Boller: Who gains from clear-cutting?
April 7, 2014
Regarding your articles about planned clear-cutting and all the excellent letters about it, we cannot understand why the Forest Service would want to move forward with the Ophir Mountain plan. The planned cuts along the Peaks and upper Gold Hill Trails and on Ophir Mountain are all far from existing development. They would provide minimal, if any fire mitigation to any homeowners. On the other hand, they would destroy beautiful forests—not as many trees died as expected—and wonderful trails, the soul of Summit County.
When something doesn't make sense, you are suppose to follow the dollars. These are not lucrative timber sales that will bring revenue to the Forest Service. They are "stewardship" projects that require spending taxpayer dollars. They will not bring jobs to Summit County. The contractor is from Hotchkiss and the wood—in essence, those taxpayer dollars and the beauty and recreation that do bring money to the county—will be burned in Gypsum.
The homeowners that might think they would get fire mitigation benefit from the cuts don't want them. I'm told that Gold Hill residents were among the few to find out about and protest the plan when it was proposed. Our friends in Bills Ranch are strongly opposed.
Tourism, recreation, and real estate—the big industries of the county—all depend upon the beautiful scenery and wonderful trails slated to be destroyed. Who are the "bad guys" that will benefit from the destruction?
Ron and Chris Boller
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