'It's corporate greed'


Note: This article is a sidebar to one of this issue's feature stories, "Colliding forces."

Arnold Mackley, who is fighting to protect his ranch from 20-acre well densities, was a Garfield County Commissioner from 1988 to 1996. He currently is a consultant for a nahcolite mining company, but he and his wife have plans to open a bed and breakfast on their ranch. Arnold Mackley:

"I'm not a strict environmentalist; I mean, I'm in this same business, but in some cases when they tear into this area, there is no way to repair it. It's not correct, what they're doing, and I believe some changes are going to have to be made in the law. I hate to say this, but it's corporate greed. The industry can make a living without annihilating the land.

"If they put wells at 20 acres, it pretty much makes our bed and breakfast impossible. No one's going to come from someplace to try and relax when they're moving a rig right there.

"The mining companies are allowed a reasonable use of the land. These are the things that concern me. What does the word reasonable mean? You can walk up through the trees and see where (mining company employees) defecate - is that a reasonable use of your land?

"It runs deep. Our kids are trying to come back here to live, and if the place is annihilated, what can they do here? It's not that I'm wealthy, but I do have my retirement and it means more to me to keep this landscape than to see it covered with wells."

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