The new Camp Hale National Monument deserves recognition for its wilderness too


More than history at Colorado’s new national monument

Wednesday, we gained a new national monument in Colorado that protects both the historical site of the training camp for the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division during WW2 and wilderness quality lands in the Tenmile Range above Breckenridge. This is a unique combination for a monument.

There has been much talk of Camp Hale during the process but not enough about the Tenmile. I have known a few 10th soldiers from WW2 in my day and have the utmost respect for their service and their skill on skis. I have also explored McCullough Gulch and Spruce Creek drainages of the Tenmile Range and know them to be two of the most beautiful glacial cirques in the entire state: waterfall after waterfall, lake after lake, pond after pond.

It is one of the last of Colorado’s approximate 28 mountain ranges that needed protection from mining, logging, and other uses antithetical to wilderness values. Though we failed to give the Tenmile designation as a new federal wilderness, our highest form of land protection, the White River National Forest will apply the next best standards via national monument status. Hallelujah!

John Fielder, Summit County

Editor’s note: Fielder is a nature photographer and advocate for public lands.

The real reality on the southern border

Re: “The Reality on America’s Southern Border,” Oct. 9 opinion column

This article seems to be trying to turn reality into a child’s fairy tale. It was anything but realistic.

First, the author writes about a section of the border in New Mexico, where a border wall is largely completed and does not see the droves of illegal migrants like in other areas.

The article does give a sense of some of the hardships of border crossers, but that, too, was treated lightly. Numbers of rescues are quoted, but no mention of the number of deaths nor that the UN has declared the U.S. southern border the deadliest land crossing in the world.

There is mention of the cartels running smuggling operations along the border but no mention of the range and severity of smuggling and human and sex trafficking, and no mention that, according to the DEA, roughly 200 people a day are dying in the U.S. from synthetic opioids being smuggled across the border. The closing paragraph says, “the numbers of those crossing illegally are much smaller than we’re led to believe.”

What? 3.7 million apprehensions of illegal migrants since the beginning of the current administration? Along with another 800,000 to 900,000 known “gotaways”? How can those numbers, reported by The Center Square, be called “much smaller”?

Dean DuBois, Golden

Change course at Park Hill site

What are the options for the Park Hill Golf Course at this point? As a Park Hill resident, who also lived here as a child and young adult, I think city leaders are blowing a fantastic opportunity to improve and maintain this site as a park. Can that still be considered?

As we, along with much of the world, swelter in record heat, the importance of trees, open space, and parkland to urban community health is vital. Affordable housing is also a huge need in Denver; the project envisioned by Westside Development for PHGC would be a drop in the bucket of this need while forever foreclosing the entire site remaining a park.

Westside didn’t purchase it to keep it as open space, despite the conservation easement that’s in effect for this land. They and city planners have steamrolled a planning process promoting Westside’s vision, which will require the conservation easement to be revoked in order to build. Public input into this plan has been carefully staged; public meetings I attended were a frustrating farce.

Neighbors have drafted a comprehensive park proposal. What is needed for city leaders to give this serious consideration? Residents have made their preferences clear: a 2019 Greater Park Hill Community-commissioned survey found a large majority of the neighborhood — 77% — prefers the property “remain entirely some kind of green space/park or golf course.” And last year’s city-wide election results on proposals 301 and 302 show a very strong preference for what Denverites want to see happen at this site: preserving it as open space!

What can be done at this point to honor the wishes of the majority of Denver residents regarding the future of the Park Hill Golf Course?

Mary Ellen Garrett, Denver 

When candidates haunt us

‘Tis the scary season. As Halloween approaches, we have campaign materials from the Republican and Democratic Parties (sometimes honestly, sometimes in disguise) describing the horrors of the candidates from the other party. With the sleazy innuendo, ridiculous statements, and unflattering photos, we are to be frightened by these monsters of the other party.

While it is tempting to refer to junk mail, many of these mailings nonetheless provide a constructive purpose: they encourage me to seek and consider independent and third-party candidates for those offices. I prefer to use my valuable votes for adults who do not insult the intelligence of those they “want to represent” by the use of scare tactics. Ranked-choice voting, which will at least diminish this electioneering problem, cannot come too soon!

On the other hand, I am heartened any time I see a candidate who can campaign positively. We are best served by elected officials who are honorable and realistic.

P.S. Keep a watch after Nov. 8 for campaign signs that those “community-minded” candidates have not seen fit to remove.

Kirk Sarell, Northglenn

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