Guns, Obamacare, & the Alternative

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Guns

“Thanks” to several readers who asked me to comment on the massacre in Las Vegas and gun control.  As with abortion, I no longer discuss guns as a topic. The last time generated death threats, a close relative who called me a mass murderer, and no minds were changed.  I am pro-choice, pro-gun rights, and my family has been the victim of gun violence.  If you have a different view, I respect that and I do not think you are a bad person.  After all we are all Americans.

Obamacare

Our insurance was cancelled again this year.  This is the third year in a row. Val lost access to her doctors last year. I lost access to one of the three key cancer doctors that saved my life in 2016.  We were able to get the boys on a full PPO plan last year because they are healthy and young.  Val and I were excluded based on age and went on an inferior HMO, which is the plan now cancelled. Please do not tell me that cannot happen. It happened.

Giving access to the poor should not require those of us reliant on the individual market to lose access to our doctors.  It should not require a 300% rise in rates. For those of you on employer plans, look at our family and see your future unless we get reform of Obamacare.

Conservation

It has been a tough week for the country and for our family (when you are a cancer survivor and your insurance is cancelled it is a bad week). But it has been a remarkable month for me in the field.  When I am able to hunt and fish and work on conservation it is the perfect combination.

Looking down into valley from high country.

I spent five days in the high country outside Glenwood Springs hunting on a ranch and some preserved land. The preserved land was a beautiful piece of mountain ridges, valleys, trees, meadows, streams, full of wildlife. There were bears, elk, deer, coyotes, foxes, moose, eagles, hawks, and all the native wildlife of Colorado. Much of this land was conserved with Colorado Parks & Wildlife efforts andGreater Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) money.

Big bull chasing off teenagers in foreground from his harem.

A few days later I visited with two GOCO staffers a couple of sites. Both were up for grants from GOCO and others to preserve two important parts of the Upper Arkansas River Valley.  One was a historic cattle ranch along the river.

The second property was actually a collection of seven parcels right in the river.  Two decades ago this land was bright red with mercury and other heavy metals from mining in Leadville and the upper valley. At points the river actually ran red.  Today it is a pristine freestone able to support a full range of aquatic life.

Literally fishing on and in an old Superfund site.

Recovered Big Horn Sheep Habitat

Here because Republicans and Democrats came together an important river was restored. A recreation economy drove a valley in rural Colorado to a vibrant economic renaissance.

It is the alternative to screaming about politics and accomplishing nothing.

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