Our letters section and your opportunity to weigh in and be heard. Send us your thoughts and profundities. You can contact us here.

Improve your karma: pick up garbage

Dear Editors:

Today we find ourselves embellished with an epidemic abyss of trashmania run rampant across this place we call our hometown of Durango. Eeeks!! Has any one noticed the massive amounts of the people’s expression of appreciation towards our streets, parks, county surroundings and centers of daily operation?

TRASH!!! Everywhere and in constant obviousness all around. And because the continuing anomalous weather scatters it from one end of town to the other, it’s hard to catch up with sometimes.

We have seen and allowed trash to sit in a place for sometimes days to weeks just as an experiment. That led to becoming conscious today of a great way for those of us with less than perfect backgrounds to address this growing problem and do something for ourselves.
As the spirit I am walks in the body each day, the I am that I am is in karmic debt, or karmic credit. I choose to move all my spiritual energy from the place of karmic credit only! When I bend to pick up garbage, in essence, and in conjunction, I, the spirit I am, as well as the body in which I am, bows or bends down in humbleness and says we are sorry for all past transgressions. By this physical/spiritual mechanical process, it places a credit into my karmic bank account. And through this process, I may redeem any karmic debts I may or may not have. Bliss comes from the law of balance and credits toward my soul’s growth.

What if we all started on a campaign of picking up the trash in Durango-ville, as well as all around the county, enjoyed the new beauty, and reaped the rewards of the positivity that comes from our actions?

Sort of like, “lay up your treasures in heaven.” Maybe good changes for our world can begin within first.

– Jay Lightbearer,

via e-mail

’Tis the Season: Weathered elk trophies grace the side of a barn in
Montezuma County./ Photo by Todd Newcomer.

In appreciation of Scott Mason

(Editors’ note: The following is a brief reply to a letter in last week’s Telegraph. Scott Mason had written with comments on all of the letters in the prior week’s edition.)

Dear Scott Mason,
Thank you for moving back to California.

– One who considers Durango home,

Euskal Herria

Healthy forests and wilderness

(Editors’ note: The following letter was sent from the Wilderness Society to Rep. Scott McInnis, R-Colo.)

Dear Congressman McInnis,

We were surprised and dismayed to read in a recent letter you sent to a local official in Colorado that you continue to misconstrue the Wilderness Society’s position on wildfire policy and the Western Governors’ Association’s 10-year Comprehensive Wildfire Strategy in an attempt to justify your wildfire legislation of HR 1904. Unfortunately, this is not the first time that the position of the Wilderness Society concerning wildfire policy has been misconstrued, and we are writing to clarify and correct these mischaracterizations and urge you to refrain from repeating this misinformation in the future.

Specifically, in an April 30, 2003, press release, you suggested that the Wilderness Society’s support for the Western Governors’ Association’s 10-year Comprehensive Wildlife Strategy should translate into support for your legislation: “The bill codifies the bipartisan WGA 10-Year Strategy’s robust public input and participation requirements, ensuring that interested persons will have numerous opportunities to engage decision-makers during all phases of a project’s development and implementation. The WGA strategy was endorsed by numerous government and nongovernment organizations, including leading environmental groups like the Wilderness Society.’’

This claim has been repeated elsewhere (e.g., an April 30, 2003, Grand Junction Sentinel article) and most recently in a letter dated July 3, 2003, from you to local elected officials in Colorado, in which you continue to claim that your bill codifies the WGA 10-year plan and imply that the Wilderness Society’s help in crafting the strategy and supporting it translates into our support for your legislation: ‘’By codifying the WGA Strategy, the Healthy Forests Restoration Act gives that priority plan the force of federal law ... Obviously, even the Wilderness Society agrees that the WGA Comprehensive Strategy Implementation Plan has a rigorous focus on protecting communities and watersheds.”

This misuse of the facts is irresponsible and cannot go unchallenged.

The Wilderness Society’s Dr. Greg Aplet was honored to participate last year in the development of the WGA’s 10-year Strategy, and the Wilderness Society strongly supports the WGA’s approach. This strategy is based on the three principles of: prioritizing the protection of communities and watersheds; collaboration among governments and stakeholders; and accountability through performance measures and monitoring – all to be accomplished without altering the responsibilities or statutory authorities of participating federal and state agencies. “Because your bill changes statutory authorities, it can in no way be said to codify the WGA’s approach. Indeed, the very premise of your bill is to dismantle existing environmental processes and to limit public participation and judicial review.

In addition, while your bill says that it prioritizes protection of communities, it also facilitates numerous other fuel-reduction projects located far from communities, and so in the end, fails to truly prioritize community protection. Further, 85 percent of the lands at risk in the wildland-urban interface are under state and private ownership, not on National Forest lands, which are the focus of your bill. Legislation that, in contrast to the WGA approach, focuses solely on national forest lands, cannot be said to truly focus on protecting communities. For all of these reasons, the Wilderness Society strongly opposes your legislation – in large part for its failure to live up to the very principles of the WGA Strategy!

It is therefore inaccurate and irresponsible to continue to claim that your bill implements the WGA strategy or to imply that the Wilderness Society, by association, supports your legislation. These claims are patently untrue.

Your defense of HR 1904 should turn on the merits of the bill itself and not on mischaracterizations of the Wilderness Society or the Western Governor Association’s positions, and we thus urge you to refrain from repeating these inaccuracies.

– Respectfully, Suzanne Jones

assistant regional director,

Wilderness Society





News Index Second Index Opinion Index Classifieds Index Contact Index