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LETTERS: Needed revenue for parks and wildlife; American citizens qualified, available

By: Gazette readers
February 13, 2018 Updated: February 13, 2018 at 7:14 am
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FILE - In this March 24, 2016, file photo, geese make a stopover on farm lands north of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns, Ore. Hundreds of national wildlife refuges that provide critical habitat for migratory birds and other species are crippled by a staffing shortage that has curtailed educational programs, hampered the fight against invasive species and weakened security at facilities that attract nearly 50 million visitors annually, a group of public employees and law enforcement said Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016. (Hal Bernton/The Seattle Times via AP, File)

Needed revenue for parks, wildlife

As an avid sportsman, hunter and fisherman for over 70 years, I applaud The Gazette editorial board's support in Saturday's 'Gazette Viewpoint' for the "Hunting, Fishing and Access for Future Generations Act" before the Colorado General Assembly and schedule for its first hearing this Tuesday afternoon.

This bill, SB18-143 would bring needed revenue to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife from increases in the sale of hunting and fishing licenses as well as park passes. The last increase in hunting and fishing license fees was 12 years ago and the previous one 14 years before that.

Colorado's fish and wildlife face increasing challenges from loss of winter habitat, wildlife diseases and the pressures of Colorado's burgeoning population. Additionally, the backlog of deferred fish hatchery and dam maintenance has become critical and must be addressed.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is one of the leaders in wildlife conservation and management among the Western states.

Only through sustainable funding can they assure our wildlife resources remain a vibrant part of the Colorado lifestyle as well as our rural economy. Many small communities in wildlife-rich areas report that approximately 60 percent of their small-business income comes during the fall hunting season.

Funding for Colorado Parks and Wildlife comes almost exclusively from user fees, e.g. park passes, hunting and fishing licenses, and returns of federal excise taxes on hunting and fishing goods.

As a sportsman, I realize that my license fees go to support wildlife for all Coloradans. They also go to supporting the recovery of threatened species, keeping them from being federally listed with attendant consequences for our landowners. This is a cost that I am quite willing to pay.

Ivan James

Colorado Springs

   

Almost became another statistic

I was a quarter second away from dying tonight. The light turned green and I began to cross Circle Drive at Holiday Lane. Then a car flew through the intersection, running the red light. I hit the brakes just in time, though the other car never swerved or slowed down. I don't think they even saw me. My wife and 2-year-old daughter were in the car with me. They may have survived the crash, but I wouldn't have.

Last year, 74 people died on El Paso County roadways, 615 statewide. That's nearly two a day. I was almost one of today's two. Had I been, the city would probably have added a sign warning cars of an upcoming stoplight. Little consolation for my family, but something we'll likely be advocating for now at an intersection that's had to add extra crossing guards because of reckless drivers.

Driving has become so mundane that we forget how dangerous it is. A growing population and increased distractions only make it worse.

Put your phones down, folks. Stop talking to the kids in the back seat. Pay attention. You might save a life.

Daniel Smith

Colorado Springs

   

Thought the speech was great

It is interesting to compare the "Yes" and "No" answers to the question "Was Trump's State of the Union speech successful?" posed in The Gazette's Pro/Con on the Opinion page, Sunday, Feb. 10.

In answering "No" to this question, Don Kusler uses all of the popular smear tactics to degrade the speech without giving a single example of why he was making such erroneous statements.

For example Kusler makes the statement, "Another clearly falsely part of the president's speech was the assault on truth through a series of blatant lies and moving on to a healthy dose of misrepresentation of fact."

I listened to the entire speech and heard no lies, let alone blatant lies and I heard no misrepresentation of fact let alone a healthy dose of misrepresentation of fact.

In answering "Yes" to the question, Merrill Matthews used examples and the results of polls to show that the vast majority of the people thought the speech was great.

It was the best SOTU speech that I have listened to in three decades. The speech made me proud to be an American. President Trump's stature was magnified even more after reading Kusler's attempt to smear this great SOTU speech.

Fred Nelson

Colorado Springs

   

Good job stating the facts

I gave Don Kusler, national director of Americans for Democratic Action, a chance to persuade me that President Donald Trump's State of the Union speech was not successful. Needless to say, he did not. He concluded with three points: the speech was far too distorted from reality, far too divisive and far too self-serving.

Typical of many Democratic opinions, he did not state evidence to back up this conclusion throughout his article.

On the other hand, Merrill Matthews, resident scholar with the Institute for Policy Innovation, stated the fact that 80 percent polled said the president was trying to unite the country, appeared presidential in his demeanor, gracious to the opposition and stayed on message. In contrast was the sour-puss faces of the Democrats, looking "bitter and dejected." The fact is the economy is surging as reflected in headlines and public optimism.

Good job stating the facts, Mr. Matthews.

Sharon Rocchi

Colorado Springs

   

Suspicious of misguided claims

The editorial in last Sunday's paper regarding "zero emission" vehicles was well-researched and well-written.

There are two additional points that have caused me to be suspicious of the misguided claims of these cars being the answer to our pollution woes: the "carbon footprint" of the production of these vehicles (including the batteries), and the environmental impact of battery disposal when they must be changed.

Vic Ecklund

Colorado Springs

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