Sunday letters: Electoral College and predator control |

Sunday letters: Electoral College and predator control

The Electoral College as we’ve known it

A recent letter to the Post Independent brought up points in favor of the electoral college. Readers should be aware that the electoral college/national popular vote debate may be impacted by a Colorado case, Baca v. Colo. Dept. Of State, considered this August by the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. In that case, Micheal Baca, a Democratic elector, voted in 2016 for John Kasich, not Hillary Clinton, the Colorado victor. The Colorado Secretary of State objected and installed a new elector, canceling “faithless elector” Baca’s vote. Baca sued. The Tenth Circuit stated that the Colorado Secretary of State had acted unconstitutionally in that electors have discretion under the Constitution to cast their votes for President and Vice-President, and the state cannot remove such electors and cancel their votes. Last month, Colorado asked the US Supreme Court to review the decision.

If the ultimate outcome of the Baca case is that states cannot require their electors to cast ballots for the candidate favored by most of a state’s voters on election day, even though the electors have pledged to do so (the current system), or have made some other balloting agreement with a state (the National Popular Vote Compact), then the purpose of the electoral college is brought into question, for small and large states alike.

So what is the best way to reflect the peoples’ choice? Perhaps Baca will tell us. All I know is we must find a way to stop putting runners up in the Oval Office and allow the will of the people to prevail.

Joyce L. Jenkins,
Glenwood Springs

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

Predator control leads to wildfires

I have lived in the Colorado River valley for over 60 years. Every few years the subject of wolf restoration comes up. I cannot understand why anyone could have an affection for the carnivores, especially wolves.

One morning, some years back, I heard a deer crying out behind my house. I rushed out and found a doe lying down while some coyotes ripping her guts out. On my arrival the coyotes left and I put the doe out of her misery with a gunshot. Back then there was a bounty on coyotes. Sheep ranchers had some really effective coyote traps. In fact there was a government trapper that worked on the predators. One time in Palisade I saw his pickup with two mountain lions on the rack.

I believe the increase of out-of-control wildfires is to a great extent, due to stopping predator control by outlawing trapping, eliminating bounty and allowing their increase.

As a 20-year Fire Department retiree, I fought many wildland fires and we never lost a single one.

Once a large storm produced eight wildland fires and we got them all out and we were just volunteers.

Removing the cattle and substantially reducing the deer and elk allowed the dry grass to accumulate.

In fact, the South Canyon fire occurred when the city of Glenwood Springs banned cattle grazing from all their South Canyon land. The South Canyon coal mine fire had been going many years with no problems until the surrounding grass was allowed to grow. The results of removing the cattle helped create major devastation and several million dollars of expense.

I believe that the California’s fires are,to a great extent due to the removal of cattle and other herbivores. I used to have around 300 deer come down into my fields at night now it’s about three. Walt Disney’s characterization of carnivores is not even close to reality.

I say let the deer and the other little animals vote whether or not to bring the wolves back.

Ross L Talbott
New Castle

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