After concerns were raised by the Crawford Town Council about the wording in a proposed letter of support for the North Fork Valley Alternative Plan, Jim Ramey, director of Citizens For A Healthy Community (CHC), rewrote the letter.
The North Fork Valley Alternative Plan is another option CHC, Western Slope Conservation Center and various stakeholders wrote to be considered in the revised BLM Resource Management Plan (RMP) for the area that includes Hotchkiss, Paonia and Crawford.
The new proposed letter of support focuses solely on Crawford's water resources and wastewater system.
Proponents of the North Fork Valley Alternative Plan were hoping that the town council would approve the letter on July 17. The July 3 council meeting was recessed until July 17. However, the only agenda item voted on and approved was the adoption of the 2012 audit. Mayor Susie Steckel immediately adjourned the council meeting after that vote. The letter of support was then opened briefly for discussion in the work session where no vote can be taken.
"We made some changes to the support letter to address some concerns to make this absolutely clear," Ramey said. "It's just a letter of support and it's not something that's outside of the town's jurisdiction."
Next, John Vandenberg from the CHC board of directors spoke. His grandparents came to the area 110 years ago. His parents are buried in Crawford Cemetery. "My ancestors came here for good reasons — clean air and clean water. If you don't believe close-in drilling will change that for our town ... Drive over to Silt. Drive over to Rifle. You'll see it. We deserve better than that. North Fork Alternative is common sense, practical. Yes, it does limit drilling in many, many ways, but it protects the jobs we already have here and in the other parts of the valley. It certainly deserves your support," Vandenberg said.
Former Crawford trustee Christie Young said she has been following the process of the RMP revision and the letter. "I am just as concerned about the town's concerns as you are, and I think this new letter addresses those concerns. It doesn't obligate you or even insinuate that you are going outside the jurisdiction of the town. It is strictly a letter that says, 'We think it would be a good idea if everybody, the BLM in particular, really, really thought about what they are doing when they consider drilling in the area.' So I am here to show support for the new letter, and I hope you will."
There was no indication when the letter of support would be on the agenda at an upcoming council meeting.blog comments powered by Disqus