Aspen Times Roses and Thorns |

Aspen Times Roses and Thorns

Thorns to Colorado Parks and Wildlife for expanding the territory for hunting mountain lions in the Aspen area.

We agree with the letter-writers who have objected to this measure on the basis that it’s shortsighted and sacrifices wildlife in the name of human encroachment.

Hunting can serve a variety of purposes — whether it’s putting food on the table or maintaining a balance of wildlife — but this decision gives us some serious pause. We hope the CPW reconsiders this call, and shifts the focus on educating locals and visitors about these majestic creatures.

Roses to Scott Gilbert for sacrificing so much time after retirement from a career in advertising at age 50 to run Habitat for Humanity Roaring Fork. Gilbert first volunteered for the board 15 years ago, then became the chapter’s president six months later. He has built the chapter into one known for innovation. He retired this week from the presidency, though he will continue in fundraising and public relations. He handed the reins to Gail Schwartz, who deserves roses for not sitting back at age 70 and enjoying retirement.

Thorns to county commissioners and Open Space and Trails board members who are overreacting to so-called “overcrowding” along the Stillwater portion of the North Star Nature Preserve. The whining from a few people who are speeding through Independence Pass and suddenly realize they should slow down because of people in the vicinity has led to officials declaring they should “put a blanket on it” and essentially disallow anyone on the river who doesn’t … take a commercial shuttle or have a three-bike relay system, or something? The concern over “less driving” and a “party atmosphere” reeks of grandstanding and busybody declarations rather than actual dissection of problems — which are just made up in the first place.

Thorns to the Johnson couple and their ski-selling scam that victimized not only Aspen Skiing Co., but its retail employees who were denied company bonuses because of the $6 million racket that persisted for years.

At least Derek Johnson, the former city councilman and his wife, Kerri, are no longer turning a fortune on eBay at the expense of others. But it’s a sad, unfortunate story all around. Prison and jail time are certainly warranted, but the social scars from their actions will last for a good while.

Roses to the U.S. Forest Service for taking steps with partners to try to stabilize elk populations in the Roaring Fork Valley. The Forest Service will extend the seasonal closure of the Government Trail by one week to secure prime elk calving grounds on lower Burnt Mountain. We would like to see Aspen Skiing Co. enhance the effort by not starting its summer activities at Elk Camp until July 1. After all, it would be ironic if human activity led to the demise of elk in the area of Elk Camp.

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