To cut or not to cut Summit County’s beetle kill forests? (letter)
Kudos to Alli Langley for Friday’s informative article regarding the status of clear-cutting in Summit County. Kudos also to Howard Brown for his leadership in the effort to preserve what’s left of Summit County’s forests.
Alli Langley’s piece highlights the petition to stop clear-cutting and presents a fairly balanced summary of where things stand today.
As an avid mountain biker and someone who appreciates the beauty of our forests, I am clearly in the Stop Cutting camp. If you hike or mountain bike on the Frisco Peninsula or Gold Hill, through those scarred areas that have already been clear cut — or even as you drive by Ophir Mountain on Highway 9, you must realize the devastation that has already been done. Kudos to the Forest Service for their decision NOT to cut some areas of the Peaks Trail, which should preserve its wonderful experience for hikers, bikers and skiers. Haven’t we — as Howard Brown states — already clear cut all the areas that could be justified as a fire risk to nearby housing and aren’t we spending our tax dollars to destroy our forest? While the forests will eventually regenerate, their beauty is compromised for MANY years to come.
Decisions were made in 2011 that are now questionable, based on recent history. Our county has NOT been engulfed in flames. To quote Dominick DellaSala, a forest researcher who works on behalf of conservation groups, in a July 7, 2014, article in The Colorado Independent, “Logging in the backcountry will do little to prevent insect infestations or reduce fire risks.”
Let’s re-evaluate the situation before wasting more taxpayer money. As Don Parsons says, “It’s a debate that needs to be engaged in and I think it needs to be a more open conversation.”
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