opportunity. This includes many locals who want to see where they can go, and have very little respect for hunters or the land.
To conclude, I do not believe that hunters using ATVs are tearing up the terrain. I further believe that disabled or older hunters should be allowed to use ATVs (where practical) to retrieve game in some units that have been placed off limits to all motorized traffic.
Little Rock, Ark.
It is unfortunate that the Glenwood Springs Recreation Department has decided to offer nothing for figure skaters this season at the ice rink. Citing low turnout and consequent “huge losses of money” on the once-weekly sessions held last year, further freestyle practice ice has been completely eliminated. Although plenty of unused ice time exists on the schedule, it will only be made available to those who can afford to pay $100 per hour to skate.
A community-supported facility such as ours should make an effort toward some diversity in offerings. Other city-run rinks do not find the expenses of ice maker and stand-by attendant to be cost-prohibitive. Breckenridge has run practice ice since it was a smaller outdoor facility; Aspen holds two four-hour freestyle sessions per week.
Considering the distance to these other facilities and the dangers of wintertime driving, it is a huge shame that our own beautiful new facility cannot be more fully and equitably utilized.
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The victim in a domestic violence-related shooting in downtown Glenwood Springs in April died in November, raising the possibility for first-degree murder charges against the shooter.