Editorial: New Trapper boss key to economy

The board of directors at Trapper Mining Co. recently made news by naming Jim Mattern, a 26-year employee, as the coal mine’s new president and general manager.

The hiring caught the attention of the Editorial Board, and for good reason: the position Mattern inherits is extremely vital to the overall well-being of the Craig and Moffat County economy.

The community-at-large, like the Editorial Board, should hope for Mattern’s tenure to be a successful one.

One look at property tax revenues, average wages and the number of employees who call Craig and Moffat County home is more than enough to make the case that a productive local economy is directly tied to our energy industries.

Maybe this is a shortcoming of our area, that we haven’t diversified enough and that we’re too reliant on one industry, but it’s reality, nonetheless.

Besides, the energy industries have proven to be good community partners and providers, and there’s nothing that indicates that will change in the future.

But, back to Mattern.

One Editorial Board member posed the question Monday regarding his ascension at the mine: Isn’t this a bad time to get such a job, given the setbacks the industry has experienced recently in Colorado?

However, the board agreed as a whole that this is a great time for Mattern to truly make his mark.

If he’s able to maintain and improve the level of operations at Trapper, particularly now in a troubled economy and in a state that has regulations that sometimes seem bent on making energy production tougher, he’ll have established a solid legacy at the company and in our community.

So, for now, the board wishes him well on his promotion.

His credentials, background and experience were enough to impress the Trapper board, as well as this one. He has a difficult road ahead of him, and many families in the community are depending on his leadership.

Of course, by now, he’s probably the one person who doesn’t need to be reminded of those very sobering facts.

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