S L a

Serving the
communities of San
Luis, San Acacio,
San Francisco, San
Pedro, San Pablo,
Los Fuertes, Chama,
Blanca, Fort Garland, Jaroso, Mesita,
and Garcia
Periodical Postage
Paid at San Luis, CO
2013 in review
1/11 - Hats off to Petty Officer First
Class Janay J. Tate
1/7 -New County Commissioners take
Oath of Office
1/18 - Tri-State considers alternative to
proposed transmission project
2/15 -Sierra Grande Pee Wee finish
baseball season undefeated
2/15 - Carlos and Annette Benavidez
2012 Conservationists of Year
2/22 - Elk Hunts cancelled in Costilla
3/1 - Juanita Bernal receives Manager of the Year Award from Colorado
Rural Water Association - Myrrl Smith
receives Water System of the Year for
3/8 - Lady Rams Champions in Class
1A District
3/15 - LRC holds important Community
Meeting regarding access rights
Centennial Alumni Association Formed.
3/29 - Nina Perez of Blanca earns
Boettcher Scholarship
ASU Premiers Bless Me Ultima
4/5 - Francisco Martinez, Denver Author publishes new novel.
See 2013 in review page 4
La Sierra
P. O. 591
San Luis, CO 81152
December 27, 2013
Ken Salazar teams up with billionaire Louis
Bacon to form PAC
By Kurtis Lee
The Denver Post
Congressional candidates willing
to work on land conservation efforts
could benefit from a new political action
committee announced Thursday.
The bipartisan America’s Conservation
PAC is spearheaded by former U.S. Interior
Secretary Ken Salazar and billionaire
philanthropist Louis Bacon.
At a moment when partisanship and
polarization run rampant in Washington,
work that focuses on land conservation and
the preservation of cultural resources has
not received ample attention, said Salazar.
“Voices for conservation need to be
lifted,” said Salazar, who left the Obama
administration earlier this year. “This
will be an opportunity to help engage
lawmakers in dialogue around conservation
and preservation as the country continues
to grow.”
For example, candidates committed to
fighting to replenish the federal Land and
Water Conservation Fund could benefit
from the PAC.
Will Shafroth, founder of Colorado
Conservation Trust and the Great Outdoors
Colorado Trust Fund, will serve as the
PAC’s executive director.
“Conserving land and cultural resources
for our children and our children’s children
is neither a liberal nor a conservative value.
It’s not Republican or Democratic, neither
an urban nor a rural idea,” Bacon said in a
statement. “It is so important to protect and
preserve those physical places that truly
define a region - however tough the fight that we are coming together to help elected
Salazar and Bacon worked in the past to
create the Sangre de Cristo Conservation
Area in Colorado’s San Luis Valley, where
Bacon owns the sprawling Trinchera
officials who support the future over the
In coming months, Salazar said the PAC
will begin to pinpoint candidates to
support in 2014.
“As the country grows, we need to be
smarter and focused on conservation,”
Salazar said.
Louis Bacon purchases
Taos Ski Valley
According to Jason Blevins of the
Denver Post , the Blake Family is leaving the Taos Ski Valley after almost 59
years. The Blake the family is selling
the ski area to billionaire conservationist Louis Bacon
Adriana Blake, granddaughter of the
founder stated that the sale is “really a
good thing for the ski area,” Her grandfather moved the family into an 11 foot
camper trailer at the base of the ski area
in the early 1950’s and built the first
chairlift with 16 local men and a mule
named Lightning. She stated that the
family cannot do improvements without
risking the ability to “pay our people”
“We believe Louis is the right person to ensure a viable future for the ski
valley and that his ownership will be
beneficial to our employees, Taos’ residents and guests,” Mickey Blake said in
the statement.
The ski area has 125 employees
with more than 20 years experience, a
longevity that reveals both the Blakes’
management style as well as the role of
the ski area in northern New Mexico’s
rural economy.
See SKI VALLEY page 7
December 27, 2013
L a Sierra
In Loving Memory
San Luis, Colorado
Anthony Martinez, 62
LLa S ierra
Published Weekly every Friday throughout
the year by:
of La Sierra Foundation Inc.
11400 CR 21
P.O. Box 591
San Luis, Colorado 81152-0591
News or Ads call: 298-8104
Maclovio C. Martinez
Maria C. Martinez
e-mail: [email protected]
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En Belen nacio Jesus
Por ser hijo de Maria
Los Senores como usted
dan Crismes en este Dia
Mis Crismes
Former San Pedro resident, Isidro Anthony
Martinez, passed away on December 19, 2013 in
Casper, Wyoming after a protracted illness. He was
62 years old. He was born in San Pedro to Juan
Isidro Martinez and Manuelita Rael on July 14,
1951. On December 20, 1969 he married the former
Gloria Jean Maes in Rawlins, Wyoming. They had
three daughters: Sylvia Sue, Toni Marie, and Robin
Jenny. He worked for the Union Pacific Railroad
from 1969 until illness forced his retirement in 1995.
