I vote yes on the Sound Off question "is it fair to make rural landowners give up access to neighboring public lands in order to preserve Emerald Mountain." Actually this question is misleading. It does not state that the public lands, identified, are landlocked by private lands and are rendered ineffective as public lands because there is no public access. The neighboring landowners have exclusive use of this land and determine who can have access to it.
If Emerald Mountain becomes public, it truly will be public land and be accessible by the general public, not just private landowners who are neighbors to it.
Public land not public
Access to public lands that are surrounded by private land has always been controlled by the private landowners surrounding the public lands. This has kept most of the public from accessing the public lands in question.
The Emerald Mountain Partnership has worked hard to establish as fair a system as possible for determining which BLM lands were included in the exchange list.
Most of the parcels that were included were surrounded by one landowner. A complete list of the criteria used to include other parcels is available from the Emerald Mountain Partnership.
The BLM is determined to dispose of many of the small, unmanageable parcels in the county. By incorporating them in the exchange process for the State Land Board's Emerald Mountain parcel, all of the public will gain access, which has not been available, to the Emerald Mountain parcel.
Yes to land swap deal
The BLM/SLB Emerald Mountain Exchange will be a benefit for the rural landowners of Routt County. In almost all cases, the BLM parcels in the exchange are either proposed for conveyance to the existing lessees or to the State Land Board, which intends to release the land to the existing lessees. This is an opportunity for these landowners to enlarge their agricultural land holdings. The bottom line is that the vast majority of the parcels proposed for the exchange are landlocked by private land or are of such small size as to be inaccessible or unusable to the general public. It is understandable for a few landowners who have grown accustomed to having some of these BLM parcels as their own private lands to be opposed to this exchange. However, the bottom line is that public lands should be accessible to the public, not just to adjacent landowners.
No to public land swap
No. We should not lose any more public lands. A lot of the lands proposed for exchange do have public access. We do not need to lose any more open space.
Two sides to the story
No. It is absolutely not fair that the rural landowners will have to give up access to their neighboring public lands, but look at the number of people who will benefit by preserving Emerald Mountain. I think the land swap should proceed.
Preserve open space
I don't think it's right to make West Routt and South Routt landowners and residents give up access to BLM and private public lands that they use for agricultural and recreational reasons. Let's preserve our open space in all of Routt County.
Plans by the United States to "punish" some allies such as France for their anti-war stance on Iraq are pathetic. They speak volumes on the Bush administration's idea of democracy. What kind of country is the United States becoming when it seeks to punish nations whose government's actions simply reflect its leaders' beliefs and those of the majority of its citizens?
The Bush administration message is clear: Our allies are those who follow us blindly. It does not bode well for the development of democracy in Iraq.
War all about money
The Bush administration plans to give money to wealthy individuals and large corporations through tax cuts. This will come at the cost of health care, housing for the poor, elderly, education and the environment.
The true reasons for invading Iraq were not because Saddam was a threat to the United States, nor that Bush cared so much for the Iraqi people. The deeper reason is money and how much of it will be available to several large U.S. corporations with close ties to the present administration.
Exploiting America's fears of terrorism, telling half-truths and ramming through a far-right ideology with tax cuts is outrageous.
Disgusted with cuts
After reading the article regarding school budget cuts, I am disgusted with the fact that our children will have to pay for the deficit. Instead of cutting programs from the schools, we should be adding programs such as advanced classes for the kids who excel at a subject and lowering the price of after-school programs such as hockey and lacrosse.
Perhaps if the money weren't spent wastefully (i.e. the disagreement between Dr. D. and Dr. Simms), this deficit would not be as high or maybe there would not be a deficit. The upper management of the School Board and schools should be taking a look at how this problem could be resolved without punishing the children. And just how does the School Board plan to lower class size without hiring teachers? Is the cost of these new teachers reflected in the deficit? Or is this cost yet to be added?
We need to start thinking of our children first. Cutting programs may lower the deficit, but it will severely hurt our children in the long-run.