Printed letters, July 1, 2012

Printed letters, July 1, 2012

01 July 2012

published by

 USA -The wild land fire situation is serious, with several large fires burning across Colorado. Contributing factors for this include a low-snowfall winter and a drier than normal spring, an early fire season and fire severity indicators that surpass the conditions we experienced in 2002, the year of the Coal Seam and Haymen fires.

Moisture levels in forest fuels types are very low, and both relative humidity (moisture in the air) and soil moisture are extremely low. Fire severity indicators are at historic highs. The long-term forecast shows continued hot and dry weather. Because of the mountain pine beetle epidemic, many areas of the national forest have heavy fuel loads.

Given these conditions, on June 22, I implemented Stage II fire restrictions on the White River National Forest. Our goal is to reduce the possibility of human-caused fires so that we can better use our firefighting resources where they are needed most. The last time this was done was in 2002.

Stage II restrictions prohibit all open fires, including charcoal grills, regardless of location. Smoking is prohibited except in enclosed areas such as vehicles, buildings or tents. The use of fireworks or other pyrotechnic devices are always prohibited on Forest Service, National Park Service or Bureau of Land Management lands.

I intend to leave these restrictions in place until we see a significant change in weather and fuel conditions. Please monitor our website (  for current information. Information on all of Colorado’s wildfires is available at

I have talked with a number of folks who feel that being unable to have a campfire changes the whole recreation experience. Some have said they feel so strongly about having a campfire that they will not come to the White River National Forest during fire restrictions. I understand this and ask that recreationists consider other options if they choose not to visit the forest. There are numerous communities and events surrounding the White River National Forest that are open for business.

Please help me get the word out about summer recreation opportunities as well as our fire restrictions. If you have questions, contact us at 970-945-2521 for the most up-to-date information.


Forest Supervisor

White River National Forest

Glenwood Springs

Water district all wet with annual report photo

Recently, the Ute Water Conservancy District distributed to customers its annual 2011 water quality report (required by the EPA). Unfortunately, the district chose to put a photo on the front page of a child drinking from a garden hose.

It makes little sense for the district to tout the purity of its product and, at the same time, imply it is acceptable to drink from a garden hose that may contain bacteria or other contaminants.

Of all people, water company personnel should know better.


Grand Junction

Reading court decision is cruel, unusual punishment

Considering what’s been happening to this once-great country, the performance of our three branches of government can be judged nothing more than disgraceful. Our Founding Fathers had great wisdom and judgment in the balance-of-power concept they perceived would best serve our government.

Unfortunately, they failed to take into consideration the human frailties that have become so evident during the current administration. Executive orders have replaced proper legislation. Congressional inactivity has stifled growth and disabled the economy.

Judicial injustice has made a mockery of our court system. The intended balance of power has, instead, become government run wild.

Now, the Supreme Court has provided the most recent example of further disgrace in its decision to redefine cruel and unusual punishment. Why is it not surprising that the liberal influence on the court was instrumental in a decision that will undoubtedly free more than 2,000 criminals, convicted as juveniles, who are justifiably serving life sentences, most for committing heinous crimes?

Consider the illogic of this one example. Why is it cruel and unusual punishment to sentence a 17-year-old juvenile to life imprisonment for bludgeoning to death with a baseball bat a 42-year-old mother and her 11-year-old daughter? Didn’t the victims suffer more cruel and unusual punishment than the teenager who committed these vicious murders?

Well, thanks to the wisdom of our highest judiciary, murderers such as this young monster are likely to be rewarded with new trials that will undoubtedly set them free to join the law-abiding citizens, who keep society safe by civilized behaviort and respect for the law.

In my generation, the Three Stooges provided comic relief with their wild, but harmless behavior. Unfortunately, the “five stooges” who are responsible — Justices Kagan, Kennedy, Ginsburg, Breyer and Sotomeyer — are not providing relief in any form, but have simply devised another travesty of justice.

“Supreme” Court is a misnomer. Furthermore, reading the decision is a form of cruel and unusual punishment.



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