Missing Delta County's clean air

By Carol Nudell

Dear Editor:

Delta and Montrose county farmers --ENOUGH!

I can't breathe!!! Cough, cough, cough, wheeze.

March has got to be the worst month of the year along the Western Slope. Every single day, for hour after hour, week after week, columns of smoke and ash fill the valley with choking, toxic, smoke. About 15 percent of our population suffers from pulmonary issues -- asthma, COPD, reactive airways. Every spring I spend several hundred dollars in emergency room and urgent care visits, weeks on steroids treating my asthma. I can't make appointments or go shopping in Delta or Montrose because of the air quality. I am not alone; there are hundreds of residents of these counties in the same miserable place. There is no excuse for this!

Burning fields is a Third World farming method. It sends soil nutrients and top soil into the atmosphere to be blown away. It can NOT be good for sustainable farming. Plowing stalks under and returning nutrients to the soil is both better for the soil and it reduces the need for excess fertilizer.

I realize ditches need to be burned, but can't we just compromise? Burn three days a week and no burning on the other days so people can make appointments, children can play outside safely, families can enjoy the parks or walks.

If I had known this was a standard farming practice here on the Western Slope I would NOT have moved here. Believe it or not, I moved here for the "clean air."

Carol Nudell