Invasives alert

Invasive species are plants, animals, insects or diseases that are not native to Colorado and have harmful effects on the economy and environment. They are introduced either accidentally or intentionally outside of their native range. 

Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) staff recently discovered live adult zebra mussels in the Highline Reservoir. In an effort to find the source and extent of these organisms, they investigated the reservoir’s source water which is the Highline Canal that diverts water from the Colorado River.

While doing so they discovered a second invasive aquatic mollusk, the New Zealand mud snail. Unfortunately, New Zealand mud snails were also detected upstream at the boat ramp west of Parachute. Both of these mollusks are highly invasive and were likely spread by folks who recreate in and around our streams and lakes. The introduction and spread of these creatures can have adverse impacts on local ecosystems and can quickly become detrimental to the function of municipal water infrastructure.

CPW’s website ( provides guidance on how to prevent the spread of aquatic nuisance species (ANS) and minimize their presence. There you will find steps on how to prevent ANS proliferation by our many different water users including anglers, boaters, gardeners, pet owners, hunters, outdoor enthusiasts, professionals and scuba divers.

Kendall Bakich, aquatic biologist, Glenwood Springs Area 8

Re: Diemoz 

Floyd Diemoz writes in his letter to The Sopris Sun (Dec. 1, 2022) that the U.S. is a republic and not a democracy. Here is a complementary remark:

It is correct to define the U.S. as a republic. A republic is the opposite of a monarchy, where a monarch or a family will rule a country, mostly with absolute power over its citizens.

A republic has elected officials and representatives with limited time for ruling, from one year to six years. To elect these representatives on the community, state or federal level you need rules, and these rules must be based on democratic principles.

Democracy stands for equality and authentic and ethical leadership. One person, one vote. Elections are held based on the democratic principles.

Democracy stands for freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly and citizens allowed to express and live by their values and wishes. Democracy provides people with rights and obligations.

A good republic uses democratic rules and principles to authentically and ethically govern over people.

Werner Neff, Carbondale


I’m now regretting my vote for psilocybin legalization. If this effort follows the arc of marijuana legalization, you’ll see me on the corner with a big sign: “Monkey See But Monkey Don’t Do.”

I don’t want to see the essential and sacred nature of this fruit of the Earth become a mere commodity. Even with the heavy layer of scientific rectitude being laid on it now, big money will most assuredly corrupt its mission and message. That is an outcome to be avoided.

There was a good article in the Denver Post about what comes next in the legalization saga. The caption under the photo read, in part: “…Colorado’s law does not yet specify how psilocybin should be manufactured.” Manufactured! That approach is pathetic, prehistoric and completely inimical to the power inherent in the medicine.

The only real strategy to combat this takes a page from marijuana’s playbook. The fact that Citizen Joe and Jane can legally grow their own is the salvation of legal ganja. Forget the dispensary — the one that’s owned by a New York banker. Forget the glamorizing attempts to make it chic and expensive. Forget the meddlesome efforts of bureaucrats and influencers to make it what it isn’t.

Down in the dirt is where you have to play if you’re smoking ganja or eating soma.

Luke Nestler, Downstream (and dirty)

Time to rally

Once again, it is time to rally in support of protecting the Thompson Divide. As a community we have been working for over 15 years to protect our beloved public lands from oil and gas drilling. We have made progress with the White River Forest Service and BLM management plans to protect the Thompson Divide from new leases for 20 years, but the clock is ticking and we are seven years into that plan. We are not done yet.

We are a grassroots community and have been working from the bottom up. Our hard work is paying off and the administration is listening. President Biden announced in October that he would ask for an administrative mineral withdrawal for the Thompson Divided and the Department of Interior has started the process with a 90-day public comment period. We need to let the feds know loud and clear that we support protecting the Thompson Divide from oil and gas drilling.

Carbondale, the Roaring Fork Valley and extended communities have loved and protected the Thompson Divide for all the diverse benefits it provides. Most everyone has hiked, biked, walked dogs, rode horses, watched birds, hunted, fished, grazed cattle, taken Sunday drives, or enjoyed the uninterrupted views of this beautiful area. Elk and deer and a whole myriad of animals depend on the Thompson Divide for food, shelter and raising their young. Everyone benefits from its clean air and water. We must keep it as it is. The ultimate goal is permanent protection. 

We must speak up now for the Thompson Divide. There will be a meeting at the Carbondale Firehouse on Dec. 14, from 5 to 7 p.m. where you learn more about the process and make comments. The BLM is also currently accepting written comments until Jan. 16, which is an important way to make your voice heard on this issue. Email comments to the BLM letting them know you support the proposed administrative withdrawal, to or via mail to Doug Vilsack, Bureau of Land Management, Colorado State Office, 2850 Youngfield Street, Lakewood, Colorado 80215. 

Every voice counts.

Judy Fox-Perry 

Carbondale, CO 

Seeking help

I am grateful for many things; but I need help. Background: I was friends with the Crowns. I taught them. On Dec. 30, 2010 in Snowmass Village (on public lands and not in uniform, as claimed), I was interrupted passing out a union flyer advocating a living wage and immediately banned from all SkiCo property including public lands. It took five years in court and Hunter S. Thompson’s attorneys; however, the ban from public lands was declared unconstitutional.

In a typical corporate move to marginalize, SkiCo attempted a restraining order but was denied in court. Two weeks later, the Aspen Institute, with their many attorneys and whose president is Jim Crown, was successful in obtaining a temporary restraining order which included many Crown residences. It went to the Colorado Supreme Court and they lost. I apologized in a letter to The Aspen Times on Sept. 21, 2022.

Like the government, elites simply back up and try another route to circumvent our State Constitution. SkiCo now maintains the firm can ban citizens that are critical of them from hiking in public lands? What’s next? Worse, who is next?

I bet there is at least one attorney with cojones willing to take bans from public lands on dissidents to the Crown left in the Roaring Fork Valley, pro bono. If so, please contact me at

Lee Mulcahy, Basalt

Thank you!

Due to Alpine Bank’s generosity and Ramona and Phil’s cooking talent, the residents at Crystal Meadows enjoyed a wonderful meal, laughter and a great sense of community on Thanksgiving Day. Thank you, Alpine Bank, for being there for all of us in the community and especially for making it a special day at Crystal Meadows. Ramona and Phil, thank you for cooking the delicious food and making them feel like family.

Jerilyn Nieslanik, Crystal Meadows

Letter policy: Please limit your letters to 500 words. We are committed to including all perspectives in The Sopris Sun. If your letter does not appear, it may be because of space limitations in the paper or because other letters we printed expressed the same idea or point of view. Letters are due by noon on the Monday before we go to print.