To the Editor:
It seems the commissioners of Moffat County and their helpers are determined to do as they wish regardless of the wishes of the residents who elected them. We the people are the ones who will have to suffer the consequences of the hardheadedness and shortsightedness of our elected officials.
The commissioners elude that they are speaking for the majority of the area when they say to develop the Vermillion Basin. I do not believe this. I have spoken to too many who say otherwise.
Neighbors, we need to speak up now. The Bureau of Land Management ground, the public ground, our land is just that - ours. Those wishing to develop the gas and oil should be willing to compromise, be happy with the 98 percent they are taking.
The 2 percent that the Vermillion Basin holds is not worth losing the irreplaceable history and geography we have there. This ground is far too sensitive an area to allow any development on.
The drilling would only open the door to other uses and close the door of protection for this area. Where do we draw the line of money versus quality of life? Why do we choose to live here?
Compromise is hard. Were I to have my way entirely, the Sandwash Basin would be a wild horse refuge, no grazing and hunting, and only foot or horse track off established roads, not cow trails. The Vermillion Basin would be wilderness - no motorized traffic and grazing of domestic animals. I, however, realize that this is, unfortunately, unrealistic due to the wishes of others.
Gov. Ritter is speaking for more than just the Eastern Slope, more than just the few. Many of us here also are behind protecting the Vermillion Basin and all that it holds. I wish to thank him for his respect for the specialness that lies within this small but important portion of our county.
Please speak up and let your voice be heard. It is time the people take back the management of their public lands. Let's manage for the future of the lands, not the immediate gratification of money in the hands of the few.
What do we want to leave for future generations? Do we want them to look back and say how wise we were to protect and preserve, or do we want them to look back and say how greedy we were to take away what will never be again?
Let your voice be heard. It is your land, too.