Summit Daily letters: Breckenridge or Barrenridge?
July 27, 2018
Republican wants to keep the conversation going
A liberal friend of mine I haven't seen face to face for years was visiting Summit County last week and point blank asked me, "Why do you like Trump?" Not wanting to engage in a political debate at the moment, I simply replied, "because he's aligned with my conservative values." I don't necessarily like Mr. Trump. I certainly am not interested in sharing a beer with him (I'm not so sure he would be fun to talk with and he doesn't drink at all anyway). I'm not a "Never Trumper" either. I voted for him and will do it again in 2020, because despite his unorthodox style and occasional missteps, he is protecting our Constitution and championing the course corrections that are needed for our republic to be sustainable.
The vitriol in the left wing rhetoric masked in comedy is frightening, not funny. For example: Michelle Wolfe's vicious comments at the White House Correspondents dinner, former comedians Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar's attacks of guests and middle America on The View, and apparently the skit performed at the Breckenridge Theatre's fundraising event. The recent column from Susan Young and letters to the editor suggest that conservatives are "whining" and anti-free speech. Seriously? Easily, 80 percent of the guest columns, Writers on the Range and AP articles published by the SDN are left leaning, and probably 95 percent of the political cartoons. We're offended daily but choose to respond with sensible conversations with our adversaries rather than with insults, threats or public harassment as has been advocated by Democrat leaders like Maxine Waters. The attack on free speech in America is not coming from the right, it's coming from the left, especially on college campuses. Organizations like Turning Point USA and Young America's Foundation are working on exposing and countering this dangerous reality.
Yes, Republicans are making some noise right now. I wish we could stop talking about the deep state, FISA, text messages and the FBI, and am hopeful that we will get the truth exposed so we can address the system problems and hold the people responsible for obstruction accountable. Thankfully, we are the majority party in Washington right now. If we weren't, all of this scandalous behavior would still be under wraps!
Conservatives like me won't stop talking about what we believe in, and why we believe what we do, even if we're the minority in Summit County. For example, today our national debt is over $21 trillion. That amounts to $64,797 for every person or $168,394 for every household in the U.S. We can't afford the radical left wing socialist agenda of free pre-K, free college, free health care, open borders, etc. that the Democratic party advocates. We are prospering now, with the lowest unemployment in decades, lowest even for African Americans and Hispanics. We are prospering because of rhetoric and actions of our President regarding deregulation, energy independence, consumer confidence, tax cuts for individuals and companies that have allowed for capital investment by American industries, and investment in our defense so we can have peace through strength. This is the right direction but not enough to bring the debt under control. Fiscal conservatism is the right path and the keepers of the checkbook in Washington desperately need some restraint! This is the conversation we need to be having with one another, and our legislators, regardless of party and without the hurling of insults and non-data based facts. Let's keep the conversation going!
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Breckenridge or Barrenridge?
Why are we clear-cutting Peaks Trail and more of the Colorado Trail? While I appreciate all the Forest Service does for us and dedicate time to volunteer with the service, I do not understand the current ~1,600 acre Ophir harvest operation between Breckenridge and Frisco. I have read the USFS documents and have heard many laudable motivations, including fire buffer, improving scenery and recreation in the long run, restoring a diverse, resilient, and productive forest, and allowing access for future forest work. Let's look at these reasons.
The Forest Service and the fire fighters did a great job on Buffalo Mountain this year and the 500-foot buffer around the Wildernest neighborhood was critical. There are already large buffers in most areas and the areas to be clearcut are mostly over several thousand feet from development. Are the scenery and recreation improved by clearcutting? Clear-cutting produces a few years of open meadow and many years of dense lodgepole thickets, certainly no improvement in my view and certainly not a diverse, resilient, and productive forest. While the current forests are not the mixed Fir-Spruce-Lodgepole climax forests we want, they seem headed that way (3- to 4-foot stumps can still be seen from long ago). Clear-cutting seems a big step back. We don't need more forest access if it means more clearcutting. Hike it or bike it and see for yourself. The forests depend upon us, the citizen-users, to stand up for and protect it. The Forest Service needs to hear from us, not just the Denver Water Board, contractors, and the biomass power plant that profit from clearcutting.
Protect the Peaks Trail
I'm writing in support of Howard Brown's excellent letter published July 6 that urges reassessment of the poorly-conceived Ophir clear-cutting plan. This action would destroy much of the iconic Peaks Trail, used by generations of hikers and mountain bikers and one of the Summit's most popular trails.
It is clearly unjustified by any gains in fire safety and the conditions that originally were used to justify the clear-cut (large expected tree mortality in this stand) have not materialized.
The Forest Service should cancel this terrible plan and save the Peaks Trail from further deforestation.
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