Monday letters: Boebert, horses, Black Sunday, river cleanup
A question for some who call themselves Christian
Question: If Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., can tell LGBTs to “Build your own Florida,” then why can’t Christian fascists (please note I did not say Christians) build their “Christian nation” somewhere else?
Stop wild horse roundups now
I urge my legislators to stop all planned wild horse roundups indefinitely. Roundups are inhumane, and now horses in Colorado are dying while in the care of the state. Obviously the state is not capable of caring for these horses in captivity. Almost 100 horses have died this week.
All of those horses, plus the ones who died during the roundup, would be alive today if the state hadn’t removed them from their natural habitat. This plan to “save” them from drought is a death sentence for the horses. Reducing the grazing in their areas, adding water tanks and supplemental feed for them throughout the year is a much better plan than roundups.
Our animals deserve better. The state is failing our wild horse population; unfortunately this is nothing new — it needs to change.
Remembering Black Sunday when Exxon X’d out of here
Garfield County is one of the few places that even Exxon wasn’t too big to fail here.
May 2 marks the 40th anniversary of Black Sunday in 1982, when Exxon suddenly locked its doors — literally — on its Colony Oil Shale Project near Parachute. Barely two years before, Exxon and other oil shale companies had been preparing local and state governments for the thousands of workers that would be hired to extract oil out of rock — and all would need homes.
In 1980, Battlement Mesa was being developed by Exxon as a “company town” for its projected 25,000 workers and their families headed to Parachute to mine oil shale. Home building exploded in Rifle, too. New retail and restaurant businesses popped up from Glenwood Springs to Grand Junction. Boom times.
One problem, however: The technology to squeeze the oil out of the shale rock was (and still is) years away from making a profit for the industry. At a special Sunday meeting on May 2, the Exxon board pulled the plug on oil shale without any consideration to the thousands of workers, businesses and small local governments like Parachute and Rifle, and school districts that had invested millions into expanding services.
In short time, bankruptcies soared, including the 50-plus-year-old bank in Rifle that had survived the Great Depression. Downtown Rifle became a ghost town. People walked away from homes as values dropped at least 60% overnight. Bust times.
Unfortunately, the economic lessons that the Oil Shale Boom and Bust handed out to Western GarCo haven’t lingered — recently there has been a “repeat performance” caused by the shrinking natural gas industry impacting Garfield County, special districts, taxpayers, businesses and workers. It’s just not happening over-night this time.
If any of us seek a legacy from surviving Black Sunday, May 2, it will be the warning that although it’s tempting to put all one’s local economic eggs in the O&G basket, there will always be a big hole for those eggs to fall out.
Thanks to Roaring Fork Conservancy for organizing cleanup
I would like to thank the Roaring Fork Conservancy for putting on its 24th annual Frying Pan & Beyond Cleanup. I feel honored to have been able to participate in such a rewarding event that gives back to our rivers and to our community.
My husband and I were designated with cleaning up the East Park area of the Roaring Fork River here in Glenwood, and we were astonished with how much we were able to achieve during our time. Not only were we able to tidy the river banks, but we were given an opportunity to slow down and take in the sights that we normally cruise through on a raft.
It was so rewarding to give back to the river that we so often take for granted, in order to keep her healthy and roaring. I look forward to partaking in future events, and would encourage others to do so as well.
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