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Albee: More than barren rock

To the editor:

I must take exception to one of the statements made in the "Our View" editorial in the July 17 issue of the Saturday Morning Press. 

Saying that Vermillion Basin is a largely barren rock with little wildlife is ridiculous.

I realize that in Northwest Colorado wildlife means deer, elk and pronghorn, but there are hundreds of other wildlife species, including reptiles, amphibians, birds, non-game mammals (including prairie dogs) and insects, that are vital to the overall health of the ecosystem in Vermillion Basin.

The importance of maintaining the health of Vermillion Basin far outweighs the chance of a small economic gain that may or may not come from oil and gas development.

I would also like to point out that arid desert environments such as Vermillion Basin are very fragile and successful reclamation of oil and gas well sites is extremely difficult, which can result in long-term impacts that are impossible to mitigate.

Mike Albee