Letter: Environment concerns must include arctic

Environment concerns must include arctic

Posted 11/13/19

Environment concerns must include arctic As a Colorado native, I have watched this state grow for over thirty years. I spend a lot of time outdoors recreating in Colorado’s State Parks. Therefore, …

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Letter: Environment concerns must include arctic

Environment concerns must include arctic

Posted

Environment concerns must include arctic

As a Colorado native, I have watched this state grow for over thirty years. I spend a lot of time outdoors recreating in Colorado’s State Parks. Therefore, I can understand the influx of people drawn to Colorado’s natural splendor. As our state grows, I’ve witnessed the Eastern slope be converted for oil and gas extraction, and I worry about the fragile desert ecosystem’s ability to recuperate from the effects of the extraction process.

The arctic tundra of Alaska, an even more fragile ecosystem than Colorado, tops my bucket list. After witnessing the effects of fracking here in Colorado, I shudder to think what might happen to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge if it is made vulnerable to the processes of oil and gas extraction. Conversion of public land will create negative externalities such as erosion, earthquakes, water and soil contamination, as well as the loss of ecosystem services and biodiversity. These externalities will inevitably be passed down to Alaskan taxpayers, far outweighing the profit that drilling would generate.

Seeing trails and State parks in Colorado flooded with people from all over the world, I feel I am not alone in the value I attribute to wilderness. Public lands should remain intact for future generations, not exploited by private companies. Our Representatives and Senators are just that — representatives. Their vote should reflect the voice of their constituency, not corporations. Therefore, they should vote to restore protections for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Chelsea Brown,

Westminster

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