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Evergreen Audubon is working to educate lake visitors on conservation
Evergreen Audubon appreciates the concerns about overuse of Evergreen Lake Park expressed by John E. Watson in his Community Voices column (in the Aug. 28 issue). We believe that Mr. Watson will be pleased to learn that Evergreen Audubon has long been involved in conservation at the lake and is currently promoting a program of Respectful Recreation through the Evergreen Nature Center, which is in the original warming hut on the west shore.
Because ENC staff often spend hours trying to disentangle wildlife from fishing line, Evergreen Audubon and the Evergreen Park and Recreation District, with the help of a grant from the Conservation Trust Fund, installed receptacles for discarded fishing line at several locations around the lake this past summer. Evergreen Trout Unlimited is also helping to remove debris from the containers throughout the year.
Inside the ENC, we provide more detailed information on the importance of Respectful Recreation and informative exhibits about the natural environment of Evergreen Lake and the Bear Creek Watershed. The ENC is open on all weekends from May through the end of October to target the recreationists; we are also open additional afternoons during the summer.
It is our hope that the many visitors at Evergreen Lake can enjoy the lake and also learn something about its conservation and the importance of respectful, careful recreation during their visits. We plan to continue and expand our programs on Respectful Recreation so that Evergreen Lake can remain our community’s “crown jewel.”
Brad Andres
president, Evergreen Audubon

Open Space plan needs mineral strategy
The Jefferson County Open Space draft master plan update and the public meetings for its review have started.
Tragically, the plan misses any analysis, discussion or plans to acknowledge mineral resource development in the county.
Until Jeffco Parks and Open Space staff are directed to go back to the drawing board to include this extremely important but often misunderstood continuing development, this plan should remain a DRAFT only.
The county has at its disposal the opportunity to tap into the technical expertise of many individuals here already, as well as state and federal agencies that are also very close by. Coordinated efforts to integrate the natural resources development with the county’s and municipalities’ public lands are definitely worthy of a detailed public scoping as well as a complete and comprehensive analysis on how the county can encourage the development of the mineral wealth while protecting our lands and open space.
To omit this critical element in land-use planning only serves to isolate our parks and open space, instead of embracing the importance of planning for the future. Some may prefer this, but it is terrible public policy.
I hope our public officials and staff move to correct this oversight as quickly as possible.
Logan MacMillan

Lakepoint owner should stop complaining, make lemonade
In a recent opinion piece, Lakepoint Center owner John Watson stated: “The lake traffic has taken away from our businesses,” and that he has had to hire a deputy sheriff at a cost of $450 to keep people from parking at Lakepoint during events.
I would suggest Mr. Watson do less whining and more capitalizing on the opportunities that Evergreen Lake presents.
While I am skeptical that lake traffic has actually taken away business, as an entrepreneur and someone who takes a positive, not negative, approach to problems, if I were the Lakepoint Center owner, I would view that increased traffic as an opportunity to make money and increase business for my tenants.
First, I would approach the parking issue much like downtown Evergreen and Morrison do. Mr. Watson could hire a parking lot attendant at significantly less than a sheriff, and by implementing a ticket-validation scheme and reserving paid parking spaces, he could at least break even on the parking-attendant costs while preserving parking for his tenants’ customers.
I would also find a way to better highlight the businesses within Lakepoint Center that would benefit from the increased traffic. While Willow Creek is certainly visible and Coal Mine Dragon has a decent sign, the owners of Everbean and Lakeshore Cafe would probably be quite happy if more people were aware of their existence and patronized their establishments.
Sometimes when you think you’ve been given lemons, you need to stop complaining and make lemonade.
Robert Greenawalt

Bombs won’t bring back America’s credibility
In the eyes of our president, his circle of advisers, and their supporting talk-show hosts, how many tons of bombs must be dropped on foreign countries to re-establish so-called “American credibility”?
Would cluster,  white phosphorous and napalm bombs count for extra points?
Russell W Haas