Letter: Keep Sutey Ranch heritage as horse property | PostIndependent.com

Letter: Keep Sutey Ranch heritage as horse property

The BLM’s newly acquired, Sutey Ranch parcel, an exceptional, historic, homestead property, is located in Garfield County off County Road 112, Crystal Springs Road.
This old Western homestead property takes our minds back in time, when the Sutey Brothers lived on the land. Our Western heritage still lives at the Sutey Ranch, as the wind whispers through the slats of the old structures still standing at the original home ranch.
In the 1980s, Leonard Coleman and Kevin Wright of the DOW found Ute arrowheads on their visit to the Sutey Ranch. Native American heritage and the spirits of old souls who hunted on this land keep this spiritual place sacred.
Peaceful, natural and quiet horseback trail riding connects humans with our open space lands and with the historic intention of our Western heritage traditions. I ask the BLM, the new stewards of this land, to support the historic nature of the Sutey Ranch parcel.
Lack of congestion with less people on trails creates a scenic, more peaceful and balanced recreational experience of enjoying the land and the wildlife together. The finite 557 acres of the Sutey Ranch property can only support a limited number of recreational visitors.
The BLM must prevent wildlife habitat fragmentation by keeping the Sutey Ranch parcel out of the Red Hill Special Recreation Management Area for mountain bikes.
Prioritizing horseback riding and hiking on the Sutey Ranch will automatically reduce the number of users. The BLM must consider this land’s carrying capacity. Placing special protections on the water by use of the vested, existing water rights on the land will ensure the wildlife will survive and thrive, by enhancing the habitat to improve the biodiversity of the Sutey Ranch parcel.
The BLM has identified the goshawk, the sage grouse, the milk snake, the brewers sparrow and the northern leopard frog as sensitive species that are native to the Sutey Ranch. When I horseback ride across the Sutey Ranch, I hope to catch a glimpse of some of these creatures.
And finally, I ask that the Sutey Ranch be the one place where we can ride horses without mountain bikes. A place where the tradition of riding horses on the land will continue, preserving our historic Western heritage for generations to come.
BLM deadline for comments is Sunday. Comments may be emailed to blm_co_sutey_haines_rmpa@blm.gov or mailed to BLM, 2300 River Frontage Road, Silt, CO 81652, Attn: Sutey/Haines Management Plan.
Holly McLain
Carbondale