He was an avid outdoorsman and loved camping
with his family. He also had an incredible singing
voice for Spanish and Country music.
He was preceded in death by his parents, parents-inlaw, Aurelio Maes and Martina
Chavez, beloved sister in law, Ezella Youngblood, and sisters, Azucena Martinez
and Herminia Velasquez. He is survived by his wife, Gloria, of the family home,
daughters: Sylvia (Rick) Miller, Toni Martinez, and Robin Martinez, grandchildren:
Ashley, Jenny, Michael, and Gabriel Miller; Nicholas, Destiny, Carly, and Sydney
Martinez, and two great grandchildren: Nicholas, Jr., and Zayden Martinez - all of
He is also survived by siblings: Mary C. Olivas of Los Fuertes, Carmen (Napoleon)
Romero of Pueblo, Elia (Tommy) Sanchez of Westminster, Sidney Cordova of San
Luis, Heralia (Henry) Vialpando of Colorado Springs, and Juan I. Martinez, Jr. of
Alamosa, and numerous nieces, nephews, and other relatives. Extended family
includes the Maestas of Los Fuertes, the Raels of San Pedro, and the Sanchez of
His remains were cremated. His ashes will be buried at the Rawlins Community
Cemetery in Rawlins, Wyoming after a funeral with a date to be announced.
letter to the editor
December 19, 2013
Dear Editor,
I would like to thank the Costilla County Conservancy District (CCCD) for their
support of the Congreso de Las Acequias Colorado which was held October 4, 2013,
in San Luis, Colorado. The Congreso invited parciantes, mayordomos, students,
professors and those who have a great passion and interest in the Acequia method of
irrigating to have a conversation about our water and irrigating. Participants learned
about Freehold, key water rights concepts, the legality of water sharing and lack of
water, loss of tradition. Those in attendance had discussions with one another about
acequias and what it means to be a parciante in the 21st century. The Congreso was
a great success. It succeeded because the CCCD understood the importance of our
community coming together to discuss and make suggestions to help preserve a way
of life that is still in operation in the surrounding villages of San Luis. Our cultural
way of life is tied to the land and its acequias.
The Costilla County Conservancy District contributed $7,000 to help the Sangre
de Cristo Acequia Association regarding the expenses of hosting the Congreso. This
money helped to expand the program that was offered. The CCCD also provided the
monetary awards for the winners of the student essays and children’s drawings. The
CCCD co-hosted the Congreso. Often many local organizations are not recognized
for their outstanding work and involvement in the local community. The Sangre de
Cristo Acequia Association would like to extend a heartfelt “thank you” to the CCCD
for their participation and monetary support of the 2nd Annual Congreso de Acequias
Colorado. Thank you.
Sangre de Cristo Acequia Association Board Member
L a Sierra
San Luis, Colorado
December 27, 2013
In loving memory - 2013 obituaries
Isaac Evan Vialpando, 83, October 25,
1929 - December 29, 2012
Rodolfo Silverio “Silver” Jaramillo, 92,
May 25, 1920 - April 23, 2013
Celestino Sanchez, 98, of Amalia
October 15, 2013.
Leroy J. Barela, 69, Dec. 30, 2012.
Eva Meyer, 90, passed away May 5,
Vern Charlie Medina, 72, Oct.19,
Jean L. Cordova, 67, of Feb. 10, 1945Dec. 27, 2012
Maria Lillian Valdez, 51, January 6,
Phillip Arthur Lobato, 51, Dec. 27, 1961
- Jan. 23, 2013
Wilbur Felix Maestas 76, February 1,
Ruben Daniel Navarro, 69, January 26,
Rupert L. Martinez, 87, passed away
February 9, 2013.
Dorothy Padilla, 79, September 23, 1933
-February 8, 2013
Brian James Ward, 62,February 2, 2013.
Marie G. Pacheco, 58, passed away May
13, 2013
Jesusita “Susie” Sanchez, 94, May 7,
Mary Barela Gold.95, May 14, 2013.
Betty Sanchez-Pacheco, 72, May 14,
Leva E. Gurule, 63, May 20, 2013
Eligio P. Martinez, 77, May 22, 2013
Sostena M. Cleven, 87 May 30, 2013
Viola M. Martinez, age 83, June 1, 2013
Lenora Nevarez, 54, June 4, 2013.
Richard David Medina, 66, February 9,
Dianna L. Correa – Medina, 58, June 16,
Rhina J. Greer, 58 February 11, 2013.
