Misinformed | AspenTimes.com


Dear Editor:

Jane Spaulding’s latest letter about the Hidden Gems proposal contains several errors. Strike that – it contains nothing but errors. Some corrections:

The public opinion poll that she cited found that 58 percent of people in Eagle and Summit counties support the Hidden Gems proposal. Even motorized recreationists support the plan by a majority.

The poll was conducted among a statistically valid random sample of likely voters, with a margin of error of 4.4 percent. The fact that Ms. Spaulding herself was not surveyed does not reflect on the poll’s accuracy.

The Hidden Gems proposal started with U.S. Forest Service roadless areas and then whittled those areas down further to accommodate various user groups. Therefore, by definition, it does not advocate any closures of legal roads on Forest Service lands, and only a few minor, uncontroversial ones on BLM lands.

People will still be able to access their “cabin in the woods” the same as always. Firewood cutting will be unaffected. Firefighting, including the use of all necessary heavy equipment, will continue to be allowed. Even pre-emptive treatment of beetle-killed trees has been accommodated by adjustments to the Hidden Gems boundaries, as wildfire officials in Summit County (where beetles have killed the most trees) can attest.

Dave Reed

Wilderness Workshop

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