Tuesday, January 19, 2016

RGNF asks for patience, wait for the judge to judge.

Mike Blakeman (Public Affairs Specialist RGNF) whom I have great respect for, responded to my email.  He didn't have much to share considering this is an active court case.  He did make a request:
 "I would ask that you look at my quotes in the Durango Herald article and really think about it."
Here is what he and Dan Dallas, had to say in the Durango Herald article, followed by a few thoughts in response.
"When asked about Malecek’s “swimming with sharks” email that claims Dallas was concerned about potentially damaging information and the need to hide correspondences from FOIA, he said: 
“It’s an unfortunate use of words, certainly, but there is no, again, I was asking folks to be disciplined about working out internal questions between each other.
“I’m not interested in throwing employees under the bus, but Malecek said what he said, and that wasn’t my intent. There is no cover-up.”
Mike Blakeman, public affairs specialist for the Rio Grande National Forest, said the local Forest Service is frustrated because it is easy to pull out emails and develop stories around them.
“You have groups that want to present a particular view that supports them, so they will obviously provide emails that prove that,” Blakeman said. “And I feel like that’s what’s occurring here.”
Both men contend any claims of a cover-up or collusions with McCombs will be proved false once hearings start for the Friends of Wolf Creek’s legal complaint against the Forest Service about the most recent EIS.  

Forest Service officials in Washington, D.C., and Denver declined to comment for this article, saying the agency does not discuss matters in litigation. 
Pending court case
The 30-year battle over the proposed development will enter its next stage in Federal District Court in Denver this spring or summer, Stills said. 
“We want the judge to understand what happened, and see if undue influence has prevented the public and people in charge of making a fully informed decision,” he said.  But Stills added that the recent batch of emails released represent a sliver of what went on behind the scenes. ...
Durango Herald | January 16, 2016
I fully agree with Mike that long strings of emails can be creatively cherry picked and a story retold that totally misrepresents the true events.  But, I'd like to point out, these aren't private emails of colleagues talking amongst themselves in an unguarded fashion.  To the best of my limited understanding these are official emails executed in the line of duty so to speak.  They should be concise and to the point, and not that easily manipulated, what was done was done, now it's time for the explaining.  

But, yes establishing firm conclusions will require more detailed study than partisan individuals such as myself can offer, thus we have lawyers and courts to sort it out in their usual glacial fashion.

Now, the implication that people who oppose this development will grasp at everything they can to oppose the development is also quite true.  After all the point is to make others aware of all the reasons for opposing this, ill-conceived, destructive and money/power politics drenched and driven affair.

Perhaps the developer should stop giving us so much mischief to grab a hold of and to use as evidence of his short-sighted development obsession lending more justification to the concept of rejecting his pipe-dream.  One that would bring us nothing but destruction of a precious natural treasure and an assortment of unmanageable messes to clean up.  

Or, should we continue pretending that our economic foundation isn't altering in front of our eyes? Face it or not, we have a future at our doorstep that cannot afford continued frivolous destruction of productive wetlands,  particularly something special like Alberta Park at the headwaters to the interstate international Rio Grande River.  

Oh and while I'm at it, I know this might seem like changing the subject, but it does concern the reality of what will be happening with the Alberta Park watershed - why doesn't RGNF make any effort to defend USFS/USDA's "Regional Policy on the Protection of Fens, resource category 1"? No, moving the development a few hundred yards is not going to protect that fragile wetland/fens/forest landscape.  

FENS Resource Category 1 USFWS "Mitigation Policy"   (January 3, 2015)

Appreciating Wolf Creek's ‘old-growth’ fens. Part one (May 24, 2015)

Appreciating Fens Part 2. USFWS Category 1 Resource (highest protection rating) (May 24, 2015)

Wetlands heat up Wolf Creek debate
Agencies clash over mapping of ‘old-growth’ 
       by Adam Howell ~ The Durango Telegraph ~ 12/29/05

VWC-DEIS 3.7.6 Fens (9/26/2012)

Resource Category 1, the memo

Despite Forests at Risk, Village at Wolf Creek full steam ahead (11/28/14)

Changing Climate impending impacts on water availability (1/19/14)

The changing face of our forests - bark beetle and global warming (5/12/13)

Climate Change's broader effects cause more worry (9/30/12)

The Impact of Climate Change on Ski Resort Operations and Development: Opportunities and Threats (9/29/12)

Shared Comment - VWC-DEIS - 1.6.5 Climate and Air Quality (9/23/12)

Shared Comment - VWC-DEIS 35945 - Why no Impact Study of the costs of a failed VWC development? (9/23/12)

No comments:

Post a Comment