Continued support of North Fork Alternative urged

By Steve Wolcott

Dear Editor:

As citizens and community leaders of Delta County we are writing to thank our county commissioners for their participation in the creation of the North Fork Alternative (NFA). Three years ago the Board of County Commissioners along with a team of community members including the Western Slope Conservation Center, VOGA, the West Elk AVA, CHC, chambers of commerce, realtors and ranchers submitted the North Fork Alternative Plan to the BLM. It was a huge acknowledgement of the quality of our work that the BLM accepted the NFA and has included it in the options presented in the current draft Resource Management Plan.

We would like to see the Board of County Commissioners continue their support of the NFA. I support the county commissioners to write a letter to the BLM stating their continued support for what the BLM refers to as Alternative B-1.

Alt B-1 is the best alternative that supports the county's efforts to diversify our local economy. The North Fork Alternative Plan is resource-based and built from the "ground up." It would put strong protections in place for the public uses and resources the community values most, including the existing coal mining and agricultural economies; a clean, dependable water supply; community, recreation and public-use areas; scenic and sensitive lands; river corridors; and wildlife areas while allowing for the balanced development of all our resources.

We look forward to reading the letter from the Board of County Commissioners to the BLM.

Steve Wolcott
Robin Nicholoff
Bill Day
Michael Soule
Eli Lindsey Wolcott
Hal Brill
Tracy E. McCurdy
Allison Elliot
Mark Waltermire
Karen M. Ortiz
Ed Marston
Shawn Labounty
Bill and Sarah Bishop