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Letters – July 20, 2023

Locations: Letters, Opinion Published

Save the fens!

I’d like to give a big thank-you to Wilderness Workshop, Eagle River Watershed Council and Walking Mountains for sponsoring the Homestake Community Science Day on July 8. The purpose of this event was to explore and understand the fens along Homestake Creek, south of Minturn, to help protect them for future generations.

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According to Wilderness Workshop, “Fens are peat-forming, ancient wetlands that prevent soil erosion, retain water, recycle nutrients, filter out chemical pollutants, and even sequester atmospheric carbon. These ancient wetland habitats occupy less than 1% of the landscape in the Rocky Mountains, making them a rare and irreplaceable natural resource of outsized importance. Fens are biodiversity hotspots, serving as critical habitat for unique plant and animal communities.” Unfortunately, they lack sufficient legal protections.

As part of this event, we were charged with the role of community scientists, documenting the numerous plant and animal species that depend on this unique environment to survive. We took photos and uploaded them to the app iNaturalist for identification and cataloging. The hope is that this information will help reinforce why the fens are an irreplaceable natural resource.

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It is estimated that the Homestake fens took 10,000 years or more to form, relying on the cold runoff from snowmelt to create the unique conditions for their development. Unfortunately, Colorado Springs and Aurora want to enforce their water rights to inundate the fens and disrupt the surrounding environment with the proposed construction of a second Homestake reservoir. Such an action would destroy these sensitive wetlands with untold effects on the myriad of animal and plant species that rely on the fens to survive. We cannot allow this to happen.

Please take the time to learn about this proposal and watch for opportunities to vehemently oppose the project. Fens are friends!

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Nancy Tashman, Avon


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I’m writing to express my gratitude to the Pitkin County Commissioners for their support in expanding the Maroon Bells Snowmass Wilderness Area near Ashcroft. The Ashcroft addition contains approximately 1,000 acres that were withheld from the original wilderness area designation in 1964 and subsequent expansion in 1980.

My first years in the Valley were spent working at the Ashcroft ghost town and caretaking the Toklat Lodge. I spent countless hours on this land and it has all the characteristics of wilderness. The land is natural, ecologically diverse, intact, provides opportunity for solitude, and has unique features worth protecting.

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Thank you, Pitkin County Commissioners, for valuing public land, conservation, and wildlife. I hope Senator Bennet will reintroduce the GORP Act soon with the Ashcroft Addition included.

Howie Kuhn, Carbondale


“Simplify the problem of life and find where your main roots run.” 

This is a quote by Henry David Thoreau that I always used as a guide for creating balance. I found the recent article about the Wellness Portal proposed by Rita Marsh and Gwen Garcelon once again a reminder of how complicated people like to make a simple thing like health. This is clear to me based on my own experience of creating a Health Portal back in 2018, when I combined my passion for local food with my knowledge about health and yoga. When I put the two together, something magical happened: our sales went through the roof, and this year in September we will celebrate our 15th 72-hour yoga Mantra Reading here in Carbondale. 

We sponsored a biannual Mantra Reading event for eight years and learned during COVID that our commitment to health paid off, hugely. This is why we were able to open a larger store and have a sanctuary for mediation and yoga — primarily reading Gurmukh Mantra. 

The other pay off is my life is filled with healthy people. The people who work with me and read with me are never sick. We have held this great secret around Gurmukh Yoga, but the truth is worth sharing. Gurmukh is a Punjab word that translates as “perfect health.” The vibration uplifts, transforms and overall liberates us from the tyranny of thought. Here’s an easier translation: it brings you into your Heart Center. 

A healthy heart, a community spirit and a willingness to bow to the unfolding of a healthy planet is what we cultivate in our health portal at Mana Foods. What I see in Garcelon and Marsh’s plan is people leading others away from truthful heart-centered solutions for caring for our Earth, toward networks of networks designed for more networking to network. I think a simpler term is “creating a cancer.” 

I caution people not to fall for this rhetoric in a time when creating sustainability, balance and good vibrations for our planet should be our number one devotion. When people act like cancers they create cancer. We have been creating sustainability in Carbondale since our birth in 2018, and I have been working on it even 20 years prior when I created the current farmer’s market in Carbondale. 

At Mana we know health and we know community. What keeps people healthy is selfless service toward each other. We have a yoga term for it called “Seva.” The beautiful part of Seva is it’s free. 

You give your time to unpack food, clean or stock shelves at Mana Foods, or read in our temple and it keeps you healthy, and happily connected to creating a healthy planet. This is the bigger picture. Healthy Earth, happy people. We know it works. We have been doing it “religiously” at Mana Food since we opened. 

All of our meditations and readings are FREE! We accept donations from people who want to contribute. Our portal self maintains itself on healthy, local food and spiritual intention. After all, isn’t that what health really is? Keep it simple, cultivate Mana.

Sotantar Anderson, Mana Foods

Buddy Bash

On behalf of our 500 youth, their families and our volunteer Big Buddies, I would like to thank the community for coming together at our various events last week to support our mission of guiding and supporting youth through mentoring experiences to achieve their full potential!

The Buddy Program is thrilled to celebrate our 50th Anniversary and are so grateful to all who ran in the Boogie’s Buddy Race presented by East Coast Asset Management, Mike Connolly and Aspen on the Fourth of July. With over 800 participants, this annual event brought families, dogs, competitors and friends together to raise money for the Buddy Program!

We are also so grateful to everyone who donated items to the online auction sponsored by Delta, as well as to those who bid on them. With over 200 items generously donated, the auction had something for everyone!

And finally, the highlight of the week and fundraising success was the annual Bash for the Buddies on Friday, July 7, sponsored by U.S. Bank, where hosts Gail and Lenny “Boogie” Weinglass were deservingly honored for their years of service and generous support. This event would not happen without sponsors, volunteers, individual donors and board members who come together for an evening to champion our work!

To find out more about the Buddy Program please visit

With a heart full of gratitude, 

Lindsay Lofaro, The Buddy Program

Harvey Gap trash

I’ve volunteered at our state parks for the last decade or so because I love the outdoors and it makes me feel useful. Our parks are underfunded and the employees are underpaid, so I pick up trash to help out.

This morning I spent three hours at Harvey Gap; 242 bottle caps, 151 cigarette butts and seven bags of trash later, the swim beach looked a lot better. However, the trash containers were overflowing. It was the same landfill-esque scenery there on July 3.

I’m sure the parks department is doing the best they can within their limited resources, but the trash container situation is unacceptable! How can we expect visitors to pick up after themselves when upon arrival they’re greeted by a heap of reeking refuge, eight feet high?

As for the visitors, how dare you self-absorbed swine use our beautiful recreation areas for your personal ashtrays and garbage pits!? Worse yet, you piggy parents are creating another generation of lazy, littering, lowlife liabilities. 

We must do better!

Bruno Kirchenwitz, Rifle

Letters policy: The Sopris Sun welcomes local letters to the editor. Shorter letters stand a better chance of being printed. Letters exclusive to The Sopris Sun (not appearing in other papers) are particularly welcome. Please include your name and place of residence or association. Letters are due to by noon on the Monday before we go to print.

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