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ELF criticism overboard

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Just read Tom Boyd’s article on ELF (Monkey wrenching isn’t terrorism, Vail Trail, Sept. 5, http://www.vailtrail.com), and I have a question for you. Were the abolitionists who burned auction blocks and sank slave galleys misguided idiots who deserved jail time, or were they simply the first to understand the gravity of slavery?If they were from that second group, isn’t it possible that their acts were motivated by the lack of meaningful action on the part of the general public and the government at large?Apartheid was supported by virtually every person who drank Coca-Cola and nearly every government on Earth as well. Bill Clinton remarked a few years ago that the world should be ashamed of its complicity in that crime. Of course, a few people did try to interfere in apartheid with the use of sabotage, and they are still in jail. Huh. It’s funny how easily a society who sits and does nothing to fight an evil like that can condemn those who do.I wonder if in a few more years when global warming’s gotten so bad that people can no longer ski at Vail if you’ll be wishing the ELF had fought a little harder.I have been an activist for a long time and actually used to be roommates with two ELF spokespeople, Craig Rosebraugh and LJ Pickering.I understand that many people do not agree with the methods of the ELF and similar groups, but I also think most people are unaware of the historical significance of these tactics in other movements. If people disagree with the ELF, so be it.But to categorize them as idiots for using their tactics seems overboard to me. The suffragettes in both the U.S. and England were more radical than the ELF in many ways, and even school children hear about the Boston Tea Party’s economic sabotage.It just seems to me that people have forgotten their history and the depth of the ecological problems we are facing. I figure a diverse movement against those problems should be welcome and people need to stop spending their times denouncing the ELF when they could be denouncing Shell Petroleum.Just my two cents.Josh HarperSeattle, Wash.Bair Ranch means habitatpreservationThis correspondence is in support of the conservation easement on the Bair Ranch property. As a member of the community, I feel this is a prudent use of county open space tax dollars, and as the Colorado state chairman for the Mule Deer Foundation, I will add that this is a great “start” for the preservation of habitat for our mule deer and other wildlife.Open space to me means habitat protection and enhancement, period. My ability to walk my dog on it comes second.The Grand Junction Sentinel recently reported that Colorado’s Western Slope will be home to 800,000 people in 30 years. Because most of our private lands are valley bottoms that are critical winter habitat for deer and elk, we stand to lose significant wildlife resources unless we can utilize conservation easements such as this Bair Ranch project.As stewards of our lands, we have an ethical obligation to ensure habitat for the future of our wildlife.Castle Peak Ranch north of Eagle is currently on the market for $39 million. Eagle County’s $2 million to purchase the development rights on Bair Ranch to ensure quality habitat is a great deal, plus we (the BLM) get more than 500 acres to hunt and fish that we do not have now.That $2 million will get you only a few acres here and there if you purchase them; however, when we can secure the development rights on significant acreages with conservation easement, we can really make a difference.This is a complicated issue, and there has been some misinformation, so please educate yourself and understand that if we lose this opportunity, it is most likely gone forever.Ted ArchibequeColorado State ChairmanMule Deer FoundationEagle


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