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Twin Buttes comes at cost

To the Editors,

Who is most affected – negatively – by the proposed Twin Buttes development?The silent wildlife. Do we care? Is making money and living luxuriously in a former wilderness our right? I ask that we do the right thing: preserve this precious habitat.

Read the Ecosphere report (particularly Chapter 2, at the public library) of the flora/fauna of Twin Buttes as it is, and the proposed mitigation to minimize the impact of 600 homes and a shopping mall in the midst of crucial habitat for a rich diversity of creatures from insects, fish and reptiles to birds, bears, deer, elk and lions.

Twin Buttes is crucial habitat year-round. Most painful is that where the development is slated is where the creatures concentrate in severe winter conditions.

Neotropical migratory birds breed there – and almost half of the proposed acreage lost due to Twin Buttes (development) would occur in (the area) which may host the most diverse bird community assemblage of the property (2.3). “Twin Buttes ... contain(s) quality-breeding habitat for both cliff and tree-nesting raptors ... particularly sensitive to human disturbance ... .” (2.4.4)

Development will impact riparian and wetland vegetation and alter forage and cover, erode and impact the streambanks, and impact the reptiles ... (2.4.2)Ecosphere offers those hopeful mitigations — many of which the developers are adopting. Mitigation means “to reduce the severity, seriousness or painfulness” – a band-aid.

Ecosphere also proposes a “Wildlife Management Team” (presumably in perpetuity,  made up of sincere and dedicated people who deeply care about wildlife – more than human amusement activities) to oversee compliance with the mitigations.

Is that sufficient? Of course not. In some cases, it will be far too late. Ecosphere comments that in some cases “temporary avoidance of the area (during construction)

by wildlife may lead to permanent avoidance.” (2.7.1)

The animals will adjust about as well as you and I would adjust to, say, a freeway going past your house or a jet plane route making multiple daily runs overhead.

Right now, our DOW is killing mountain lions whose habitat has been displaced. They are hungry, not crazed. 

We’ll see much more of that as we continue to gobble up their land ... and when they are all shot dead, our lives will be much more pathetically lonely for it.

– Most sincerely, Sara Ransom, Durango



Twin Buttes comes at cost

To the Editors,

Who is most affected – negatively – by the proposed Twin Buttes development?The silent wildlife. Do we care? Is making money and living luxuriously in a former wilderness our right? I ask that we do the right thing: preserve this precious habitat.

Read the Ecosphere report (particularly Chapter 2, at the public library) of the flora/fauna of Twin Buttes as it is, and the proposed mitigation to minimize the impact of 600 homes and a shopping mall in the midst of crucial habitat for a rich diversity of creatures from insects, fish and reptiles to birds, bears, deer, elk and lions.

Twin Buttes is crucial habitat year-round. Most painful is that where the development is slated is where the creatures concentrate in severe winter conditions.

Neotropical migratory birds breed there – and almost half of the proposed acreage lost due to Twin Buttes (development) would occur in (the area) which may host the most diverse bird community assemblage of the property (2.3). “Twin Buttes ... contain(s) quality-breeding habitat for both cliff and tree-nesting raptors ... particularly sensitive to human disturbance ... .” (2.4.4)

Development will impact riparian and wetland vegetation and alter forage and cover, erode and impact the streambanks, and impact the reptiles ... (2.4.2)Ecosphere offers those hopeful mitigations — many of which the developers are adopting. Mitigation means “to reduce the severity, seriousness or painfulness” – a band-aid.

Ecosphere also proposes a “Wildlife Management Team” (presumably in perpetuity,  made up of sincere and dedicated people who deeply care about wildlife – more than human amusement activities) to oversee compliance with the mitigations.

Is that sufficient? Of course not. In some cases, it will be far too late. Ecosphere comments that in some cases “temporary avoidance of the area (during construction) by wildlife may lead to permanent avoidance.” (2.7.1)

The animals will adjust about as well as you and I would adjust to, say, a freeway going past your house or a jet plane route making multiple daily runs overhead.

