November 03, 2014
All Americans should retain rights and responsibilities pertaining to public lands
Privileged to have served four years in the United States Army at Fort Carson, I have a profound respect for my nation and the wonderful state of Colorado. I am blessed to call the Grand Valley my home because it allows me to continue to be part of a civic-minded district with ample economic opportunity. Not only do I get to be close to a powerful state icon, the Grand Mesa, but also an abundance of outdoor recreation in which to share with my friends, family, and my community.
There has been a lot of discussion lately from those who want the states to take over American public lands, and I’m skeptical. National forests, national monuments, and national wildlife refuges belong to all Americans. People come from all over the country and the world to visit our mountains and parks. All of us – not just Coloradans – should share the cost of managing those lands: from maintaining trails to the millions of dollars it takes to fight disastrous wildfires.
Colorado cannot afford to pick up the tab for the entire country, and I just cannot stand with the decision to sell off lands that would interfere with us carrying on our outdoor traditions.
As a veteran, environmentalist, and a lifetime outdoorsman, I urge that we keep our public lands American.
JOE LOGAN MATHENY
Operation Iraqi Freedom Veteran
4th Infantry Division