Letter: Columnist’s goes overboard with rhetoric

Columnist’s goes overboard with rhetoric

Dear Editor:

Columnist Paul Anderson’s most recent opinion piece deserves a rebuttal (“Beware the fossil fools,” Aug. 5, commentary, The Aspen Times). After all, his entire column boils down to a “tsunami” of anti-motorized anti-access hate-speak. Face it: With his mighty pen/laptop he has hated on an entire group, from single-track riders to ATV riders, and anybody who enjoys motorized sports. And by golly, he seems to want to stop this “dystopian” group in its tracks!

It seems Andersen chose to brand motorized recreation as undesirable, and what’s more, frightening. Terms like “fume spewing” creates this wonderful anti-access picture of clouds of exhaust fumes, despite the emission standards that all motorized vehicles, large and small, must meet. I have traveled the routes that he addressed and I never realized that as I passed through Tin Cup and Pitkin at the posted limit of 15 mph that this was viewed as a speedway. Speedway is another code word the anti-access crowd likes to use. Most forest roads I have traveled on have a speed limit of 25 mph; Gosh, I guess that makes Main Street through Aspen another speedway!

Any complaints Andersen has about the motorized community are the unintended consequence of all the public land closures he preaches about. As the areas that are legal to travel in diminish, the motorized community is compressed into smaller and smaller areas due to the lack of legal access.

It amazes me how the environmental lobby will arrive in Aspen on their private jets that consume more fossil resources in an hour of flight time than the motorized community will use in a year, and somehow this is OK.

Paul Joseph Goebbels would be proud of how Andersen used a line from his “playbook” and labeled an entire motorized group a “blight.” So does this mean any veteran with a mobility issue or senior citizen that enjoys motorized access is part of this “blight”?

Your Glen Beck-style-verbal-chalkboard leaves the reader with only one conclusion: Close all public access before it reaches the sacred Richmond Ridge. I hope the ski huts you visit do not require any re-supply as this would leave you SOL, as they say.

Paul, if there is any imbalance in the current public land issue, it is the motorized community that has received the short end of the policy debate. At this moment the Bureau of Land Management is proposing major access closures in Mesa and Garfield counties, with additional closures in Delta County. There are proposals in the U.S. House of Representatives to close major areas in and around Moab and the San Rafael Swell. So why are you raising the alarm that “the motorized are coming the motorized are coming”?

Paul, I would like to extend this olive branch. You are welcome to join us this Aug. 11 for a trail workday on Basalt Mountain where you can enjoy an honest day’s work.

Greg Fitzpatrick

President, Colorado Backcountry Trailriders Alliance