Volume 6 Issue 2
WORKING TO PRESERVE A REASONABLE BALANCE
A S S O C I A T I O N
|P. U. M. A. Newsletter||
Nederland, Colorado 80466
|House Concert!||Natural History and Environmental Issues Classes||Community Bulletin Board|
|The Russians are coming!||Amendment 21||New Editor|
|DIA NOISE COMPLAINTS MONTH||Update: FERC Permit not yet issued!||IDEAMAN®|
|Thistle, Thistle, Whose Got the Thistle?||HALLOWEEN IS FUN||June '98 Newsletter|
|Winiger Ridge Forest Management||Upcoming Events|
Free Concert By Small Potatoes
October 5, 2000
Potluck 6 p.m.
Concert 7 p.m.
The following is a description from the Small Potatoes web site, www.folkera.com/sp: "Skillful instrumentation, tight harmonies, great songs, huge variety of material - its all here. Rich Prezioso's guitar artistry is impeccable, and Jacquie Manning's alto weaves a rich tapestry of folk, blues, jazz, swing, Celtic, and country. Add Rich's voice and mandolin, Jacquie's guitar, whistles, bodhran, and percussion toys, plus their sense of humor and Small Potatoes eclectic repertoire unfolds. They breathe a new life into traditional material, write songs that belong in coffeehouses, concert halls, and on the radio, and they spellbind audiences with their dynamic performances."
|Greg and Debbie have invited PUMA members to this concert as their guests.Reservations are required by calling them at (303)-442-8855 or by email email@example.com.|
The concert audience will be composed of PUMA and non-PUMA members. The non-PUMA members (much of the regular audience) will be expected to pay so there will be announcements about money.Greg and Debbie will be donating for the PUMA members.
Our audience size has grown, so we encourage everyone to make reservations early. If for some reason we run out of room at this show, those people from PUMA who call for seats will be given the opportunity to come to a later concert for free.Potluck will begin at 6 PM with music beginning at 7 PM.
The Russians are coming!
A very exciting cultural opportunity has been offered to our community...and we have accepted. A team of Russian TV journalists from the city of Yekaterinburg on the eastern side of the Ural Mountains will be visiting Denver and Boulder the first week of October. A TV producer from the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. will escort them. Their goal is to film examples of volunteerism and citizen democracy and present them to their city of 1 1/2 million people in Russia.The Russians are convinced that Americans don't always wait for their government to act on issues. PUMA has impressed them as an active, informed and interested group of citizens who are proactively working to effect change in their community.
The U.S. producer in Washington, DC has contacted us after seeing our web site and feels PUMA fits both objectives. He is also enthusiastic about the non-urban nature of our group. The Russians would like to film a "typical PUMA meeting" with its issues, participants and interactivity. They are well-respected anchors, in their late 20s, highly intelligent and quite fluent in English.
The producer and TV crew will be avertable then and are scheduled to come to our community to film the area and the meeting, as well as interview citizens on-camera.They appreciate our flexibility in calling a special meeting on Wednesday to accommodate them.
Due to the atypical circumstance of the regularly scheduled PUMA meeting (a free house concert at the Chings on Thursday, October 5th), the leadership group has decided to run a "typical" PUMA meeting on Wednesday, October 4th in addition. The meeting will be at 7 pm at Terry Greenberg's house. It's best to park on Pine Glade and walk up her long driveway to the house, as parking is limited next to her house. An agenda, along with a preliminary outline, will be emailed sometime during the last two weeks of September.
This is truly a unique and exciting opportunity for us to share our knowledge and experiences around the world. Who knows what it may inspire!
DIA NOISE COMPLAINTS MONTH
Bothered by rumbling jets? Does your wilderness hiking experience resonate with thunderous DIA over flights?
October is Boulder County's aviation noise complaints month. Established last year, this annual noise complaints "drive" resulted from the realization that most folks who are bothered by DIA noise have given up on the process of logging complaints. October also coincides with International Aviation Action Days in which activists around the world confront their local airports, demanding that the aviation industry assumes responsibility for the air, water, land and noise pollution it creates.
Complaints from Boulder quadrupled last October as a result of the complaints drive. The data was then forwarded to our County Commissioners and Congress people to substantiate our claim that the noise problem has not gone away.
There are 3 ways to record noise events throughout the whole month of October. Call in individual events to 303-342-2380 or 800-417-2988; or fax or mail written logs showing dates, times and any comments regarding how loud/disturbing the noise is to:
DIA Noise Abatement Office
8500 Pena Blvd.
Denver, CO 80249
In November we will follow up with DIA to make sure the data/results go to the right people, including the media.
