A 100 Years Ago Arthur Carhart Had a Vision For Both Wilderness and Recreation On Public Lands

Trappers Lake

Trappers Lake – Courtesy Photo USDA – US Forest Service

A hundred years ago the US Forest Service considered putting cabins around a pristine lake in western Colorado. But thanks to a young landscape architect named Arthur Carhart, Trappers Lake stayed undeveloped and the concept of protected wilderness was born.

Hired as the first US Forest Service landscape architect on March 1, 1919, he was sent just a few months later to look at Trappers Lake as a possible spot for development. While he was there he met a couple of outdoorsmen camping at Trappers Lake.

“One night they got me in the cook tent and we argued from about nine until about two o’clock in the morning about the question of putting the cottages around the lake,their argument was the precious qualities of this lake belong to all the people and it’s a basic principle of wilderness against any other use whatever,” Carhart said.

Later that year he wrote to Aldo Leopold, “There is a limit to the number of lands of shoreline on the lakes; there is a limit to the number of lakes in existence; there is a limit to the mountainous areas of the world, and . . . there are portions of natural scenic beauty which are God-made, and . . . which of a right should be the property of all people.”

Retired Forest Service Chief Landscape Architect Jim Bedwell of Denver said Carhart also recognized the need for outdoor recreation infrastructure on public lands. Carhart wrote the forest service’s first recreation master plan. It was for the San Isabel National Forest west of Pueblo. Hear more about Carhart and his legacy: listen to Bedwell’s conversation with Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner on the Colorado Matters podcast.

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Million Dollar Restoration Planned For #Pueblo’s Historic Goodnight Barn

Barn 2014

Photo Courtesy of Goodnight Barn Preservation Committee

An old stone barn near Pueblo is about to get a million dollar facelift. It’s the last surviving structure of the northern headquarters of the Goodnight Cattle Company. The very real lives of old west cattlemen Charles Goodnight and Oliver Loving inspired the mini-series Lonesome Dove – based on the novel by Larry McMurtry. The 1871 Goodnight Barn is said to be one of the most important and endangered historic structures in the southwest. Laurel Campbell leads the Goodnight Barn Preservation Committee the organization working to preserve it. Listen to her conversation with Colorado Matters host as part of full show podcast at cpr.org

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Winter Gardening Tips From A Colorado Master Gardener

Thinking about your garden? You should be! It might be winter, but that doesn’t mean you should forget about your garden and landscape. There’s plenty to do to care for your garden now and plan for this summer. CSU Extension Master Gardener Loni Gaudet answered gardening questions and offered winter gardening tips. Listen to the conversation on cpr.org

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Boulder Poet Andrea Gibson Writes Through Love And War In ‘Lord Of The Butterflies’

Boulder poet Andrea Gibson weaves together love poetry with entries that explore protests, gun violence, homophobia and even war.

The complexities and depths of human emotion form the foundation of Gibson’s latest collection of poetry, “Lord of the Butterflies,”. Gibson, who prefers the pronouns they/them/their, spoke with Colorado Matters about incorporating anger and humor in their work.

Listen to the conversation and hear Gibson perform some of their work at cpr.org

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New Study Explores Southwest Chief’s Economic Impact In Colorado

A new study says Amtrak’s Southwest Chief passenger rail line puts $49 million a year into Colorado’s economy.

Last year Amtrak threatened to stop running the train through southeastern Colorado and use buses to cover that part of the route.

Jim Mathews leads the Rail Passengers Association, the national organization that commissioned the report. He said the so-called bus bridge is now off the table, but the research is important because it shows the rail line is a growth engine for the towns and counties it passes through.

“These communities are benefitting tremendously from the fact that there is a Southwest Chief service, and they would be harmed tremendously if that service were to go away,” Mathews said.

The formulas developed to do this study can be used to evaluate the socio-economic benefit of other long distance train lines around the nation.The study was done by researchers at the University of Southern Mississippi and the RPA. It analyzes socio-economic benefits that the Southwest Chief brings to the eight states and 32 counties it passes through, and breaks them down on a county by county basis.

Read more, get a link to the study and listen to the story at KRCC.org

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How Did Colorado Supermarket Chain King Soopers Get It’s Name?