Genoveva Vialpando February 18, 1912
June 19, 2013
Virgil (Mike) Aragon, 52, February 22,
Alex Pacheco Jr., 79, February 25, 2013
Katie Lynn Allaart-Garcia, 21 March 24,
2013 at
Rita Medina, 75, of July 29, 2013.
Fred Ben Sanchez, 82, December 8,
1930 ---July 19, 2013 Lisa Denise Walker, 49,-August 4, 2013
Marcella O. Archuleta, 78, December 24,
1934 - March 30, 2013
Judith Jean Ruybal, 68, August 5, 2013
Ruby Ida Pacheco, 91- July 28, 1921
March 29, 2013
Maria Esmeralda “Mary” Aranda November 11, 1929 -August 20, 2013
Destiny RoseLee Chavez, 46, July 7,
1966 -March 30, 2013.
Alfonso J. Jaramillo March 5, 1926 Sept.
10, 2013
Filomena Librada Valdez, 86, February
24, 1927- March 28, 2013
Evelyn Sanchez, 69, September 14,
Wyatt Richard Quiller, 71 January 9,
1942 - April 8, 2013
Michele Lynn Quintana -September
21st, 2013
Ernestina “Tina” S. Valdez, 79, July 18,
1933 - April 16, 2013
Estrella Mary Vazquez, September 28,
Johnny Maestas, 65, of April 2, 2013.
Yvonne Gallegos, 64, Oct. 2, 2013.
Suzette Paradis Allison, 77, October
11, 2013
Reverend Jim Boyd, Jr., 83, July 4,
1930 - died October 31, 2013
, Steve “Horse” Gurule, 57, born
October 3, 1956 - November 4, 2013
Janett M. Medina, 52, September 9,
1961 - November 3, 2013
Edna “Duvie” Chacon, 88, November
5, 2013
Darlene M. Jacquez, 78, December 29,
1934 - November 12, 2013.
Carlos Virgilio Manzanares, 79,
March 28, 1934 - Nov. 17, 2013.
Marcello J. Martinez, age 88
November 24, 2013
John A. St. Clair, Sr., 91, February 14,
1922 - November 26, 2013.
Ernestine N. Vialpando, age 77,
November 30, 2013
YOUTH from page 4
ed high school student office, in addition
to outstanding leadership abilities and a
strong commitment to volunteer work. The chief educational officer in each
state selects the delegates to the U.S.
Senate Youth Program. Two delegates are
chosen from each state, the District of
Columbia and the Department of Defense
Education Activity. The student leaders
will gather in Washington, D.C., from
March 8-15, 2014, for a week of intensive study of the federal government and,
in particular, the U.S. Senate. As in past
years, arrangements are underway for the
delegates to meet with leading cabinet
members, a Supreme Court justice and
several key congressional policy makers.
The Hearst Foundations provides each
student delegate with a $5,000 undergraduate college scholarship with encouragement to continue
2013 in Review from page 1
4/12 - Garcia Morada celebrates 100th
4/12 - Randi Espinosa, Feliciana
Lobato, Jae Lea and Xiomara Maestas
compete in Tri-Star Basketball Skills
4/12 -- Independent Historian of Southwestern History, Virginia Sanchez, was
appointed in March 2013 by Governor
Hickenlooper to serve on the Colorado
Historical Records Advisory Board.
4/19 - Hall of Fame Award for Coach
Edward Atencio
4/26 - Blanca Producer Ben Christensen selected Outstanding Colorado
Young Farmer
5/10 - Town of San Luis works to create Town Park
5/17 - Randy Pijoan is Artist in Residence at Great Sand Dunes
Vanessa Devereaux earns Law Degree
Centennial/Sierra Grande Students
excel at Pan Am Days
5/27 - Mrs Rios of Rios Restaurant
Honors Veterans
6/7/- Dumb Friends League holds first
successful spay clinic
6/7 - Quintana Brothers, Dale Deen
and Dillon receive Buick Achievers
6/28 - Ryan Lucero receives Medical
Degree from Univ. of Toledo Medical
Hilos Culturales holds Fandango at
Costilla County Deputy Seriously
Injured in one vehicle crash
7/1 - Jae Lea and Xiomara Maestas
place first in Denver Nuggets Skills
July 12 - Art Exhibit at Sangre de
Cristo Heritage Center
Santiago/Santa Ana Festival Sabor de
San Luis advertised
December 27, 2013
7/26 - Angela Lobato is Santa Ana
Community celebrates Santa Ana Festival.
Letter to Heirs and Successors regarding Sangre de Cirsto Land Grand and
Land Rights Council by Shirley Romero Otero.
8/11 - Louis DeHerrera missing on
Cielo Vista Ranch
8/30 - Starving Horses in Conejos
9/20 - Children Recovered from Parental Kidnapping Suspect in Costilla
October 11 - Hilos Culturales Unveils
New Book
Veterans offer update on Affordable
Care Act
10/25 - 2nd Annual Congreso de Acequias held in San Luis.
