Far be it for me to try and dissuade the editor and publisher of the San Miguel Basin Forum from the idea that my compatriots and I are a conspiracy of neighboring wackos out to rob the West End of what could be a lucrative energy economy.
But a clarification (re: editorial of 3.18.10):
In the entire world San Miguel County's Gunnison Sage Grouse (GSG) flock is second in size only to the Gunnison County flock. In the San Miguel watershed, our flock is the one that would primarily be affected were the U.S. Fish and Wildlife to step in with “federal mandates (something that the county in its pleadings in the lawsuit asked not happen – but rather federal collaboration with existing regional working groups, like the one the county participates in).
Federal listing of the GSG should have no more effect on the West End's energy economy than a uranium mill should have on Telluride's tourism economy.
And yes, in a tourist economy, scenic values can be quantified and are valuable. Tri-state did an end run around local control and appealed to a state bureaucracy to overturn a local zoning decision in San Miguel County. You damn well bet I voted to sue. Tri-state and the County have settled and we're getting our local zoning laws, at least in part, respected.
Look it. I get it you don't like us. But maybe you could tone down the rhetoric a little. Whether we're pals or not, we are neighbors. And we do have to try to get along.
– Art Goodtimes, San Miguel County Commissioner, Norwood