Our View: Support Trapper Mine by submitting comments | CraigDailyPress.com

Our View: Support Trapper Mine by submitting comments

When Colowyo Coal Company was named in a lawsuit against the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Environment, our community came together, made our voices heard and helped keep one of the area's largest coal mines open — in turn saving 220 jobs.

Now, Trapper Mine will undergo the same process as OSMRE re-evaluates the impact mining activities in their federally permitted mining area will have on the environment. Trapper Mine's re-assessment is just as important as what Colowyo faced.

A positive outcome in Colowyo's case was, in part, the result of an influx of public comments that helped government officials understand that the mine is so economically valuable to Moffat and Rio Blanco counties, that Northwest Colorado coal mines are some of the strongest environmental stewards in the nation, and that those who live, work and play in coal country will do whatever it takes to support the industry that supports us.

Trapper Mine is currently going through the first stage of its public comment period, and it's vitally important for our community to write to the Office of Surface Mining about the mine's importance, not only to Craig and Moffat County, but to a nation whose hunger for affordable and reliable energy is only growing.

The comment period ends on Thursday, Nov. 12. If the mine's supporters don't tell the government why the mine should stay open, it puts another economic driver in our community at risk of closing.

This public comment period is vital to ensuring that OSM understands Trapper Mine's social, economic and environmental impacts. Now is not the time to become complacent. We understand that there have been many calls on our residents recently to engage in a complicated federal process and that so many of you submitted comments for Colowyo, but we hope our residents won't let fatigue keep them from supporting Trapper to the same degree and with the same passion.

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Trapper needs the community's engagement just as much as it was needed for Colowyo.

Community members can submit comments online, via email or in written form. The Craig Chamber of Commerce has pre-addressed forms for those who choose to mail their comments. Mailed comments must be postmarked by Nov. 12.

Businesses can support Trapper Mine by using their marquees to remind residents to comment before Nov. 12.

The Trapper assessment might not end until April, but this comment period ends next week.

Thoughtful and unique comments will have much more impact than form letters. Trapper has the following suggestions for content:

• Provide your thoughts on Trapper's environmental stewardship and reclamation efforts.

• Describe Trapper's role in the community and how it helps businesses.

• Talk about how without coal, it's difficult to obtain low-cost energy.

• Share your thoughts on the mine's economic impact on our area.

According to an economic and fiscal impact report compiled for Tri-State Generation and Transmission, Craig Station receives 100 percent of its coal supply from Trapper Mine and Colowyo Mine, and the coal mining industry supports direct payroll of $41 million for 403 employees at both mines.

Those figures say a lot about Trapper's economic impact, and they don't include the mine's generous contributions to community projects, local organizations and youth programs, let alone the staggering amount of local, state and federal taxes the mine pays or the businesses supported by the mine.

Email comments to osm-nepa-co@osmre.govosm-nepa-co@osmre.gov and put “Attn: OSMRE Trapper Mine MPDD EA” in the subject line. and put "Attn: OSMRE Trapper Mine MPDD EA" in the subject line.

osm-nepa-co@osmre.gov and put "Attn: OSMRE Trapper Mine MPDD EA" in the subject line.

Submit comments online to http://www.standwithtrapper.comhttp://www.standwithtrapper.com..


Or mail comments to: OSM WR, C/O Nicole Caveny C-079641 and C-07519EA

1999 Broadway, Suite 3320

Denver, CO 80202

Editorial Board

Renee Campbell: Newspaper representative

Noelle Leavitt Riley: Newspaper representative

Sheli Steele: Newspaper representative

Christina Oxley: Community representative

Brenda Elsbree: Community representative