Tuesday letters: New Carbondale chief, clean air, and cougars | PostIndependent.com

Tuesday letters: New Carbondale chief, clean air, and cougars

Big shoes to fill

I’m a guy who had a long, ugly relationship with law enforcement – until I moved to Carbondale. Here, I’ve encountered officers who take the motto to serve and protect to heart and reject to bully and intimidate.

Shortly after moving to Carbondale, I violated my probation for three DUI’s by visiting a restaurant bar in town. I only had a couple of drinks, so I was in no way intoxicated. But on my way out, I carelessly missed a steep step and fell hard on my knee.

I had no driver’s license, so a good Samaritan drove me home. It wasn’t long before two Carbondale police officers were knocking at my door.
“Oh boy,” I thought. “You’re gonna get it now. You’re going to jail for violation of probation.”

The officers never even asked me if I’d been drinking. They didn’t stand in judgment of me. All the officers asked was if I needed any help. It turned out I did. My knee was swollen up to three times its normal size and I couldn’t walk. I asked the officers to call an ambulance and they did.

I give Police Chief Gene Schilling a lot of credit for his officers’ attitude. Not only that, he’s made it clear he’ll not do ICE’s job in rounding up undocumented immigrants. Schilling wants Carbondale’s immigrant population to have no fear in reporting crimes.

Now, Schilling is retiring and being replaced by Rifle Police Sgt. Kirk Wilson. Schilling will tutor Wilson for three months. Pay attention, Sgt. Wilson. Schilling has a lot to teach you about good sense law enforcement and he’s a perfect fit for the town of Carbondale.

Fred Malo Jr.,

Garfield County commissioners value clean air

I’m writing in response to Betsy Leonard’s April 20 letter regarding the Garfield County Commissioners’ opposition to a few of the rules recently adopted by the Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC). As a Battlement Mesa resident raising three children in an area near existing well pads, and as an environmental professional in the oil and gas industry, this is an issue I deeply care about.

Garfield County supported almost all of the rules adopted by the AQCC because they value clean air and measures that allow us to continue to meet federal health-based air quality standards. The few opposed rules, if implemented here, actually fail to improve Garfield County’s air quality yet come at a very high economic cost. At the same time, they do almost nothing to resolve Front Range ozone issues.

Even if oil and gas emissions were reduced to zero in our area, state-commissioned modeling shows Front Range ozone would only improve by a fraction of a percent — at a high cost. The opposed rules directly impact our local economy making smaller wells uneconomic, which will terminate production. This means a projected loss of 55 to 280 full time jobs and employment income of up to $8 million every year. It also cuts off severance, ad valorem, and property taxes that provide a disproportionate share of revenues that fund schools, fire districts, libraries, community health care, and other social services.

Elected officials are tasked with governing to enhance many aspects of our lives — from air quality to our local economy. Garfield County has invested millions of dollars to monitor and protect our air quality.
Simply put, the GarCo Commissioners are doing exactly what we elected them to do: investing in our air quality while protecting our local economy with the well-being of our community at the forefront of their minds. They’re holding the state accountable for cost-effective rules that provide environmental benefit to our area and protesting misguided rules that fail to protect health while harming our economic welfare. We’re fortunate to have them as leaders.

Dwayne Knudson,
Battlement Mesa

Save Colorado’s cougars

Wolves were eradicated from Colorado in the 1930’s. Colorado Parks & Wildlife, ranchers and hunters are against reintroduction now on 2020 ballot to decide the fate of these endangered predators being delisted and killed Nationwide.

Now they are on a rampage to eradicate our beautiful Cougars. CPW is a State Agency funded by Colorado taxpayers, you have a voice. Once again wildlife are being used as a money making commodity, inhumanely slaughtered for sport, trophy, recreation and to protect private livestock who do not belong on our Public Lands. Hunting Cougars with up to eight dogs is inhumane, unethical nor for meat. Now they will introduce the illegal lion call and expand cougar hunting into big game season. How do you hunt big game and predators at the same time?

Killing them actually increases cougar conflicts of which there are few, disrupting families and is typically juveniles where their mother was killed. Cougars need to be with their Mom’s for a year or more to learn the ropes of how to survive, fend for themselves and avoid humans. When mothers are killed young kits will starve and die inhumanely, uneducated juveniles lost.

Manager Matt Yamashita stated CPW has no idea how many lions live on the Western Slope and no human fatalities in Colorado. How they are basing their percentages for management and cull is unscientific. Ranchers, hunters state they never saw Cougars, now they do so something must be done. Seeing a lion does not denote conflict. What a rare privilege to actually see one of these magnificent big cats. They also blame predators for decline in elk and deer populations and CWD. Nothing could be further from the truth as predators keep herds in check and free from disease (science) Man is the culprit with further encroachment on wildlife habitat; development, recreation, hunting, livestock, fencing, drought, wildfires, fracking, predator control and loss of biodiversity.

Big game and wildlife habitat belong to the predators not sportsmen or private ranchers who take up residence in Cougar territory. Predators are essential to our ecosystems. Please be their voice and make comments by April 30 at dnr_cpwcommission@state.co.us.

Go to https://cpw.state.co.us to review the draft plan.

Pamela True,

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