Contributed by Paula Hendricks & Norman Lederman firstname.lastname@example.org
FAA EXTENDS DEADLINE
Proving once again that a relatively small number of citizens can influence the powers that be...the FAA has extended deadline for comments on their proposed noise abatement policy to October 23, 2000. See details at (clicking on Federal Aviation noise topic area):
Thistle, Thistle, Whose Got the Thistle?
Would you like to have someone come to your property and identify any noxious weeds and diseased trees?Contact Jennifer Stewart via email at (email@example.com) or Phone (303) 442-7460. The Colorado Forestry Service employs her part-time and her site evaluations are free.
If you are going to spray your Canada thistle before winter, the time is now (before the first frost). Please call and reserve a sprayer and some curtail. We have four sprayers.
PUMA now has its own weed whacker! It is at Dan and Jennifer's house. Those who wish to reserve it should also plan to spend some time with Dan to be instructed in how to use it safely and correctly.
Jennifer and Dan 303-442-7460 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Winiger Ridge Forest Management
For the last 150 or so years, humans have manipulated the local forests. Most of the trees were cut for firewood or mine timbers or other construction uses. In fact, if you date the trees you'll find that the oldest majority are barely 175 years -- the youngest trees in 1860 were too small to use, so they are the oldest now.
And for most of the post-war years, fire suppression was the norm, so forests that would normally see fires every 50ish years have seen none.
From the earliest old photos of the area, you can see what things looked like. Many areas were more open, especially the south-facing slopes. Low intensity grass fires helped keep the shrubs and small trees down and those trees that were built for fire, the Ponderosa and Lodge pole pine, did fine.
Now we have a problem. We have forests that are denser than historically. Mom Nature should be able to take care of that through fire, disease, insects, natural death, but we humans continue to intervene. Although we understand better the value of fire, few residents are happy with the idea of fire in their "backyard". And disease looks to many like an unhealthy solution to an unhealthy problem.
The FS proposes to attempt to mimic Mom Nature by removing some trees.That is the Winiger Ridge project in its simplest description. I'm not sure that I agree with it (the process, nor the assumption that we humans can indeed mimic Mother N). But if we do nothing, Mother will adjust the forest density somehow -- either fire or disease or perhaps some other process we can't describe. So, first question: should we do nothing or something?
Next questions, of course, 1) will we accept the consequences if we do nothing?And 2) what should we do if we decide to do something? Let's look at the FS plans and your objection to clear cutting. The forest that used to exist here had a great diversity of ages (of trees, shrubs, grasses, animals). There were patches of forest that had recently burned and filled in with aspen and fireweed. There were some older trees that had made it to the century mark. And there were the very old trees, reaching their lifespan of 300-500 years. The most important thing to remember is this age diversity. Today we no longer have that. Virtually all the trees are under 200 years old. Most of the trees are about 125 years old or younger. In order to approximate the age diversity a beneficent forester might cut some trees down (or remove them somehow) so that new, young trees could start. That way, in 200 years, we'd have greater age diversity.
"Old Growth" is a term often misunderstood.It does not mean "old trees", although there are old trees in "old growth" stands. But true Old Growth has a great diversity of ages of all species, as well as standing dead, some diseased, some open areas (read "clear cut" if you will) and a huge variety of animal species that enjoy the ecosystem.
If the FS plans are carried out, over the long term (100-300 years), the Magnolia forest could be returned to old growth characteristics, even with humans present here. This could also be accomplished by letting Mother N take her natural course -- for good or bad, fire, disease, insect pestilence and all.
I don't say this to support the FS plans.As I said, I doubt our ability to mimic Mother. Too many times in the past we have found after the fact that we forgot some important thing in our calculations. Certainly, one of the obvious ones is that Mother N does not remove trees from the forest. She drops them on the spot where they supply soil nutrients and critter homes. Number two -- Mom N does not drill roads into the forest for access. Roads create problems, mostly associated with humans using the roads and doing more damage or carrying weed seeds or making campfires that get out of control, among other things.
So, is this project a good thing? Maybe. Maybe not. In my mind, the project should happen very, very slowly with lots of research along the way. We could learn how successful are our efforts at mimicry before we do too much unintended damage. The FS is however pressed by politics of money. I strongly suspect they feel they must show "results" for the money that Congress has authorized."Results", as measured by Congress, too often means dollars for trees.
