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For Colorado's sake, renew federal conservation fund

With the midterm election revealing an increasingly divided country, it is important that we take time to recognize when issues arise with true, bipartisan support.  

One of those issues is the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), a critically important program for the preservation of national parks and monuments and the development of local parks and recreation opportunities across the country. Colorado’s elected representatives should make it a priority to work across party lines to reauthorize and fully fund LWCF during the lame-duck session.

LWCF has contributed more than $260 million to Colorado since its establishment, supporting treasured places such as the Great Sand Dunes National Park and the Uncompahgre Wilderness.

Investing in these sites not only benefits our quality of life and the environment, it’s good for the economy too. According to the Outdoor Industry Association, outdoor recreation activities support 229,000 jobs and $9.7 billion in wages for Colorado’s economy. Further, LWCF is a key driver of job growth, as access to recreation is essential for innovative companies in Colorado to recruit the best and brightest employees.

When venture capitalists like me analyze an investment opportunity, or executives at fast-growing companies search for a place to locate their next facility, the need to recruit top-quality employees is central to our decisions. And access to first-class outdoor recreational opportunities is extremely important to these target employees.

Moreover, outdoor recreation helps inspire, recharge and refocus the people who already drive success in our companies. These outdoor opportunities — even in a community park or local ballfield — fuel teamwork and innovation. LWCF is vital in providing these opportunities, benefiting employees across the country.

If Congress doesn’t act to reauthorize LWCF, our public lands will continue to be at risk, and I have no doubt that Colorado businesses will ultimately suffer as well. It’s imperative that Sens. Gardner and Bennet continue to fight for fully dedicated funding and permanent reauthorization of LWCF this year. 

Susan Mason

Menlo Park, California

The author co-founded Aligned Partners and invests in innovative companies in Colorado.

'Carbon free' will cost us a bundle

(Re: "Xcel aims to be 100 percent carbon free by 2050," Dec. 4.)

How many of Xcel Energy's Colorado customers are aware of the costs to be inflicted on them by Xcel's trumpeted, "100% carbon free" by 2050, pipe dream?

Why is its cost of reinventing the power grid never mentioned?

Shouldn't every household in Xcel's clutches be made aware of its financial burden for the new boondoggle's required parallel infrastructure, plus the unamortized costs of perfectly serviceable electric generation stations which are being prematurely retired?

How many Coloradans realize that Xcel is guaranteed its profit on how much it spends, not on the electricity it delivers? 

Must Coloradans emulate the now-rioting, over-taxed, "yellow jacket" Frenchmen, to protest how they will be coerced into economic serfdom to satisfy the hobgoblin du jour of so-called man-made climate change, whether it be cold or hot? 

If indeed Colorado is to be marched down this road to insolvency, shouldn't' the rich do-gooders, starting with Gov.-Elect Polis, be compelled to bear the entire cost of the transition? 

Lacking sufficient assets  to cover those costs, shouldn't they at least liquidate all their financial holdings and give the proceeds to Xcel?

Shouldn't reporters in good faith feel obligated to publish a sequel describing hard dollar costs?

Russell W. Haas



Press room is not the place to pillory the president

(Re: "BIDLACK | The press is supposed to dish it out, and the prez should be able to take it," Nov. 27)

I must offer serious disagreement to Hal Bidlack’s interpretation of the rights of the White House press corps.

There is no constitutional right given to the press for presidential press conferences. This is done as a courtesy to the press, and the purpose is to disseminate information, whether the press agrees with this information or not.  It is not a debating society.  

Yes, the press should present both sides of any issue and should ask probing questions. However, causing insult and disruption to a conference to which they have been invited is just rude and counter-productive. The fact that the some of the press allow their hatred for the president to taint their reporting is as wrongheaded as anything else.    

William F Hineser, DPM



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