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

Make the message loud and clear

Dear Editors,

The Forest Service has extended the comment period on the “Predator Damage Management in Wilderness Areas” proposal, accepting responses until Sept. 7 – Aug. 7 had been the former deadline.

This proposal is nothing but bad and needs to be thrown out in its entirety.

Meant for so-called “predator control” in designated wilderness and research natural areas, it’s truly an oxymoron if there ever was one. Taxpayer dollars would be spent to poison and aerial gun down bears, mountain lions, bobcats, wolves and other animals. Entire local populations of species could be exterminated. Aircraft landings and “official” ATVs would be allowed into roadless terrain, including the San Juans.

An erosion of the Wilderness Act and the NEPA process (decisions would be made by unspecified “collaborative groups,” circumventing any public process), this proposal is an end run around Congress and a perfect example of how highly regarded environmental protections are currently being systemically undermined. We can’t allow this to happen.

With over 70,000 comments already received, the responses are having a bureaucratic effect, but the message must be loud and clear. Ask your friends to join you in writing today so we can double the number of comments the Forest Service receives in the next two weeks!

Write the Director of Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers Resources. PDM@fs.fed.us Review a summary of this proposal at www.wawild.org/action/ action_helicopterhunting.html. Or read the proposal by Googling “Federal Register” and inputting “page 32915-329918.”

– Nancy Jacques, Durango

Help craft county’s future

Letter to the Editors:

People might think that a coal-fired power plant in New Mexico wouldn’t impact our air and water quality in La Plata County, but they’d be wrong. Any new major source of emissions in northern New Mexico is sure to have significant impact on air quality in Southwest Colorado. I’m relieved to hear that U.S. Rep.4

John Salazar is bringing this issue to the EPA’s attention.

Although there are formal public hearings in New Mexico on the proposed Desert Rock plant, there is only an informational hearing scheduled in Durango. I join Congressman Salazar in his efforts to ensure that we take a proactive stance when our quality of life is jeopardized. This must entail a formal, local public hearing in our county.

Our government leaders at the city, county, state and national levels should be working on these types of issues together. Only through coordinated communication and action can we be sure that the public is knowledgeable and prepared to voice their concerns.

We are responsible for crafting La Plata County’s future. Let’s not just sit back and wait for the future to “happen” to us.

– Joelle Riddle, candidate for La Plata County commissioner


Thanks for doing your part

To the Editors:

Thank you to all the Democrats and Independents that supported me and voted for me in the primary election, Aug. 8. Your participation in this essential part of the Democratic Party’s candidate selection process is extremely important, and with the turnout, it’s easy to see how important each person’s vote is. You have done your part, and now I will continue to work hard to earn your vote in the general election Nov. 7.

I also urge you to support Congressman John Salazar’s request to the EPA to hold a public hearing in Southwest Colorado for the Desert Rock Energy Center Clean Air Act Permit. This hearing would be in addition to the informational hearing set for Sept. 14. Protecting our air and water is the EPA’s responsibility and holding this public hearing provides an opportunity to incorporate the comments of citizens that will be impacted in their decision.

– Joe Colgan, Durango


To That Which Has Flown

Sitting in the winter of my lies

The glass is half filled

With just enough of what I do not need.

That was then.

An insect shadow

Under a box elder moon

And above, the handle of the Big Dipper

Slowly bends.

There is a stillness

Before the darkened pour.

All I know now

Is that your emerald eyes

Teased the light

While mine have grown grey,

Like the tired cloud

Gathered above the drenched

History of what we were.

Nothing moves but a twig

Of salt brush

Slightly trembling

Below the canyon’s yawn.

– Burt Baldwin