About that snow removal complexity. . .
What falls on Wolf Creek Ski Area falls on Alberta Park. The Texans who dreamed up The Village at Wolf Creek don’t seem to understand that. Their urban-density land development at 10,300 feet elevation will get 40 to 50 feet of snow a year. The Forest Service environmental impact statement acknowledges “snow removal complexity” as one of the access problems. (more…)
The National Park Service Takes The Lead At The Dunes
Great Sand Dunes in Colorado’s San Luis Valley is the newest full national park – and also probably the most fun. People run, jump, hop, skip, roll, and frolic down the steep slopes of pure sand. They play in the strange surges of Medano Creek. They hose off happily at the headquarters parking lot. Surely some of these happy visitors are conservatives. (more…)
There were two holy cities in the Mountain West, Salt Lake and Santa Fe. By holy I mean they were centered on sanctuaries, the LDS Temple on Temple Square and St. Francis Cathedral just off the Santa Fe Plaza. The sadness of their secularization invaded my thoughts as I surrendered to Salt Lake commuter traffic on my way home from Alberta to Colorado in December, and I thought I saw what the evangelical Mega Christians see. (more…)
A Counter-review Of Cormac McCarthy’s
The Texas sheriff in Cormac McCarthy’s new novel belongs on the conservative side of the culture war, as politicians, both red and blue, like to call it. But America’s deep national misunderstanding is not owned by the politicians. And “No Country For Old Men” is not a political novel. (more…)
Running on empty symbols
One morning in May 2003 news photographers were let through the high security system at Las Campanas, a luxury subdivision northwest of Santa Fe, to record President Bush playing golf. It was a publicity coup for the company of Lyle Anderson of Phoenix, the developer who against substantial public opposition built two 18-hole signature courses in the high desert hills between the artistic city and the Rio Grande. (more…)
But who ya gonna Call? The sheriff or the NRA?
A bitter competition between skiers and snowmobilers that did not exist the last time there was this much snow in southwest Colorado, about 12 or 13 years ago, has revved up in the San Juan Mountains. It’s a fight over the New West’s new commodity: deep virgin powder.
And it was forced into the headlines by the Old West’s oldest dispute resolution device: a shotgun. (more…)
It’s not exactly Bush World
George W. Bush, like most Texans, loves the legend of the Texas Rangers. He once owned the baseball team of that name, and he calls his club of $100,000-plus contributors the Rangers. I myself grew up with the legend as a Colorado kid, hearing “Tales of the Texas Rangers” and episodes of “The Lone Ranger” on the radio.
But, as a new book from the University of New Mexico Press chronicles, the legend has a dark side. I had not been in New Mexico more than two months when I first encountered this Ranger shadow. I was sent as a wire service reporter to Rio Arriba County to cover the takeover of a U.S. Forest Service campground by Reies Lopez Tijerina and his following of land-grant heirs. (more…)
Wood Cutters, Grazers, Loggers. . . Not So Fast There, Peak Baggers
The 80,000-acre Taylor ranch in the south of Colorado’s San Luis Valley has birds, mammals, fish, fresh streams, high lakes, tree-lined meadows, and tall pine forests, all crowned by 14,047-foot Culebra Peak.
Last month in the town of San Luis a district court judge issued an order opening the mountain ranch to a group of local people for livestock grazing, firewood gathering and timber cutting. (more…)
Can the U.S. 84 Corridor Survive?
Echo Amphitheater overlooking the dry Ghost Ranch valley is easily accessible from the highway, now that the Forest Service has completed its renovation of the campground. The great resonant sandstone arch is worth the walk through the trees. It sits in the wall like a giant ear. And it has heard a lot, including the speeches of Reies Lopez Tijerina, who came to national attention when his land-grant “Alianza” took over the little campground in November 1966. (more…)