I wish to applaud the Emerald Mountain Partnership for its dedicated efforts to find a permanent solution to the area commonly known as Emerald Mountain.
This area, currently supervised by the State Board of Land Commissioners, is a valuable asset to the residents of the Yampa Valley.
It provides a dramatic backdrop to Steamboat Springs and has and will continue to be a useful property for all residents of the area.
The Bureau of Land Management's cooperative approach to acquire the property from the state of Colorado is the best and most reasonable permanent solution to the fate of the Emerald Mountain parcel.
With the strong desire of the State Land Board to sell the property at market rate to any buyer, it was absolutely essential that the Emerald Mountain Partnership assist in brokering the property to a suitable, conservation minded buyer.
Thank you to the Partnership in finding that buyer.
The BLM has the wisdom, the resources and the experience to properly administer the Emerald Mountain parcel. The agency has demonstrated sensitivity to local input in management decisions, and I do trust it will continue to do so with the Emerald Mountain parcel.
The BLM is charged with a long-term approach to management decisions for the benefit of all citizens of the country and for the best model of management for each particular parcel of land they administer.
The plan for the land exchange between the State Land Board and the BLM involves many factors.
One part is for the BLM to divest parcels in Routt County with no or limited public access. It is in the public's interest for the BLM to be as efficient and effective as possible.
A move toward consolidation of BLM holdings in Routt County is a smart move.
The Emerald Mountain land exchange process seems to be a win-win for all involved.
The SLB receives a sum of money for their trust beneficiaries, the BLM receives a terrific large piece of property to replace hundreds of acres of scattered holdings, the residents of the Yampa Valley benefit from the long-held desire to have Emerald Mountain become truly public property.
Again, thank you very much for the all the time, energy and devoted concern to each and every one of you on the Emerald Mountain Partnership and advisers to the partnership.
Without your commitment, Emerald Mountain could have been yet another prime location lost forever to the people of the Yampa Valley.
An opposing view
In response to Kate Clements' letter titled "Thirty Years and Counting," which appeared in the Steamboat Today on Jan. 22, the 30th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, I would like to present an opposing view.
Kate and her affiliate, Planned Parenthood, celebrated 30 years of legalized abortion, but those of us on the other side of the issue grieve the loss of nearly 40 million lives.
More than one million deaths a year for 30 years -- can anyone fathom 40 million tombstones? We grieve also for the millions of women who chose abortion and now suffer silently, their psyches damaged by post-abortion stress disorder and for the men who should have been fathers. Always we are praying for truth, righteousness and courage to win over deception, selfishness and cowardice.
During the Civil War, slaveholders insisted that their African-American slaves were so inferior as to have no civil rights whereas the abolitionists preached that all men are created equal.
Today, no one would argue against that truth, originally found in the Declaration of Independence. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness."
The debate is once again over who has these rights.
The argument then was slave vs. free or black vs. white. Now it is the unborn vs. its own mother.
The answer lies in one, undeniable scientific fact: when a human sperm and a human egg unite, fertilization takes place, and a human life begins.
The blastocyst, the 12-week-old fetus, and the 30-week unborn (but viable) child are all one and the same -- human beings.
And that little unborn boy or girl has the same rights as any infant or toddler or child or teen-ager or middle-aged person or senior citizen -- whether man or woman, healthy or handicapped, regardless of race, religion or nationality.
The language of deception uses other words (product of conception, fetal tissue) and denies this fundamental truth -- the unborn child has rights equal to those of the woman who carries it in her womb.
Ms. Clement speaks of reproductive freedom as if that included abortion as an unalienable right. Reproductive freedom does include a wide selection of choices on how to prevent a pregnancy, including the decision to abstain from sex. It does not include taking a life.
Once the truth of when life begins is established, then it follows that the right action, the only action, is to advocate the baby's right to life. And that does take courage for any woman who has faced an unplanned pregnancy during these past 30 years.
For 22 years I have been actively involved in helping women make informed choices. I have presented the truth -- facts of fetal development and of abortion procedures. And with the resources of a pregnancy counseling center (as you have in Steamboat), I have offered to help women carry an unborn child through the dark months of pregnancy to the light of the birth day.
I've watched as they freely chose either pregnancy termination or continuation.
And I've been there to wipe away tears of regret as well as rejoice at the pride of a new mom.
By far the noblest choice will always be that for life.
DuPage County, Illinois (part-time resident of Steamboat Springs)