Letter: Beauprez would seize land, squeeze recreation
Carbondale, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers
To my hunting and angling brethren, many of whom vote Republican: Are you aware yet that Bob Beauprez, the Republican nominee for governor of Colorado, has vowed to seize all federal lands in Colorado? This promise includes Forest Service lands, National Parks and Monuments, BLM lands and National Wildlife Refuges.
It has been estimated that such a move would cost Colorado taxpayers at least $200 million, and the annual cost of fighting wildfires alone on these lands would run tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars more. The solution: sell them off.
Ignoring the financial boondoggle implied by his scheme, we hunters and anglers would be gradually stripped of places to recreate, as natural resource extraction companies would buy up more and more of the land. Is this what you want? Coming from Pennsylvania, where public lands are few and at a premium, I can assure you that our opportunities to enjoy our local out of doors, and the ability to feed our families with wholesome fish and meat that we bring home, is vastly superior to states who are not blessed as we are, with 36 percent of our state available to the public.
It really comes down to these questions: do you want to see nothing but “No Trespassing/Private Property” signs for the length of the Fryingpan and Roaring Fork rivers? Do you want to see the same at all the trailheads to Snowmass/Maroon Bells Wilderness (Game Unit 43)? Do you want to see the $3 billion that hunting, angling and wildlife watching brings to this state turn to a trickle? Think carefully about for whom you vote and what they vow to do in office.
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