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Closing Rooney Road slash facililty makes no sense
I’m especially concerned about the closing down of the Rooney Road slash facilty. I understand the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office position, but from a big-picture perspective, it’s so counterintuitive!
If we’re really all so concerned about wildfire and mitigation, why shut down the local repository of brush and slash? If we’re all so concerned about climate change, why force people to haul slash 10 times as far, at much greater expense, expending 10 times the amount of fuel and expelling 10 times the amounts of pollutants into the atmosphere at the same time?  
Sometimes I get very frustrated with human perspectives. I don’t think that “unsightly piles of slash” even begins to match the importance of human life, wildlife habitat, and sterilized burn zones — and that’s what we’re risking by slowing down the mitigation efforts.
Michelle Poolet
Lookout Mountain

Extermination of prairie dogs should be a last resort
I was very upset this morning when I saw Foothills Park & Recreation employees exterminating the prairie dog colony at Mossbrucker Park (West Cross Avenue and South Xenon Street). Our family and many others have enjoyed watching that colony for years.
I approached one of the employees, and while I was very appreciative that he took the time to talk to me and was respectful of my view, I found it very hard to empathize with Foothills’ reasoning for the poisoning. My daughters and I had noticed the prairie dogs encroaching, and we were working to move them from two holes on the southeast portion of the playing field by using a passive relocation technique called “reverse dispersal translocation,” which essentially involves encouraging prairie dogs to vacate burrows in undesirable locations and return to their place of origin.
In the future, I hope Foothills will try humane alternatives, using poisoning as a last resort. Prairie dogs are a keystone species, providing a food source for other wildlife in the area. The first solution with wildlife should never be to exterminate them as if they have no value. I believe it’s important to remember that all of creation was created by God and for God. If we love God, then we should love, protect and delight in all of his creation. Humane methods may or may not work, but I think we would all feel better knowing that we at least tried.
Tina Gurdikian