Did you know there was an actual King behind the King Soopers grocery store name?Lloyd King founded the Colorado based supermarket chain in 1947. But where did the rest of the name came from, including that goofy spelling? Journalist Matt Masich looked into it.  He discovered that there’s some interesting history that involves comic books and kids. Listen to the whole story at cpr.org

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Legal Pot Changes The Work Of Some Drug Detection Dogs

The new legal marijuana industry is generating billions of dollars and creating thousands of jobs, but it’s also creating instability, restructuring and some layoffs for one group of workers – drug detection dogs.

Pueblo Police Department’s K-9 Detective Widget, a five-year-old Belgian Malinois, has helped make millions of dollars in drug busts during her four years on the force, but now she has a new partner, Sage a two-year-old golden lab.

The two dogs’ human handler Detective Vince Petkosek said, like Widget, Sage is trained to find heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, Ecstasy and psilocybin mushrooms. Unlike Widget, she is not trained on marijuana.

That’s important because dogs like Widget react the same way whether they ferret out legal marijuana or an illegal drug like meth. Petkosek said that means Widget’s searches could be questioned.

Read more and listen at KRCC.org


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In 1978 Activists Laid Down In Front Of Buses In Denver, Launching The Disability Rights Movement

Forty years ago people with disabilities took to Denver’s streets to protest. They surrounded RTD buses to draw attention to the lack of wheelchair accessible public transportation.

Their rallying cry became “We will ride!”

Hava and Andy Rosen of Schuyler, Nebraska were there. “I got out my chair and laid down in front of the bus. We decided at that point we were going to stay overnight and keep the buses overnight. And create that awareness. People weren’t aware of anything about people with disabilities. We weren’t even thought of, ” Andy said

Hava and Andy both have cerebral palsy. Although they knew each other in 1978, they weren’t a couple yet. Andy got Hava to join the protest that day.

She said, “I was scared because I had not ever done anything like that before but it was exciting because I knew that I was doing something important and something of value.”

That group of disabled protesters became known as the Gang of Nineteen. They stopped traffic at the corner of Colfax and Broadway for two days – until RTD agreed to become the first public transit company in the nation to add lifts to the buses. That bus blockade action fired up the disability rights movement across the country.

“We changed from being disabled people who couldn’t do anything in society’s eyes to people…disabled people who could do something and cause a political change,” Andy said.

The protesters organized and eventually became ADAPT — a national network of activists. They sledgehammered concrete curbs to get attention for accessible sidewalks. They showed up at transportation board meetings carrying caskets — to illustrate that they might be dead before changes were made. They chained themselves to doors at fast food chains to get their voices heard.

“You need to realize that you are as important as anybody else,” Hava said.

Andy and Hava have changed their names since then – but they haven’t changed their enthusiasm for activism, “because I was out there and I saw the changes. And it blew me away. I mean it literally blew me away. I couldn’t believe that the system that’s out there was what we started,” Hava said.

26 year old Jordan Sibayan of Denver got involved in ADAPT about eight years ago. He spoke with Colorado Matters about how he was inspired by the Gang of Nineteen’s protests, and about the group’s current work.

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A New History Colorado Exhibit Spotlights Colorado’s Oldest Continuous Residents, the Utes

A traditional Ute bear dance ceremony.

Courtesy of Robert Ortiz, The Southern Ute Drum

The Utes are some of Colorado’s oldest residents — by some estimates, the tribe has been here for 13,000 years.

Despite that, many Coloradans today may not recognize that they may be touched by Ute history on a daily basis.

A new exhibit at History Colorado aims to reconnect Coloradans to the historical and contemporary significance of the Utes. “Written on the Land: Ute Voices, Ute History”opens Saturday, Dec. 8.

Ernest House Jr. is among dozens of Ute tribal members who helped develop the exhibit, which features more than 150 objects including beaded gloves, fringed shawls and carved instruments that are part of the Bear Dance. House spoke with Colorado Matters about the deep dive into Ute history.

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On The 50th Anniversary Of Edward Abbey’s “Desert Solitaire,” A Former Park Ranger Honors The Iconic Book And Confronts Outdated Views

The American southwest has changed a lot since 1968, when the late writer Edward Abbey published “Desert Solitaire: A Season In The Wilderness.”

The memoir, set in Arches National Park, has inspired countless people to visit the desert and to take a stand for the environment.

But as time passed, critics have since labeled Abbey racist and sexist. Now, 50 years later, Colorado writer Amy Irvine imagines talking with Abbey in her new book, “Desert Cabal: A New Season In The Wilderness.”

Irvine spoke with Colorado Matters about taking a hard look at Abbey’s iconic memoir.

Hiking in southeastern Utah’s canyon country. – Photo by Shanna Lewis
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