Wednesday letters: County should spend funds as intended, microchips for pets, and thank you for Carbondale Nature Park |

Wednesday letters: County should spend funds as intended, microchips for pets, and thank you for Carbondale Nature Park

Mitigation means mitigation

Two years ago, Garfield County’s government sent nearly $2 million in mitigation funds to big ticket lawyers in Denver for a frivolous lawsuit to resist state-imposed oil and gas industry drilling regulations that was thrown out of court. That money was collected from the industry to clean up the mess from abandoned well sites and cap abandoned wells.

That kind of investment in saving the dying fossil fuel industry is sending good money after bad. Oil and gas were once hot prospects, but due to lack of demand, not anymore. If the county has extra cash lying around, they should apply it to retraining the few oil and gas workers that are left in other industries, like renewable energy. Many of the skills required in oil and gas, like ironworking, welding and pipefitting, are cross applicable to renewables.

Interestingly, several counties and municipalities joined the lawsuit, but only Garfield County footed the bill. Apparently, our county is the sugar daddy of the oil and gas producing areas in the state. The majority of the companies that would’ve benefited from the lawsuit are from Texas and Oklahoma, not Colorado.

Maybe our county commissioners feel a debt of gratitude to the industry for the gush of tax dollars they pumped into the county back in the day. I ask the commissioners, did the industry pay those amounts out of the goodness of their hearts? They made a fortune drilling for gas back in those days, so the severance taxes they paid were well worth the investment.

The Garfield County Taxpayer’s Accountability Project seeks to hold the county responsible for spending county funds as intended. They can be contacted at

Fred Malo Jr.


Microchips bring pet reunions

It is a story that tugs at the heartstrings of all pet devotees: A beloved cat given up for lost or dead has come home after several gut-wrenching years. A gray and brown-tinged kitty with round, golden eyes named George was reunited with his family after animal control officers tracked them down by scanning a microchip with identifying info implanted under the animal’s skin.

Since their first use in the mid-1980s, microchips have allowed innovative investigations into numerous biological traits of animals. Microchips have also been used to confirm the identity of zoo animals, pets and protected species that have been illegally removed.

Microchips can be implanted by a veterinarian or at a shelter. After checking that the animal does not already have a chip, chips are usually inserted below the skin and records the pet’s unique ID.

There is no way this reunion would have happened without the microchip. Anyone who finds a stray should take the animal to the nearest shelter or animal hospital to have it scanned. Vets should routinely scan their animal patients to make sure the humans bringing them in are their rightful owners, noting that they might have found George sooner had that been done.

In the Roaring Fork Valley and surrounding areas, CARE Animal Shelter has been leading the way to educate the community about the importance of timely vaccinations and micro-chipping pets. In the past year CARE has offered low-cost vaccination and micro-chipping clinics to under-served animals in our community. As a result of this innovative approach, 69 pets have been micro-chipped in our community. Sixty-nine beloved animals who may otherwise not have been returned to their homes.

Cathi Basier

New Castle

Park improvements thanks

The Carbondale Nature Park is amazing, it’s like walking in a painting by Monet. At any time, day or night, it is the most utilized park in town. 

Thanks to our Boy Scouts, it has an ADA ramp from the parking lot, benches for seniors to rest on, and the Scouts even put culverts in the ditch crossings to help elders. 

It is gratifying to see so many happy dogs, free of the leash and having a good sniff. The field is so flat that we could make the park fully wheel-chair accessible, with a 4-foot wide, crusher fine track down the middle of the ¾-mile loop. What a great use of $40,000 that would be.

John Hoffmann


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