Friday letters: Bully for Boebert, donate to firefighters, protect wild places, 8th Street housing
Boebert great for Western Slope
Lauren Boebert will be great for our Western Slope representing us in Congress. As a small business owner in rural Colorado and a mother raising children, she understands the challenges we face. Please vote for Lauren Boebert for Colorado 3rd Congressional District. Learn about her vision for our Western areas at http://www.LaurenForColorado.com.
Penny Hamilton, Ph.D.
Donate to Wildland Firefighters Foundation
Many of the comments on the Grizzly Creek Facebook page asked the fire team “how can I help?”
While it’s still so fresh in all of our minds that our town once again was threatened by a serious wildfire, please consider giving to the Wildland Firefighters Foundation (https://wffoundation.org/) as a way to help and say thank you.
The Wildland Firefighters Foundation was founded in 1994 in direct response to the Storm King Fire tragedy in Glenwood Springs that killed 14 firefighters. Based in Boise, Idaho, the “Wildland Firefighters Foundation’s main focus is to help families of firefighters killed in the line of duty and to assist injured firefighters and their families.”
The foundation also provides services to aid with the mental health challenges of wildland firefighting and injury compensation.
From its website: “Wildland firefighters represent the diversity of the land they protect. They are federal, state and local firefighters, private sector firefighters, interface firefighters, and volunteers from rural communities and towns across the United States. Many are long-time career professionals, some much newer to the job. They’re ordinary people doing an extraordinary job, a community of committed individuals who work and train to protect our private and public lands.”
For a third time in 26 years, we desperately needed help from the wildland firefighting community. Please consider making a donation to the Wildland Firefighters Foundation (https://wffoundation.org/) in gratitude for the difficult and dangerous work that it has taken to gain control over the Grizzly Creek fire. Thank you all.
Ellie Caryl and Andrew McGregor
We must protect wild places
Americans are realizing the value of public lands like never before. In the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, people are desperate to be outdoors. It appears that even the White House is on board with supporting federally owned lands, as shown by the recent passage of the Great American Outdoors Act.
This means it’s all good, right? Not so much. On a national level, the Trump administration’s move to roll back the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) will have long-term consequences for environmental regulations.
More locally, and unbeknownst to many of us, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has proposed a number of initiatives that would devastate native pinyon pine forests and sagebrush shrublands through euphemistically named “vegetation removal” projects. For decades, the BLM has been using chains, bulldog masticators and front end loaders to devastate millions of acres of trees and plant life. They claim that such projects improve wildlife habitat, increase forage for cows and wildlife, and help reduce stream erosion and runoff. However, the best science available shows that this type of clearcutting yields mixed results at best, mostly doing more harm than good.
Worst of all, the BLM is working to speed up the pace and scale of their clearcutting operations, while eliminating the accountability measures of scientific review and public input. The consequences of these initiatives may be irreversible, leading to devastation of millions of acres of public lands, including those designated as wilderness quality. The BLM must stop these initiatives and instead ensure that each project requires site-specific scientific review, public input, and accountability for results, and it is up to us to hold them responsible.
This won’t be the last time we want to seek refuge outdoors, and wildfires raging across the state serve to reinforce how fragile this refuge is. It is not enough to enjoy spending time on our public lands during this unprecedented global crisis — we must remain vigilant to ensure wild places remain protected for generations to come.
Eighth Street housing bad idea
I would like to add to Hooner Gillespie’s letter of Wednesday, Aug. 26, about building apartments on the old Vogel Park Elementary School property, or Eighth Street.
The city has a goal that I feel is unrealistic. It is a goal of adding 6,000 rental units to Glenwood Springs. If we were not a one way in, one way out town I would see the wisdom in this idea. As of now we have added well over 1,000 rental units and have not assessed the impacts.
There are three impacts I feel worth discussing. Water, which is fast becoming the “hottest” topic in the world, and the most important.
Trash impacts, food in the landfill producing methane, as well as massive increases of construction and daily trash. What does it do to the life of the landfill as City Council continues to dilly dally with this very important issue?
Finally, home ownership. Our city has continued to assist the building opportunist without having affordable housing rules that should have been addressed long ago. Why couldn’t the city work with Habitat For Humanity so that people could build their own house and put a stake in the community?
I agree wholeheartedly with Hooner, Eighth street is the wrong place, and more rentals do not produce stability.
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