Trish Holcroft: Hidden Gems Unsafe for Breckenridge, Blue River |

Trish Holcroft: Hidden Gems Unsafe for Breckenridge, Blue River

Kurt Kunkle’s letter (SDN May 27) makes some points which need to be clarified and seriously considered by Breckenridge and Blue River residents. He stated “fire fighting has always been and will always be allowed in wilderness areas …” This is true, however preventative “fire control” measures, like removing dead pine-beetle trees, forest treatments to save trees, or creating fire breaks, are not and never will be allowed in wilderness.

This is a critical safety issue, which puts all Breckenridge and Blue River residents in great danger. Our communities lie near the proposed Hoosier Ridge and Ten Mile wilderness areas. Experts state a catastrophic wildfire is only a matter of time. As we watch our beloved forests die and as we spend money creating defensible space around our homes, we know this alone will not be enough. We expect our public safety officials to do everything in their power to keep our communities safe. This will not be possible with a wilderness designation of these populated areas.

Mr. Kunkle stated: “The campaign worked … to exclude current and future fuel removal projects…” this refers to the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) which was negotiated by our fire district in an attempt to keep us safe. The WUI on the Hoosier Ridge side of Highway 9 is a half-mile deep. In Ten Mile it goes from no WUI to about a mile. Beyond this area, the Forest Service will be able to do nothing proactively. I am appalled that Hidden Gems is so callous in their agenda to actually risk the lives of people who live here. Mr. Kunkle, our Hidden Gems “representative,” lives in Boulder.

Please come to the meeting at CMC Friday, June 4 at noon, and please sign my online petition

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