Reed – Colorado in jeopardy
January 20, 2010
(This was originally sent to Scott Franklin, Moffat EIS Project Manager.)
Good morning, I would like to add my voice to the other voices who are concerned with the water problems that exist between the East and West slopes.
I am a Colorado native, a rare breed. My father grew up in Blackhawk, I am 70 years old and have seen all the changes in Colorado that we are now dealing with.
When I was a young girl my family would come to the Buckhorn Ranch, now the Bar Lazy J, every year to fish. I would play in the willows with a rope attached to my waist while my mother fished on the bank. I still recognize the smell of the wet willows when I am walking through them to fish the Colorado.
Yes, I learned to fly fish from my mother. My grandfather was to busy chumming the stream, and my father was always after the lunker. I started to ski at age 12 with the Eskimos on the Ski Train. What a wonderful experience for a young person to be on your own going to a destination to ski . The memories from the train were great: water fights with paper cups from the water coolers in each car; the smokey smell and taste of the food in the food car due to the Moffat Tunnel; sticking your head out of the window when we went through the tunnel; sneaking a cigarette in the girls room. I know … then of course there was the skiing; the greatest experience of all, after you learned how, of course. I took the train till I could drive.
When we started driving we would stop and ski Berthoud lots of times, but mostly Winter Park. We were always hoping to get snowed in so we could stay overnight. As a young adult I started my kids skiing at age 3. We would be driving home from skiing or fishing or picnicking in the mountains and see the lights of Denver and I would yearn to be snowed in back in the mountains so I could spend the night.
Denver had started to change: Smog had moved in; the town I knew was growing at an alarming rate; 6th Ave turned into I-70; there were shopping centers (Cherry Creek was a dump when I was growing up and Cherry Creek Drive was farm country) You must know by now where this is leading …
People were moving in and the resources were being stretched thin. Water, clean air, cement, trees, highways and the like. Life as I knew it had changed.
I finally got my wish to spend the night in the mountains. We have lived at Ouray Ranch near the headwaters of the Colorado River for 20 years. Now, this way of life is being threatened: fishing, skiing, hiking, picnicking, boating.. Oh, I forgot I learned to water ski on Grand Lake – brrrr!
All the things that people moved to Colorado for are in jeopardy . I really feel that most of the problems could be solved with conservation. We all need to care about our environment.
The city needs to put conservation of water first and foremost in order to save what we all value about our beautiful state. The folks in town can’t recreate in the mountains if there is nothing for them when they get there.
The great Colorado and Fraser Rivers need to be kept alive and well. “Not too Hot and Not too Cold but Just Right!”
Thank you for paying attention to the memories of a once-young girl who wishes the best for her surroundings.
Susan Waterman Reed