Right now, our DOW is killing mountain lions whose habitat has been displaced. They are hungry, not crazed. We’ll see much more of that as we continue to gobble up their land ... and when they are all shot dead, our lives will be much more pathetically lonely for it.

– Most sincerely, Sara Ransom, Durango


Expecting decent customer service

Dear Employees at Local Liquor/Wine Store,

While my husband and I have patronized this store for years, don’t expect us back anytime soon.

Yes, I am nine months pregnant. Yes, I was shopping for a nice bottle of wine yesterday (to drink oh, in a few weeks or so, after we have the baby). No, that does not mean it is appropriate to talk behind my back about what a “freak” I am, unknowingly, in the presence of my husband, who then told me this in the car.

This is incredibly rude. Pregnant women aren’t allowed to shop for wine now without ridicule? I’ve bought several bottles while pregnant, to bring as gifts, to dinner parties, simply to add to the cellar. 

Don’t make assumptions about people without knowing a little more. A nice bottle of Amarone was going to be shared after welcoming our new little one into the world.  Thanks for tarnishing the anticipation of the moment.

– Sincerely, Sarah Morgan, La Plata, N.M.


10 reasons to work for Obama

To the Editors,

I know, I know. Sacrilege, right? This is Durango. Rafting, climbing, surfing Corner Pocket - it’s a way of life. It’s what we all love about this town. Who can resist the siren song of Smelter in those perfect hours before the afternoon thunderstorms move in?

Nonetheless, consider this a kick in the wetsuit - a plea to all river rats to leave your gear at home today and pick up a phone or a voter registration packet instead. Here are 10 reasons why you should act now to get our boy Barack elected instead of going rafting today.

1. McCain’s proposals for combating global warming look to be about as comprehensive and up-to-date as plastic-wrap rubbers. Winters like  this last one will become a thing of the past. What will you do when it’s May and (the soul quakes at the thought) the river tops out at 1,500 cfs because the snowmelt is nonexistent?

2. You can show off your scar from that one time you wiped out under Main Street bridge to all the chicks who dig Obama supporters.*

3. *Trust me on this. It rates just below having an accent and just above playing guitar.

4. Colorado is basking in the limelight this year due to its swing-state status. Our nine electoral votes? They actually matter this time around. So when you convince that elderly woman to register to vote despite her fear that something will climb out of your dreadlocks and bite her, it could actually be the deciding factor.

5. You know how to size up a situation, go for it if it looks promising, and bail if it starts to get ugly. You’ll be a natural at going door-to-door.

6. We can’t make the mistake of thinking that no one pays attention to this stuff until fall. What happens later may well hinge on what happens on the ground in July and August. With Durango’s transient young population, mail-in voting is huge, which means we need to get out the vote long before the election even happens. Yeah, I’m talking about you, deadbeat sleeping on your friend’s couch.

7. That tan line says you could really use a day wearing something other than your life vest.

8. Calling McCain supporters will help you later when you need to talk that 6-year-old out of jumping into a deceptively calm eddy.

9. Today, we have the chance to elect a man who will give new direction to the United States and the world.

10. The river will still be there tomorrow.

– Emily Johnson, Obama neighborhood leader, Durango


Bike Week needs your help

Dear Editor,

Help!!  Ignacio Bike Week, the 15th rendition of the annual motorcycle rally held Labor Day weekend each year, is in need of volunteers.  There will be more events for adults and kids this year, and we need your help.

New to the not-for-profit rally this year is a whole slate of kids’ events, including a custom bicycle show.  New for the adults is a rocket build-off, with proceeds to benefit the Ignacio students’ Spacecamp efforts. In addition, the rally features such standards as the custom motorcycle show, bikers’ skills events, food court, adult beverage tents and scores of vendors.

Since this is a free, not-for-profit event with proceeds plowed back into the community, many volunteers are needed to ensure a good and safe time for the estimated 20,000+ motorcyclists and family members expected again this year. There are many ways to help, and a huge time commitment is not required.