The FS used to give away those trees to almost any taker. In this Winiger Ridge project, however, they are supposed to be experimenting with trees traded for rehab. In other words, a timber company takes trees but has to cover their tracks, hopefully according to good practices. This is where PUMA's stated concerns lie. Will the FS monitor and enforce properly? We don't know. We've repeatedly asked and been told, "We can't guarantee." Negotiations between FS officials and timber companies are not subject to public scrutiny. If some goals are compromised or forfeited, as we have been told they might, we will not know until too late.
Should we trust the FS? Many would say no. I'm not certain. But I may be a naive, hopeful fool. We have had the FS at numerous meetings, and County and Federal officials have overseen those meetings, some of whom we trust. It is possible that the FS is in a position that they must prove themselves or never cut again. It is also possible that we should object now and not trust. This is not an easy choice.
The plans call for "management activities" (cutting, fire, and other) on about 2750 acres. That's out of about 14,000 in the Winiger Ridge/Magnolia area. That's 20%. Residents own about 20% of the area and the County about 5%, with a little in the hand of Denver Water and BLM. Ninety-four acres are scheduled for clear cutting, the balance for thinning, fire, or both. If the FS goes ahead with this, as they are most likely to do even after appeals, monitoring of the process (before, during, and after) may be the most important thing we residents can do.
If we go out into our favorite forest and study, observe, photograph, watch, listen, and learn about the process and about the results, we may stand a good chance of presenting that information and saying, "This did/did not work." I'm still confused, but feel resigned to taking the role as monitor This role has been thrust on us. It's as if we're doing the work that the FS should be doing, but maybe that's as it should be. The FS will be back in 15-20 years with more plans. Will we be ready then?Will the choices still be confusing and difficult to make? I hope not
Contributed by Scott C. Reuman
Natural History and Environmental Issues Classes
The Colorado Mountain Club (CMC) is pleased to announce the creation of its new Natural History and Environmental Issues School. This September, CMC will kick off the new school with three intensive courses focused on public lands, water, biodiversity, growth, and recreation in the Southern Rocky Mountain region. The purpose of the school is to strengthen CMC members and others' understanding of Colorado's natural history and to prepare participants to work with others to address the critical environmental issues facing our region.
Ed Marston, Publisher of High Country News, will launch the first course, "Water, Wildlife and Wilderness in the Southern Rockies," at the CMC Auditorium on Tuesday, September 19, at 7:00pm. Other classes in this course will include: Wildlife and Mountain Ecosystems (September 26, 6:30 - 8:30pm), Water in the Southern Rockies (September 30, all day fieldtrip), and Public Lands Issues and Management (October 3, 6:30 - 8:30pm).
Martha Ketelle, Forest Supervisor of the White River National Forest, and Terry Minger, President of the Center for Resource Management, will open the second course, "Recreation in the Rockies: Enjoying and Protecting the High Country," with an address at the CMC Auditorium on Wednesday, October 18, at 7:00pm. In addition to this keynote address, the course will consist of an intensive weekend fieldtrip to the Vail Valley, October 20-22.
Nature Photographer John Fielder will commence the third course, "Managing Growth and Sprawl in the New West," with his slideshow Colorado 1870-2000, W.H. Jackson/John Fielder, at the CMC Auditorium on Thursday, October 26, at 7:00pm. Other classes in this course include: Growth Trends and Impacts (November 2, 6:30-8:30pm), Growth in Mountain Communities (November 4, all day fieldtrip), and Strategies for Managing Growth and Sprawl (November 9, 6:30-8:30pm).
All keynote addresses and courses will be held at the Colorado Mountain Club offices in the American Mountaineering Center at 710 10th Street in Golden. The Colorado Mountain Club invites, welcomes, and encourages the general public to attend the course keynote addresses made by Ed Marston, Martha Ketelle and Terry Minger, and John Fielder. To register or for more information on the speakers highlighted, call the Colorado Mountain Club at (303) 279-3080. To receive more information about the courses, please contact Kirstin Pack or Sean Pack via e-mail at email@example.com, or at (303) 279-3080 ext. 6. Enrollment is limited.Some partial scholarships are available.
