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Pitco to call for population control

Tim Mutrie

Pitkin County commissioners voiced unanimous support yesterday for the drafting of a resolution calling for population stabilization.

The action came at the urging of Aspen City Councilman Terry Paulson, who spearheaded the City Council’s Dec. 13 passage of a resolution supporting population stabilization in the United States. He asked the commissioners to consider drafting a similarly worded resolution.

The city resolution, which was sent to higher-level government representatives, including President Clinton, Colorado’s congressional contingent and state legislators, as well as the Colorado Municipal League, calls for a reduction in the number of immigrants allowed into the country, based on unprecedented growth in Colorado and throughout the country.

“We’ve got to start somewhere, and this is a start,” Paulson told commissioners after showing them a brief population growth video titled, “Immigration by the Numbers.”

“Living in Colorado, the population has quadrupled since I was born, and if we don’t do anything, nothing happens,” Paulson said. “It could be the most important consideration you’ll make for your constituents.”

The video, which featured Roy Beck, a well-known authority on population, immigration and the resulting environmental impacts, detailed how increased numbers of immigrants allowed to enter the United States has led to exponential population growth in the United States. And if the numbers of immigrants allowed into the country aren’t scaled back – from current levels of about 800,000 a year to a “replacement level” figure of about 200,000 per year – the country’s population will continue to grow unchecked.

The country is now in a state of denial about its population growth, and the associated negative impacts, Paulson said, calling the situation a “hate crime” against future generations.

“To me, whatever steps you can take in cutting back the immigration levels, no matter how small, opens the door for further cutbacks,” agreed Commissioner Patti Clapper.

Though the issue of population stabilization extends well beyond the Roaring Fork Valley, Paulson said it’s a matter that’s appropriate for small communities like Pitkin County to address because it may prompt other communities to enact similar resolutions, which over time, could have a great impact.

The commissioners agreed to schedule the population stabilization matter for discussion at their March 23 meeting.


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