Summit Daily letters: We should applaud our county’s efforts to preserve open space
July 23, 2018
We should applaud our county's efforts to preserve open space
Myopic is the last word I would use in describing the efforts of the Summit County Open Space and Trails Department. Their efforts, along with numerous partners including the US Forest Service and the Town of Breckenridge, over the past 23 years in Summit County have had a tremendous positive impact for generations to come.
They have protected over 16,100 acres and spearheaded countless public access, trail and recreation projects. Their impact also includes river restoration, historic preservation, mine reclamation and wetland protection. The existing river restoration project in the Swan River drainage has involved collaboration with the Town of Breckenridge, U.S. Forest Service, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Colorado Water Conservation Board, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Blue River Watershed Group, Colorado Trout Unlimited and Friends of Dillon Ranger District. The county also has strong relationships with the Division of Reclamation, Mining, and Safety, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, U.S. EPA and others via this project.
The current restoration saw revegetation of over 26 acres of riparian habitat and day-lighted almost 1 mile of stream channel. This effort provided an almost immediate positive impact, benefited the community for generations to come and has been done in a fiscally prudent manner. Evaluation of projects by Open Space always involves attempting to maximize the public good at the lowest impact and cost to the public.
The Swan River drainage has been an active mining valley for a long time — long before there were homes up and down the valley. Yes, there will be a lot of trucks going up and down Tiger Road, but this will impact a relatively small group of residents and will have tremendous positive impacts for generations.
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Member, Summit County Open Space Advisory Committee since 2013
To be together again!
In the July 21 article by Michael Reagan (son of Ronald Reagan), he asserted that Democrats went "nuts" with glee when our President "screwed up." Not so! It would be better for our nation if the Republican Party could be great again! Once, Ronald Reagan (voted for him twice) stood up to the Russians and said "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall." Once, conservative Republicans during the Clinton years created a budget surplus. Now a Republican Congress has passed a tax plan, benefiting corporations and the top 1 percent, that has created a $1.5 trillion budget deficit, just to get some temporary growth in the economy. Once Republicans were for family values, now they separate families from their children. Once, Republicans were for strong alliances with our friends. Now they demonize our friends while praising dictators who are no more than gangsters. Once Republicans, in bipartisan cooperation, passed the Fresh Air and Water Act (Nixon), The Voting Rights Act, Dodd Frank reforms protecting us from a 2008 type financial fiasco, immigration reform, gun reforms and civil rights protection. Now Republicans are driven only by "donor power," no matter what the public thinks. Once we had diplomacy and civility, now we have tweets and over 3,000 documented lies. I haven't left the Republican Party, they left me.
It is unfortunate for our country that 87 percemt of Republicans approve of our president's actions.
They have hitched themselves to the star of an unscrupulous personality that pulls us apart as a nation. Instead, we have to be aware of our potential, both individually and as a great nation. A new era of globalization, multiculturalism, automation and a carbon free economy is descending on us. We must address these challenges, as opportunities. It will be great, to be together again!
Carl M. Birkelbach
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