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Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,Ken Wonstolen correctly points out in his Aug. 1 letter that the state Supreme Court did not “side” with Gunnison County when it denied review of the case.He fails to illuminate, however, that the court’s denial of review does eliminate the uncertainty of whether counties can regulate oil and gas industry land use practices. A number of oil and gas industry operators in Garfield County, many of whom Mr. Wonstolen represented when he worked for the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, apparently believe the issue is settled enough to have asked the county to enact oil and gas specific regulations in its new land use code. Their proposal is on Garfield County’s Web site under the Building and Planning Department’s section, and will be formally discussed by the County Planning Commission later this month.The Grand Valley Citizens Alliance favors the county stepping in to better regulate oil and gas impacts within its borders. Given the diverse interests involved in energy development, adopting the industry’s proposal outright is unacceptable. There should be a stakeholder process that allows not only industry to express its wishes and concerns for these regulations, but also lets residents who constantly face the impacts to share their opinions on what the county should do. The aim here should be adopting a code that gives us, the people who will be dealing with the impacts for years to come, better protections for our other natural resources, traditional values, and the health of the residents in the gas patch.Patrick Barker Glenwood Springs

Dear Editor,I want to add $1,000 to the reward fund provided for the person providing information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the criminal who recently shot a Glenwood officer. Each of us should, at every opportunity, make some expression of appreciation to all of the law enforcement personnel with whom we have contact. The courage to run toward a disaster or threat to our peaceful existence, when all others are running away, is the embodiment of heroism and valor. The offering made by each of these heroes day in and day out, so that the rest of us can go about our daily tasks in relative safety, often does not result in tragedy. But then, all too often, it does. In the face of that risk, we come to realize that truly honor and duty are the highest callings. These officers have stood by us every day of their lives, and they need to know that we will stand by them and their loved ones in any crisis. Sam C. Mitchell West Frankfort, Ill., and Ragged Mountain Reserve, Colo.

Dear Editor,A few weeks ago, a friend sent me a copy of the “State Highway 82 Corridor Optimization Study.” The detail and the number of alternatives examined is mind-boggling. Hopefully, this will end comparison of various options, an effort that began about 30 years ago with the Oblinger-Smith study followed closely by the Centennial Engineering report published in 1979. The conclusions of the latter report, essentially the “East River Corridor” in the latest study, are as valid today as they were in 1979.Puzzling is the apparent lack of public input into this examination. Especially disturbing is the absence of public meetings, now that the report has been released. Federal rules encourage or require public input on projects where federal funds may be used in the future. It appears that the procedures should provide for comments from outside the closed-study group.Dick ProsenceMeeker


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