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Your Letters

At the Colorado Roadless Rule meeting held June 15 in Montrose, Mr. Roy Selby was quoted by The Daily Sentinel as saying, “They’re trying to eliminate me from getting out in the woods,” and “The roadless rule appears to violate the Americans with Disabilities Act by making it more difficult to visit and hunt the land he has prowled for 56 years.”

I understand the sadness of being unable to visit places where one once hiked. I am a quadriplegic and have used a wheelchair to get around for almost 28 years now.

When I was a young, able-bodied man, I loved to hunt, fish and hike in the wooded mountains of Colorado. Yet no matter how many roads we might build into the mountains, there will be places I am unable to visit in my wheelchair, unless we propose to pave the entire forest.

There are an immense number of roads that take me into woods of unspeakable beauty, places where I can hunt, fish and commune with nature. I’m thankful for these places. Yet it nourishes my soul to know that there are places where machines are not allowed to tread.

I think that wildlife, including animals such as elk, deer and bear that are hunted, need these places in order to thrive or even survive.

It angers me to think that opponents of roadless areas may stoop so low as to use people with disabilities to further their political cause.

I think anyone who is truly concerned about the disabled population’s access into our forests could best support people with disabilities by working toward the building of more handicapped accessible facilities and trails along well maintained roadways that already exist. That way, we wheelchair users can get out of our vehicles, away from the road and truly into the woods.

Roy “Monte” High

Grand Junction

If the following items are unbelievable, I invite readers to use a web search engine to check their validity.

More than $13 billion of U.S. aid to Iraq has been classified as wasted or stolen. Another $6.6 billion is unaccounted for.

Records show that the Pentagon paid $998,798 to ship two 19-cent washers to an Army base in Texas, $455,009 to ship three machine screws costing $1.31 each to Iraq, and $293,451 to ship an 89-cent split washer to Patrick Air Force Base in Florida.

Our government’s Conservation Reserve program pays people $2 billion annually not to plant crops.

A 2009 report showed the U.S. Postal Service spending more than $1 million each week to pay thousands of employees to sit in empty rooms and do nothing.

Members of Congress use our tax dollars to supply their offices with “essentials” such as popcorn machines, plasma televisions and ionic air fresheners. In 2010 they spent $84,000 on personalized calendars alone.

Citizens Against Government Waste is a watchdog group that keeps track of “pork.” They have been publishing the “Pig Book” online since 1991, listing these expenditures. Their efforts appear to have accomplished little, as evidenced by U.S. lawmakers approving more than 9,000 earmarks last year at a cost of $16.5 billion.

Hard to believe? Then here are some more that should really get your attention:

Our government has spent or is spending $200,000 for a tattoo removal program in California, $400,000 to study gay sex in Argentina bars, $500,000 to paint a Chinook salmon on a Boeing 737, and $2.6 million training Chinese prostitutes to drink more responsibly on the job. That last item alone should make any taxpayer angry.

Spend some time doing your own research and you will find that these are but a few examples of the outrageous waste of our tax dollars by the people we elect to represent us. They do it year after year. What is truly unbelievable is that so few of us are expressing any outrage.

John Palmer

Glenwood Springs

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