By Kevin Klein
Amendment 21 (Tax cut 2000), if passed, may have a devastating impact on Colorado's fire service. The Amendment adds a new tax cutting subsection to the "TABOR" Amendment (Article X, Section 20 of the Colorado Constitution). The proposed Amendment reads:
(8) (d) Tax cuts. A $25 tax cut, increased $25 yearly (to $50, $75 . . .), shall lower each tax in each tax bill for each 2001 and later district: utility customer and occupation tax and franchise charge; vehicle sales, use, and ownership tax; yearly income tax; property tax; income and property tax equal to yearly revenue from sales and use taxes on food and drink other than tobacco and alcohol; and income tax equal to yearly revenue from estate taxes. (8) (d) tax cuts and state replacement of local revenue shall not lower state or local excess revenue, the state may limit local acts increasing replacement costs, joint income tax returns equal two tax bills, and attorney fees and costs to enforce (8) (d) shall always be paid to successful plaintiffs only.
The Amendment then provides an initial $25.00 cut, increasing by $25.00 every year indefinitely, beginning with 2001 taxes, and applicable to the following taxes:
Each tax bill from each jurisdiction is subject to the cut, and property and income taxes will be subject to more than one cut. The cuts will apply to each bill whether they are sent out annually or monthly. It is assumed that the impact on 2001 property and income taxes will be felt in the 2002 budget cycle; however, some argue that the cuts would be applicable in the 2001 budget cycle.
In addition to the tax cuts, the Amendment includes the following provisions:
a. The tax cuts do not lower State or local excess revenue. These tax reductions will not reduce TABOR surpluses - the state and local governments that have not de-Bruced will have the same amount of surplus revenue to refund even if this measure passes.
b. State replacement of local revenue does not lower excess revenue. State replacement of local revenue is not specifically required by this measure, State protection of school district revenues is provided for by statute. In either case, State backfill of local government revenue losses would have to be accommodated within the State budget (like the tax cuts, these payments do not reduce TABOR surpluses). Given the cuts, where will state replacement come from?
c. The State may limit local actions increasing replacement costs. This language appears to apply only if the State provides backfill of lost local revenue and allows the State to prevent local governments from making the backfill more expensive by reducing local contributions or increasing program costs.
d. Attorney fees and costs are always to be paid to successful plaintiffs. This provision creates an incentive to file lawsuits against State and local jurisdictions but does not address good faith interpretations by State and local jurisdictions or frivolous lawsuits.
Rural and suburban Colorado will feel the biggest bite initially. This is due to the structure of the Amendment, which causes fire districts with smaller average assessed values to have fewer taxpayers. For example, a rural district may have an average tax bill of $30.00. In the first year, all bills less than $25.01 will not be paid at all and $25.00 will be subtracted from the remaining bills. Because the district's average tax bill is only $30.00, it looses a tremendous percentage of its revenue the first year. In year two, the cut is $50.00, so there are even fewer taxpayers. In year three it is $75.00 and so on, until there are no taxpayers left or the district substantially raises its mill levy.
When, and if, the district increases its mill levy, the owners of higher assessed value property will feel a larger bite because there will be fewer taxpayers. This, combined with the Gallagher Amendment, will have the effect of shifting the remaining tax burden to large commercial property owners. These remaining taxpayers will either have to shift the increasing tax burden to their customers, lead a taxpayer revolt or close shop.
Now lets take a larger more urban district that covers a lot of high value commercial property. That district's average tax bill is $1,200.00. Taking $25.00 off the first year is only a two percent decrease the first year. However, because the Amendment requires an infinite number of successive increases in the discount, the larger districts will also suffer greatly -- it will just take longer. These districts will also shift the burden to fewer and fewer taxpayers.
We have done some projections in the state and are doing more. In some Colorado counties all fire and ambulance districts go to zero funding within the first four years. Districts that have high-assessed values, high mill levies and high annual growth combined will continue to experience some growth, although at a much smaller rate and probably not enough to keep up with increased service demands from the new growth.
No matter how you look at it, Amendment 21 is bad for Colorado's fire service. The No on 21 campaign has started and is looking for volunteers and donations. They can be reached at:
Vote No on Amendment 2
837 Acoma, P.O. Box 4082
Denver, Colorado 80204
(303) 892-6621 or (888) 413-6621
Keep your eye on www.coloradofirechiefs.org for more information.
Contributed by Cherie Long
Update: FERC Permit not yet issued!
I spoke with Diane Rodman with FERC this morning. The permit has not yet been issued. FERC is waiting for a Biological Opinion (Endangered Species Report) from the US Fish and Wildlife Service. It should be done shortly. The US Forest Service has asked for 30 days after the USFWS has issued their Biological Opinion to prepare their recommendations. FERC will not issue the permit until they get the USFS recommendations.They will not (actually are prohibited from) say when they will issue the permit.
