Keep it wild
Horseback Riders for a Wild San Juan Mountains need a few good women and men to adopt a local roadless area this summer and monitor it once a month. You can use whatever mode of transportation you prefer in the backcountry to do the program. If motorized is your form of recreation, you can monitor use adjacent to a roadless area to help ensure illegal use doesn’t happen. You get to collect valuable information about our national forest and help protect it while enjoying a favorite place or exploring a new one. Volunteers do the monitoring while recreating. The program, called the Broads Healthy Lands Project, will document national forest lands management that is working and not. Collects data all over the west to monitor what is and isn’t working on our backcountry roads and trails.
Our organization is committed to protecting the qualities of our local roadless areas that make them candidates for wilderness designation. Roadless areas play a vital role providing critical wildlife habitat, landscape/wildlife corridors linking our wilderness areas and provide quiet places of solitude apart from neighboring public lands that have high levels of human use. We want to keep wild what is still wild.
The project is user-friendly, and a day’s training in the field is all you need to participate. We are looking for volunteers to adopt in the Piedra Special area, Monk Rock/Martinez Canyon, Treasure Mountain and the Squaretop roadless area bordering the south San Juan wilderness.
For more information or to volunteer, visit wildsanjuanblogspot.com, call 731-3471, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a homeowner on County Road 326 in Blanco Basin since about 1986 and as a taxpayer in Archuleta County during that time, I am writing to express my strong opposition to a proposed rock crushing operation in Blanco Basin. I understand that a business called Four Corners Materials group plans to operate a rock crushing operation on a property on the Blanco River and to transport heavy trucks carrying crushed materials on County Road 326. I have urged the Archuleta County commissioners to deny a permit for this operation. I also urge the Archuleta community to oppose that operation and to urge their county commissioners to deny any permit for rock crushing and transport of materials on CR 326.
Please consider the adverse impact that this type of industrial operation would have on several areas of serious concern for homeowners, ranchers and those who enjoy recreational activities in the basin. Residents of Blanco Basin are deeply troubled about and vehemently opposed to the rock crushing operation which is proposed. Some of our concerns are as follows:
• Public safety on CR 326.
• The expense of maintenance on this unpaved county road which would be required to bear the wear and tear done by trucks hauling up to 200,000 cubic yards of gravel at a rate of 20 cubic yards per truck over a 10-year period.
•The effect of the weight of gravel trucks on basin bridges.
• Wildlife, especially an elk nursery, near the rock-crushing site.
• Water quality of the Blanco River and well water.
• Air quality.
•Recreational appeal of Blanco Basin to tourists, county residents, hunters, fishermen and basin residents (both permanent and seasonal).
• Increased tax rates sufficient to support the road and bridge maintenance and to assure water quality.
• Adverse effects to grazing and ranching in the basin.
• Property values may fall appreciably if the almost-pristine quality of Blanco Basin is violated by constant heavy truck traffic and industrial forms of commerce in the basin.
The commercial interests of one property owner and a single business interest should not be permitted to outweigh the long-term interests of all other property owners, business interests and outdoor enthusiasts in Blanco Basin. To ignore the impact that rock crushing and heavy gravel truck traffic could have would be lamentably shortsighted.
We who choose to live in Archuleta County, whether year-round or seasonally, appreciate the area for its unique environment and for its beauty. We share an obligation to preserve and protect the natural environment which draws all of us to the Pagosa Springs area. If Four Corners Materials succeeds in its stated goal to operate a rock crushing and transportation operation in Blanco Basin, the county will watch as the degradation of true gem occurs. Any deterioration of Blanco Basin and the Blanco River would be a terrible loss to us all.
Anne L. Dalton
Fort Worth, Texas
Staff and fountain
I wonder if the people of Pagosa Springs know Tom Carosello, Andy Rice and Jim Miller of the Parks and Recreation Department. I have become aware of the work these men and their staff have to do to keep their programs going. This is due to the budget constraints we have in place at this time. We are so fortunate to have these three young men doing a fantastic job in this community, and we are the beneficiaries.
We who live west of town are thankful to all of you who have the fountain operating in Pinon Lake as it should be.
Thank you to our sheriff’s department for quick and courteous responses. They are certainly here for all of us.
Thunderous applause and heartfelt cheering met every performance from our packed high school auditorium Thursday night. Our band and chorus director, Dan Burch, has stood and delivered talent development of the highest class. This blessing to our little mountain town must be shouted all around the basin. In a mere two years, our students are performing masterfully and providing music at its fullest. Dan Burch is an absolute professional, and this music program is headline newsworthy.
Oh, and for a spectacular filling, Kate Kelley’s string students joined the band to form an orchestra. Wow! They did themes from Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue,” and “Largo” from Dvorak’s “New World Symphony.” I was too choked up to discuss any of it after the show.
Kathy Isberg and her mighty piano accompaniment frosted this delicious cake.
A drop of sadness flows for every district 50 intermediate and junior high band and chorus student who missed this 2009 string concert. I beg those parents and guardians not to let it happen for the winter concert.
Since I came to Pagosa Springs in 1990, I’ve born witness to an extraordinary coterie of music and theatrical directors opening doors for youth and really everyone. Dan Burch arriving is as a capstone to it. A series of accomplishments, of which the centerpiece is the squeezing into our high school of our performance center by the school board, has produced a feeder of musicianship for the world from these mountains.
It’s my concern that as awareness spreads, we’ll require three times the seating capacity for future Pagosa high band and chorus extravaganzas. Congratulations, Mr. Burch, and all you fortunate students under his baton.