Wednesday letters: BLM, Fiesta Tamales, self checkout

Fiesta de Tamales returns 

We want to share the news that after a four-year absence. English in Action’s Fiesta de Tamales is returning to the Roaring Fork Valley. This much-loved event will take place on Saturday, Sept. 30, from 4:30-8 p.m. at Basalt High School. There’s something for everyone with music and kids activities, not to mention the best tamales north of the border served with all the fixings. All proceeds go to English in Action, the nonprofit that brings the gift of English to local non-English speakers. For tickets and more information go to or call 970-963-9200.

Cathy O’Connell, Amy Gordon, El Jebel

Self checkout 

In response to the statement made about self-checkout stations, please know the Garfield County Library in Rifle requires an in-person checkout … no self checkout.

Janet Bertram, Rifle

Encouraged by BLM

As a resident of Glenwood Springs, I am encouraged to see the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) new draft management plan options, which would protect significant amounts of land from oil and gas drilling in Western Colorado. The new proposal adds two new options for managing nearly 2 million acres of land in the Grand Junction and Colorado River Valley districts on the Western Slope. These new plans will be considered alongside four existing options under consideration. Promisingly, both of the two new proposed plans would significantly curtain oil and gas leasing, especially for popular recreation areas, community water sources and important wildlife habitat.

One of the two new options, and the agency’s preferred alternative, would protect 568,300 acres in the Colorado River Valley district, and 998,000 in the Grand Junction district from future mineral leasing. The other new plan is more ambitious and would protect more. If you love the Western Slope it is nearly guaranteed that land you love will be governed by whichever plan the BLM chooses to enact. The new proposed plans are a step in the right direction and better reflect the values of communities on the Western Slope.

Not taking this opportunity to protect public lands is tantamount to inviting more oil executives to destroy our sacred public lands in favor of profit. Western Colorado does not need a future of more out-of-state oil executives with second homes in Aspen exploiting and polluting our land, air, and water while the rest of us struggle with a cost of living crisis.

We are privileged to live in one of the most beautiful areas in the world, and whether you enjoy skiing, hiking, climbing, fishing, hunting, off-roading, or simply living here, we must do our part to protect the lands we love.

Officials at the BLM should feel proud for taking this first step towards being on the right side of history. Comment periods for the new BLM management plans are open now via the BLM website. Let’s speak up in support of ambitious public land protections, and encourage the BLM to do the right thing.

Connor Haines, Glenwood Springs

Supporting local journalism

We are deeply grateful to the Aspen Thrift Shop for their generous donation in support of the Sopris Sun’s Youth Journalism Program. We believe good journalism is crucial to a functioning democracy, a healthy community and a shared social understanding.

Now in its third year, the Sopris Sun’s Youth Journalism curriculum teaches practical skills and ethical principles, empowering local high school students to become responsible journalists. One Program graduate came back as a Teacher Assistant and is now a writer/illustrator on our adult freelance team. Another is studying journalism in college and another youth contributor won a Colorado Press Association Award this year. We are extremely proud of our students. Every day they give us reason for a hopeful future. You can enjoy their work on the pages of the Sopris Sun and el Sol del Valle.

The Aspen Thrift Shop is a shining star for supporting nonprofits and school programs. As a nonprofit entity, we are so fortunate for their dedication and generosity.
With gratitude,
Sopris Sun Board and Staff (submitted by Kay Clarke, Carbondale)

BLM, conserving public lands

The recent Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) draft plan to restrict leasing to only high-potential development public lands in Western Colorado is a welcome step that strikes a balance between responsible development and preserving our cherished way of life, healthy ecosystems and the diverse uses of public lands.

Our region thrives on a unique blend of outdoor recreation, agriculture and multiple uses of public lands. This decision acknowledges the importance of these elements and respects the delicate balance that ensures our communities remain vibrant and our environment remains healthy.

By focusing on high-potential development areas, the BLM plan recognizes the need for responsible resource extraction while minimizing the impact on our environment. This approach safeguards our natural landscapes, wildlife habitats, and the ecological health of our region.

It also respects the diverse uses of public lands that our communities hold dear. From hiking and hunting to farming and ranching, these lands serve multiple purposes, and the BLM’s plan ensures that these uses can coexist harmoniously.

Western Colorado’s way of life hinges on the accessibility of public lands for outdoor recreation. Limiting leasing to high-potential areas ensures that these beloved recreational spaces remain untouched, preserving the physical and mental well-being of our residents and visitors alike.

Furthermore, this decision upholds the economic vitality of our region. It recognizes the revenue generated by outdoor recreation and agriculture, indirectly benefiting our communities and stimulating local economic growth.

In essence, the BLM’s balanced plan is a win-win for Western Colorado. It safeguards our environment, respects our traditions, and ensures the sustainability of our way of life. We applaud this decision as a thoughtful and responsible approach to managing our public lands.

Alya Howe, Carbondale

Support Local Journalism

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