Those interested can e-mail our volunteer coordinator at volunteers@ignaciobikeweek.com.   Volunteers can also attend our all-committees meeting Sat., Aug. 13, and the volunteer organizational meeting Sat., Aug. 23. Both meetings will be held from 10 a.m.-12 noon at the Pine River Community Learning Center, 535 Candelaria Drive, in Ignacio.

This year’s rally will again host free, live music in the main beer tent, showcasing Ralph Dinosaur, Formula 151, Kirk James Blues Band and Steel Rodeo. Saturday night the casino will present 3 Dog Night and Little River Band. There will be biker bull riding, kids’ mutton busting, at least five poker runs, outdoor movie night at Three Springs, Bayfield 3000 Soap Box Derby and  the motorcycle parade through Ignacio, all crammed into a five- day period.

So, we need your help!!  Sign up to volunteer Labor Day Weekend for the events surrounding Ignacio Bike Week and join in the fun.

– Larry E. Whiteside, Durango


Big help from Alpine Lumber

Dear Editors,

Habitat for Humanity of La Plata County would like to express our sincere appreciation for Alpine Lumber’s consistent generosity. 

This summer, Habitat for Humanity of La Plata County is building two duplexes in Bayfield’s Fox Farm Village. During this process we look for donations and discounts for building material to offset the cost of building these homes and therefore providing affordable housing to families in our community.

Alpine Lumber has been incredible in this effort. Last month, the company donated 7,000 feet of floor joists, worth $13,000! They are also partnering with Habitat for Humanity of La Plata County through DOW and Habitat International in a reimbursement program that allows this local affiliate to receive quality building materials for free or for a largely discounted price.   

We are so thankful to Alpine Lumber and to manager, Bill Bader, for all their support!  We could not keep doing our work without wonderful companies like Alpine Lumber!

– Jen Nail, Habitat for Humanity of La Plata County


Corporation vs. conservation

To the Editors:

In a recent (Durango Herald, July 13th) letter from Wm. M. Benton of Ft. Collins, on behalf of Republican U.S. Senate candidate Bob Schaffer, Benton accused Schaffer’s opponent, Mark Udall, of financial support by unnamed “Big Guns” – presumably the Democratic National Party. My question is, does Schaffer receive campaign funds from Republican political organizations, including the RNC?

My guess is that he, too, does accept his party’s campaign assistance as well as its political philosophy. Project Vote Smart (PVS) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization begun in 1992 by 40 U.S. political leaders, including Sen. Barry Goldwater (R) and Presidents Gerald Ford (R) and Jimmy Carter (D). PVS shows that Schaffer’s 1997-2003 House voting record was predominantly sympathetic to corporate and socially conservative positions and essentially un-sympathetic to broad social issues (human services and rights, women’s, energy and environmental issues, animal rights, and wildlife and natural resource protection).

While in Congress, Bob Schaffer supported powerful conservative and corporate special interests, including the petroleum industry – voting to give it $28 million in tax breaks after receiving $240,000 in campaign contributions from major oil companies. By contrast, Mark Udall has served Coloradans in Congress as a leader on behalf of renewable energy and energy independence, health care and preserving natural resources.

During the recent senatorial candidate debate, Schaffer resorted to fear-mongering when he described Iraq as “just one front in a war against people who want to establish a ‘jihadist caliphate’ throughout the Middle East, Central Asia and eventually the United States.” He then derided and stereotyped Udall’s supporters, while Udall remained courteous and “tried to minimize partisanship,” according to The Durango Herald (July 15th). Udall has a record of bipartisanship, bringing people together and fighting for the common good. As a senator, he’ll represent all of Colorado’s and America’s working and middle class families. That’s the type of senator we need.

– Julie Moore, Durango


 

In this week's issue...

July 18, 2024
Rebuilding Craig

Agreement helps carve a path forward for town long dependent on coal

July 11, 2024
Reining it in

Amid rise in complaints, City embarks on renewed campaign to educate dog owners
 

July 11, 2024
Rolling retro

Vintage bikes get their day to shine with upcoming swap and sale