Letter: “Party dogmatism will destroy us”

The debate about the redistribution of electoral posts is on the wrong topic. It must be clear to everyone that the coal mines and power plants will be closed in the next few years. Rightly or wrongly, the debate has been settled. Although large amounts of oil and gas are found in western Moffat and Rio Blanco counties, Routt Counties have very few. Vernal, Utah and Rawlins, Wyoming are the centers of oil production. Northwest Colorado is unlikely to see significant oil growth.

The standard arguments, pointers, doing nothing and relying on the forces of the market do not meet the challenges. It will require massive support from outside the region – from state and national governments.

The ski industry and resort community of Steamboat Springs are on the move. Let the current drought last into winter and see what happens. Winter snow and conditions have been questionable for several years. Smoke-filled air harms tourism. Traffic-restricted roads and highways discourage visitors. We have problems bigger than ourselves and we need help through constructive government policies and programs.

Ranching is in its worst crisis in years and ranchers need help to survive. The reason Steamboat and Routt Counties are unique is their foundation in ranching. If the ranchers lose, we all lose – a big time.

The pressing question is how will we survive the serious challenges? We need elected representatives with understanding, flexibility, courage and foresight. Party dogmatism will destroy us.

Paul Bonnifield


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