They will continue to receive properly submitted comments until then. The comments need to go to David P. Boergers, Secretary, Federal Energy Commission, 668 First Street N.E. Washington, D.C. 20426. You must list the docket number (p-2035) on the envelope and the first page of your letter. You must send the original and eight copies. She said that they must consider the comments, but aren't bound to follow any of the recommendations.
You can see a catalogue of all documentation on FERC's web page. Go to www.FERC.FED.US . From their home page select Search RIMS. Then select Link to RIMS. Along the left side there are a list of menu options, select Docket #. You then have a search page where you can enter various search parameters. To get everything, select 1981 as the earliest date in the date range. Enter the docket number p-2035 (use the small case p), and make sure you at least leave hydro selected. You can select certain types of documents as listed by class and type. Play around with it to see how it works. To view the document you want, double click on the description of the document.
Ms. Rodman told me that in order to have a standing in the appeals process, you must first file as an intervener. The deadline to file was about two years ago. She did say that there are exceptions, for good cause, however. To find out how, select the Public Info and Administration icon from the FERC homepage.Then select Doing Business with FERC. Finally select How to Intervene in Commission Proceedings. Ms. Rodman said that mostly attorney's are the ones to file the motions. To get an idea about the content, take a look at some that have been filed. I think that they may only allow groups and associations, or government entities at this late date.
Ms. Rodman, said that watching the documents on the web site is a good way of tracking the progress.
Contributed by Jim Smith (303-442-8510)
HALLOWEEN IS FUN
Join The Fun!!!!
A balloon at your driveway entrance means you have treats for them.
Visit The Haunted House.
Greg Ching will unchain his Spooks and Ghosts at Aspen Meadows and Meadowland Court.
Last year Rayanne Weigel could stand the sight of one of the spooks.
Wednesday, Sept. 20, MEPP presentation to Boulder County Planning Council. PUMA members are urged to attend at 3:30 P.M. Boulder County Courthouse. Please Note the Change of Time!
Wednesday, October 4, Special PUMA meeting to host a Russian Delegation (See Page 1 for more details).
Thursday, October 5, 7PM Instead of regular PUMA meeting enjoy a free house concert for PUMA members at the home of Debbie and Greg Ching --first house to the right on Meadowland Court. Optional potluck begins at 6 PM
Community Bulletin Board
Both classes are open for beginners and those who have done yoga before. Gretchen draws from 10 years of experience teaching Iyengar Yoga, integrating mind-body awareness, imagery, and stress-reduction techniques. Please call or e-mail for info, and to let me know that you will be coming: 303.545.9956, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Skye has been practicing and teaching bodywork for the past 10 years. He focuses on an integrative deep tissue approach drawing from the traditions of Hellerwork, Somatics, Myofacial Release, Bioenergetics, and Swedish massage. His work is excellent for those with back pain or chronic stiffness.
Gyrotonics is a yoga-based exercise system that utilizes organic movements to release, integrate, lengthen, and strengthen the entire body. It is especially useful for those with back pain, limitations in flexibility, or those who desire to develop more strength and tone without excess bulk. It is a great workout for athletes and couch potatoes alike! (Skye is an internationally known trainer and trains teachers throughout the U.S.)
Location: Pine Glade Road
Give us a call for Information: Gretchen & Skye Shansby 303.545.9956
As you have probably noticed, there is a different look to the newsletter. I have volunteered to take on this responsibility with your help. Please feel free to contact me with suggestions and constructive criticisms. Please submit articles for the Winter edition by December 4, 2000.
Jerry Griess, email@example.com, 303.402.1194
For mountain old timers the search for the name of a Mr. FIXIT has long been solved. For area newcomers, the name of a reliable handyman can be very important. The following Mr. FIXIT’s have personally performed work for IDEAMAN and his friends. Keep in mind that they come with an IDEAMAN recommendation. Please don’t confuse that with a PUMA recommendation. PUMA is not in the business of recommending anyone.
IDEAMAN can't list all of the competent workers in the area but he can give a new arrival a head start assembling his own roster of Mr. FIXIT's:
IDEAMAN thinks that should give a newcomer a head start with fixing things. IDEAMAN has spoken with each of his Mr. FIXIT friends. They will be happy to respond to your call. You also may have noticed that practically all of the Mr. FIXIT’s have a Nederland address so portal-to-portal travel is minimal.