Letters 12/10: Fracking and trees


Don’t frack our future

“What do these things have in common?” one of my peers in the Niwot Environmental Club asked, in reference to a broken environment and a prosperous future. His response: “They can both be the future.” 

The largest fracking site in the state of Colorado is proposed to be established only three miles from Niwot High School — my school. As the Boulder County Commissioners and staff finalize the updated oil and gas regulations, my peers and I are concerned that they do not go far enough to thwart the development of the 140-well fracking site that threatens our community. 

Throughout the past month, we, along with many other Boulder County citizens, have testified before the County, urging the Commissioners to reflect science in their regulations, by increasing setback distance to 2,500 feet, including open space, as well as buildings occupied by humans in the specifications. 

Now, in the last week before regulations are finalized, the Commissioners seem to be acknowledging the viability of increasing the stringency of the regulations. Though it is encouraging to see our testimony reflected in the Commissioners’ staff requests for the finalized version of oil and gas regulations, it is frustrating that this conversation did not gain traction earlier. 

Now, I can only hope that the County will choose the path toward a prosperous future by increasing setback distance to 2,500 feet, thus reflecting science and the public’s will in their finalized oil and gas regulations. 

Maya Beauvineau/Senior at
Niwot High School 

Reforestation is good. Stopping deforestation is better.

Trees can be magical and healing. Their limbs reach out and can create an overstory for a neighborhood. Patrick Sisson’s Nov. 26 article, “Can planting trees make a city more equitable?” (Re: Boulderganic), echoed this premise. Sisson explored the plan to plant trees in U.S. cities through the “Trillion Tree Initiative.” He described the Initiative as “a global push to encourage reforestation to capture and slow the effects of global warming.” Reforestation is important. We also need to stop deforestation. We should start now. We could start in Boulder County.

It is estimated that over 200,000 trees will be cut down if Denver Water is allowed to proceed with their current plan to expand Gross Reservoir. Deforestation is only one of the many impacts that this construction would have. More information can be found at savebouldercounty.org.

We have to rethink how we live in this semi-arid region. Currently, we rely on reservoirs. Bigger and bigger reservoirs. The expansion of Gross Dam, for example, would make it the tallest dam in the state of Colorado. It would be ironic if 200,000 trees were cut down by Denver Water and then Denver participated in the “Trillion Tree Initiative.”

Yes, there are benefits to reforestation. There are also stronger benefits in not destroying a woodland in the first place. A woodland is a community, a family. One can not create a family by putting stick figures around a kitchen table.

Kristen Marshall/Boulder