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I just get so tired of the politics. It seems that every day there’s some new attack against our way of life out here. I don’t understand what drives these bureaucrats.

Take for example the new resource management plan out of the Colorado River Valley Bureau of Land Management field office in Silt. They are trying to close many of our off-highway vehicle (OHV) trails.

A letter to the editor from the White River Trail Runners ATV Club said that the OHV community contributed at least $1 billion in Colorado a couple of years ago.



But it’s not just OHV users they are going after. They are trying to shut down the oil and gas industry in this document as well through limiting access, to making it infeasible, to downright going against the very mission of the BLM.

It is just another tick in a long line of examples of how the federal government is out to get western Colorado: blocking the USA Pro Cycling Challenge in Grand Junction, scaling back acreage available for oil shale, making impossible air quality standards, the Clinton roadless rule. What’s next?



I just wish the feds would let us work, let us live, and let us use our public lands the way they should be.

Berry Knoke

New Castle

They have us right where they want us. Regarding citizens’ concerns over newly allowed gas drilling within the previously forbidden three-mile limit surrounding Rulison, our own nuclear test site, the oil and gas companies have citizens snared in the courts. The ability even to comment on this issue has been taken to the Colorado Supreme Court.

In an attempt to air thoughts and concerns about the drilling, now allowed closer to the Rulison detonation site, the Grand Valley Citizens Alliance was forced to sue the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.

Now, the GVCA could have been heard if our Garfield County commissioners had allowed. However the commissioners found the most helpful and protective action they could muster was to support a lawsuit, which might have been unnecessary if, under county auspices as a concerned party, the GVCA and all worried citizens were allowed to be heard at a hearing with the Oil and Gas Commission.

But no. As a lawyer in the case noted, “There is some resistance to the rabble, if you will, getting in the way.”

It is unknown precisely what has happened underground a half mile from the detonation site, regardless of the energy companies’ best guesses. Technological knowledge and safe, conservative practices brought us the gulf oil spill. Accidents at Rulison would have the added feature of being radioactive.

If Encana tires of the expensive “conservative” and “staged” approach and sells the lease to a smaller, less risk-averse driller, where are we then? Is there an extra bond being asked? Where do they intend to market the admittedly, measurably radioactive natural gas? Is the Colorado River safe?

The whole thing reeks of danger and, of course, money. Like good rabble, it’s time to figure out a way to raise a pitchfork.

Barb Coddington

Glenwood Springs

I have had the luxury of growing up in Carbondale, traveling overseas and going to college outside of Colorado, where I have observed many other communities and cultures. It is always a comfort to me to move back each time and recognize both the familiar iconic features, such as the Crystal Theatre and Village Smithy, and the new influx of artistic venues, such as PAC3 and rotating downtown artwork.

I am dismayed to think that we may be trading our strong downtown identity and incredible uniqueness for the sprawl of unwarranted housing and business.

Before leaving for graduate school, I worked in the county assessor’s office and was horrified at the incredible number of monthly foreclosures. I see empty businesses and bank-owned houses on every street in Carbondale. I have to wonder why citizens would support 100-plus new residences when the town has several decades worth of available housing already on the market.

I am also upset that the grocery store will be removed from the downtown core, making it far less pedestrian accessible for most residents, as well as the Carbondale seniors living in the housing on Hendrick Drive.

I am one of those college graduates now looking for work in a dispirited economy, as is my brother, who graduates in the next few weeks from CSU.

With gas at nearly $4 a gallon and groceries continually rising, why would any of us wish to elevate our costs and diminish our depressed paychecks by paying 1 percent more for groceries over the next several decades?

It is a new paradigm in a new world. We cannot buy our way out of this depression with an empty mall sprawl and elevated sales tax.

Jade Moss

Carbondale


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