Letters: 2/7/19

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On the Buzzfeed Trump story

As much as one hates to venture into conspiracy speculation, the evidence of clandestine happenings in media and politics is indisputable, and here the Buzzfeed Cohen/Trump story has all the markings of a Russian counter intelligence program operation intended to discount the credibility of the Mueller investigation. The release of a false story, followed by a predictable official claim of its inaccuracy, is a classic example of an effort to manipulate public opinion. Predictably, conservative talk radio is hot on the trail, decrying, “Fake News! Fake News!” and Trump supporters are eagerly joining the show.

Robert Porath/Boulder

On proposed gun ranges

Thanks for the informative article, “On the range.” (Re: News, Jan. 17, 2019). We used to have three outdoor ranges in Boulder County. I like how the need for a public range was fairly presented since the blanket forest restrictions, annexations and those without a brain have absolutely created this problem. Also, the writer was clear that forest restrictions will not affect hunters. This point should be listened to carefully, particularly by those anti-hunters.

In effect, the NRA is also a group of anti-hunters, when they spew, “the Second Amendment is not about hunting.” Hunters use their guns enough to hold their firearm responsibilities in high regard versus the average handgun nut that can’t wait until the time to use it. Even so, I should not generalize about handgunners because many shoot safely without question.

Where I saw some bias was in the paragraph, “Though it represents a solution to the problem posed by dispersed shooting in the forests, communities near the potential ranges have expressed concern about noise, wildlife disruption and water contamination from spent lead bullets.” I find that almost funny, given the mass influx of humanity that has made things worse for our state in every way, including the three mentioned in this paragraph. If we were truly concerned about that, then forest squatting, mountain bikes on forest trails and many other encroachments would be restricted. It’s just that guns are the demon. I always thank the Boulder Rifle Club range officers for keeping this single range open to the public, if even only during 14 days between spring and fall.

Thanks and keep up the objective reporting.

Michael Ortiz/Lafayette

Re-do 1-percent tax rate math

Dave Anderson’s otherwise fine column “Trickle Up Economics” (Re: Anderson Files, Jan. 24, 2019) fails to point out that the U.S. 70-90 percent tax rates from the 1950s to the 1970s were nominal rates. The effective tax rates paid by the 1 percent were considerably lower as a result of various deductions and widespread use of tax shelters and only partial taxation of capital gains. Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Picketty, two fairly left-leaning economists estimate that the effective tax rate on the 1 percent was about 42 percent, not that much higher that the current 37 percent.

I think Boulder Weekly readers deserve a balanced perspective.

John Mayer/Boulder

Thanks for Forest Service support

The five-week government shutdown was not like anything we have experienced before. It was a trying time for many Forest Service employees and their families and, yet, we made it through, together. On behalf of the Forest Service employees, I want to thank you, our communities, for your outpouring expressions of care and concern of our federal workforce. It is heartwarming and humbling to know that you saw beyond the “workforce” to see the people and the lives affected, and you reached out to make us one with you.

Times like this accentuate the importance of shared stewardship. Our shared commitment to public lands and each other is invaluable. We are well aware and grateful of the partner and community work that kept some of our visitor services functioning. We have great gratitude and respect for our partners, and we are so thankful for those strong partnerships we have in place to help deliver our mission.

During the past five weeks, citizens, partners, elected officials and the media showed up for us. For example,

• Private citizens, businesses and providers of all types of services made extraordinary offers toward the feeding, care and well-being of our employees.

• The media carried on our conservation conversation on social media, TV and newspapers.

• Our partners carried on our shared conservation work.

• Volunteer organizations picked up trash at trailheads and campgrounds.

• Citizens stocked outdoor restrooms with toilet paper.

Across the Rocky Mountain Region of the Forest Service, we have 11 forest and grassland management units. We have over 2,800 Forest Service employees that work and live in communities across the five states of Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming.

Our communities have a special bond with nature, the magnificent scenery of mountains, rivers, wildlife and plains. National forests and grasslands are an essential element in communities that provide goods and services such as clean water and world-class recreation opportunities.

As community members, our shared values connect us and we share in life’s trials and triumphs. We cherish our part in the community connection and strive to be good neighbors and to reciprocate kindness and availability in times of need.

We thank you wholeheartedly for the outpouring of support, and we look forward to continuing our conservation mission with you in the future.

Brian Ferebee/Rocky Mountain Regional Forester, USDA Forest Service

On Eldorado Canyon trail

After 20 years of discussion, starts and losses in momentum, the multi-user trail connecting Eldorado Canyon to Walker Ranch is moving forward.

Over the past few years, we’ve seen Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Eldorado Canyon State Park, Boulder County and Boulder City work together beautifully to move toward a solution. They held a public process and heard loud and clear that they hadn’t focused enough on the existing impacts on Eldorado Springs caused by the ever-growing population in the Front Range. They then modified their focus to be the trail alignment and to work on the problems facing the residents of the town, exactly as the process should work.

I believe this is how most government projects should function. No single agency lives in a vacuum so working together ensures that CPW can represent the landscape-wide environmental impacts and all the agencies can ensure that trail connections are made in a way that makes sense for the entire area, not just on the land they control. We have to think regionally in the Front Range since thinking locally doesn’t work as our population grows.

Unfortunately, at the Boulder County Parks and Open Space Advisory Committee (POSAC) meeting, the members of POSAC voted to slow the momentum by declaring that the problems of the town need to be solved before construction of the trail can begin. This is lose-lose for both the trail and the town because, as we’ve seen over the past 20 years, when a government loses momentum, things grind to a halt. My fear is that a loss of momentum leads to no trail, no solution to the problems facing the town and possibly the three agencies becoming disinclined to work together. Instead, we should continue to move the trail forward (which will take years) while using the trail opening date as a hard deadline for when the transportation problems of the town need to be mitigated. Everyone functions better with a deadline.

I would like the focus to be the recreation community working hand in hand with the Eldorado Springs residents. I’m weary of the overcrowding in the Front Range causing our community to fight out of fear of the problems that crowding cause. We should rise above and work together towards a better overall community.

Marcus Popetz/The Indian Peaks Traverse Coalition and the Boulder Mountainbike Alliance