Iles Winder: Forest Service should spend money to clear trees from power line corridors |

Iles Winder: Forest Service should spend money to clear trees from power line corridors

To the Editor:

I would like to congratulate the Sky-Hi News organization on publishing a recent guest opinion by Mr. Joe Pandy, general manager of Mountain Parks Electric Inc.

Mr. Pandy is absolutely correct in his assertion that the intent of the $30 million appropriated by Congress should have been used, in part, to mitigate the fire danger of hazard trees falling onto power lines.

Actually, when the “big one” does hit, my money is betting that it will be a tree blow-down that sparks a fire from a downed power line. This has happened twice within 50 yards of my back door in the past two years. Fortunately, we were able to stop the fire, but believe me when I tell you that this is a real problem.

The last I heard the duty of the U.S. Forest Service was to protect the National Forests for the use and enjoyment to the citizens. To ask the citizens to pay for the tree removal through their potential increases in electric rates, when Congress has already provided funding, is ludicrous and a shining example of how bureaucracies fail to “think before they act.”

It is also a form of double taxation as well: We pay taxes to cover the $30 million as well as paying for tree removal from power lines through our electric rates. This is just not right.

I would encourage anyone who agrees with Joe Pandy and me to contact their U.S. senators. The toll-free telephone numbers for our senators are as follows: Sen. Mark Udall, 1-877-768-3255, and Sen. Michael Bennet, 1-866-455-9866. Call them and tell them what District Ranger Craig Magwire (and the Forest Service) are doing with our taxpayer money.

If you want to email the senators, just Google their names and their individual websites will allow you to do this by hitting the “contact” tab. Also, if you’d like to give Ranger Magwire your opinion, the Forest Service number in Granby is 887-4100.

Government only works if the voters express their opinions to their elected officials. Do what I did – let the senators know how you want your tax dollars spent.

Iles L. Winder

Grand Lake