Say ‘hell no’ to the Gems | AspenTimes.com

Say ‘hell no’ to the Gems

Dear Editor:

Kudos to the forest supervisor for finally making a public statement on the Hidden Gems proposal. Unfortunately, he does not realize who he is dealing with. The Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Division of Wildlife working together have 10,000 times more resources and knowledge of our local forests than Wilderness Workshop.

We do not need a third-party special interest, hard-line extremist, environmentalist wack-o group legislating and policing our local forests. Bob S. from Redstone should get the facts before calling me out. Maybe you should look at the maps again, Bob. This is only phase 1 of their proposal. Phase 2 would shut half of the Flat Tops area, and phase 3 would close the rest, all the way down to Rifle Mountain Park. This is a blanket proposal. What do we do if we have a pine beetle epidemic and can’t remove dead trees?

It is possible to have California catastrophic wildfires. Who wins then? Our elk, deer, and bear would be in danger of over population, inbreeding, and chronic wasting disease, not to mention starvation. Wilderness Workshop will not accept any other designation for these lands and that’s what makes them extremist. Sloan Shoemaker, the Wilderness Workshop and all of its supporters lack one big key in there proposal “common sense.” We will not give an inch so you can have your miles. I urge all of our local commissioners, town council members, parks and rec, and mayors to send this organization an astounding “hell no” to this proposal and support our local forest service recommendations, not some “hidden” agenda

Joe Hultquist

Rifle