Letters: 7/20/17

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Sale of hunting licenses equals big bucks for CPW 

Kudos to Rico Moore’s piece on a study of the impact of fracking operations on Colorado’s declining mule deer population [Re: “Off Target, Part 7” June, 29]. There is an active culture of hunting in mountain and Western Slope communities and the annual influx of out-of-state hunters is a valuable source of income there. It is also the primary source of funding for Colorado Parks and Wildlife from the sale of hunting licenses. Hence the concern over the declining success of hunters. That CPW has focused on lion and bear predation rather than habitat degradation as the cause of the decline of mule deer is yet another revelation of how little power we have in addressing environmental concerns over gas and oil drilling. There is nothing CPW can do, but it would be helpful if it would acknowledge the validity of this study. As it stands, it is not cynical to suggest that the sale of high-end lion and deer hunting licenses is more about the agency’s revenue stream than the actual well-being of Colorado wildlife.

Robert Porath/Boulder

An Open Letter to Fish & Wildlife Service, Rocky Flats Stewardship Council, JeffCo Commissioners

I am a geologist/hydrologist/geochemist, with experience in geochemical applied research as well as consulting. My experience is broad-based and pragmatic.

I have been utterly baffled regarding plans for Rocky Flats, particularly as it seems to promote usage by humans, pets, and so on — terrible ideas, and truly contrary to the science and physics of plutonium and the probable never-fully-known various and moving sites of contamination out there.

So now I read yet something more that shocks me regarding this horrible, unsafe plan: a proposal to move a prairie dog population from Longmont to the Rocky Flats site due to further pursuit of development and displacement of critters in Longmont. This is alarming and nonsensical, to say the least.

We may want to ignore science, but our bodies and our health will not. Plutonium and its “daughter products” (also highly radioactive) are lethal substances beyond any measure. It is easily mobilized both as particulates, as well as during certain rainfall events, making the location of said horribly lethal substance difficult to contain, and difficult to know where it has migrated. But I assure you — once a particulate has “relocated” in your body, through your breath, through ingestion of that tomato you raised in your garden where particulates have settled in — you are highly likely to have it result in a cancer since the radioactivity will be as high then, and tens of thousands of years down the road, as when it was created. That’s the way radioactivity works, and that is how moving of soils and waters work. It is science — it is not wild speculation.

I ask that you immediately request a stay of this action — any efforts in the direction of putting displaced prairie dogs at Rocky Flats must be immediately halted. They are by their very nature burrowing animals! What have the site scientists alerted us to among so many things? That burrowing creatures — and on the scale of things, this is a big burrower (compared to movement of soil due to insects and smaller creatures). This will result in significant disturbance of soils that will surely be bearing particulates of plutonium. And let me once again say: one particulate that ends up in your body will likely result in cancer. Same for your pets. Same for your children. It is just the way it is.

Rochelle Rittmaster/via internet

Gardner should stand
up on health care

By now, Senator Cory Gardner should understand that the Republican health care bill is a betrayal of millions of Americans who have coverage under Obamacare. The bill is undeserving of his support.

He was not elected to protect corporations, which spend hundreds of millions financing campaigns and lobbying lawmakers. He should work with Democrats to take the profiteering out of the equation. Our situation in not normal. Thirty-four out of 35 developed nations have some form of universal health care. This means that Senator Gardner has 34 functioning models to study, adapt and modify in order to normalize America’s healthcare situation.

Doug Holdread/Trinidad

  • Susan Sommers

    Rocky Flats has been deemed safe by the EPA, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the DOW. I personally do not believe there is a giant conspiracy to risk human lives by declaring the area safe for wildlife and the public-what would they have to gain by this? We need to stop living in the past and move forward to accepting this area as what it is – A WIDLIFE REFUGE.
    Any relocation of prairie dogs, or other burrowing animals, will in no way endanger the general public, the prairie dogs are far far away from any previously contaminated areas and will not “dig up plutonium”, they very idea is ludicrous. In fact there is a small population of prairie dogs already at the Refuge and many other burrowing animals such as fox, coyote and badgers. Are you proposing we kill all wildlife on the Refuge and seal everything in a plastic bubble?
    Rocky Mountain Arsenal was itself very contaminated and was eventually cleaned and turned into a wildlife refuge-wildlife is thriving and the Arsenal is a major tourist draw and supports the most critically endangered mammal-the black-footed ferret. We as humans have contaminated this entire planet, everything you do everyday exposes you to carcinogens, to state that moving a small colony of prairie dogs to the outside edge of a wildlife refuge will endanger human health, is quite frankly foolish. In fact, everyday all around you-near trails, homes and schools-exterminators are applying phosphine gas to kill our wildlife. Where are the “concerned citizens” then? Where is the public outcry and letters to the editors? Many children here in the US, not to mention thousands worldwide have died from exposure to pesticides. If these prairie dogs are not allowed to be moved to a federal refuge they will be killed with poison gas, just across the road from an apartment complex-this is unacceptable when there is a wildlife refuge anxious to have them.
    If you believe that Rocky Flats is an unacceptable risk to you, then you don’t have to visit the Refuge. I am looking foward to it’s opening and supporting the USFWS and other governments entities in their years of work to start to heal what we have so terribly damaged. We need to stop making foolish mistakes and support the right thing-let the refuge be a refuge for the animals-it is all they have left.

  • Mēagan Borkowski

    Rocky Flats has been deemed safe. It is a wildlife refuge for goodness sake! Please stop spreading this erroneous information.

  • scfbcl Mail

    Wildlife refuge…how adorable. Have any of you folks driven by Rocky Flats lately? There is a HUGE development of housing called Candelas, barely a mile from it. In case you haven’t noticed the development is DOWNSTREAM from Rocky flats. Pu-239 has a half life of 24,100 years. Uranium 235 has a half life of 700 million years.

    EPA has declared it safe..even cuter.
    Maybe reading up on the transport of PU-239 into the groundwater via colloidal transport will wake up a few people. Everyone including the EPA and a physicist from Arvada are walking around with a geiger counter saying “oh this is no different from the background radiation” .

    Well No sh** Sherlock the fire was in 1957, it has rained and snowed a little bit since then. Of course there is nothing but background radiation on the surface. Where do people think this PU-239 went? Upped and vanished like a fart in the wind? Recall the half-life of PU-239?…24,100 years.

    Nobody is taking core samples 40-50 ft into the ground and analyzing it for Pu-239.
    Tree roots can get down >75 feet pretty quickly because they are in search of water. And what do we likely have in that water ?
    Now we can add burrowing animals to that mix to stir up the dirt…nice