11/1/- Veranique Vigil, Sierra Grande
and Justine Sanchez candidates for
Spud Bowl Queen.
11/15 - Circle of Friendship give back
to Community
Sierra Grande Honors Costilla County
11/22 - Cerro Ditch receives Roundtable Funds.
11/29 - Myra Manzanares of ASU
signes LOI with Eastern NM Univ.
Centennial Students star in “The Jungle
12/6 - Los Caminos Farm, formerly Columbian Ranch protected by Colorado
Open Lands
Gerald Garcia joins CHS as Animal
Abuse Investigator
12/13 - Sierra Grande Dance Team
performs at CASB
Centennial Students Attend “We the
People Conference”.
12/20 - Frank and Rayma Medina celebrate 50th Anniversary
L a Sierra
San Luis, Colorado
Centennial RAMS
2013-2014 HS Varsity
Basketball Schedule
w/ Moffat
(Varsity Girls only)
11 @ Primero 5:00p.m.
16 @ Antonito 5:00p.m.
17 @ La Veta 5:00p.m.
18 @ Creede 2:00p.m.
24 w/ SCEC 5:00p.m.
25 @ Sargent 4:00p.m.
31w/ Cotopaxi 5:00p.m.
4 @ Center
[email protected] Sierra Grande 1:00p.m.
14 @ Moffat (Varsity Girls
February 15 w/ Primero 5:00p.m.
Colorado students selected for
U.S. Senate Youth Program
Students will head to Washington, D. C. to
receive $5,000 scholarship
Commissioner of Education Robert
Hammond today announced the names of two
students who have been selected as delegates
to the 52nd annual U.S. Senate Youth Program
that will be held March 8 – 15, 2014, in
Washington, D.C.
Chinmay Pandit of Fort Collins and Tessa
Slagle of Rangely were chosen from across
the state to be part of a group of 104 student
delegates who will attend the program’s
Washington Week.
Chinmay Pandit is a senior at Fossil Ridge
High School in Fort Collins. He currently
serves as student body president and treasurer
for both National Honor Society and Key
Club. After high school, Chinmay plans to
pursue economics and public policy for his
undergraduate work, followed by a master’s
of business administration. In the future, he
hopes to pursue a career in public service.
Tessa Slagle is a senior at Rangely High
School in Rangely. She currently serves as
student body president. Following graduation
Tessa plans on pursuing her undergraduate
work either as a cadet at the U.S. Air Force
Academy or through a degree in political
science. She aspires one day to run for an
elected office.
Chosen as alternates to the 2014 program
were Brandon Lee, of Highlands Ranch,
who attends ThunderRidge High School
and Julia Vann, of Ouray, who attends
Ouray High School.
Selection for the U.S. Senate Youth
Program is based on the student’s outstanding abilities and demonstrated qualities of leadership in an elected or appointcoursework in government, history and
public affairs. See YOUTH page 3
L a Sierra
December 27, 2013
San Luis, Colorado
Concertos in Chocolate
recalls Solid Milk Chocolate
Company name: Concertos in Chocolate of Boulder, Colo.
Product name: 5-ounce Solid Milk
Chocolate Santa, packaged in 7-inchtall clear, plastic bags with green
label and green bow; UPC number
85869500072 and “ENJOY BY” dates
ranging from Sept. 1 to Nov. 1, 2014.
Reason for recall: Some milk chocolate Santas labeled as dark chocolate,
with milk not listed within the ingredients
Christmas Trees
Donated To Centennial School District
Forbes-Trinchera graciously donated
eighteen Christmas trees to the Centennial School District this December.
The annual donation gave students the
chance to get into the holiday spirit
by allowing them to practice artistic
license in decoration techniques while
Industrial Arts students built tree
stands. The smell of fresh cut pine has
been a welcomed addition to the school
for the last couple weeks of the semester.
Give Kids A Smile Day
Friday, February 7, 2014
Give Kids a Smile Day is a day of free
education and treatment for KIDS
organized by the Colorado Dental Association every February
To qualify for a Give Kids a Smile Day
Appointment, your children must meet
ALL of the following criteria:
1. must be 17 years old or younger
2. low income and unable to afford
dental care
3. your child must be dentally uninsured no dental insurance or CHP+ coverage
4. Have transportation
5. Show up on time
Sierra Grande Weekly
Game Times
Jan. 10th—HS Basket-ball @ Monte
Vista @ 4pm
Jan. 11th—HS Wres-tling @ Custer
County @ 9 am
Foster Care Parents
In search of Foster Care Parents for
children in need of a home.
Please contact Christina Medina at (719) 672-4131.
Contact Christina Medina at Costilla
County Department of Social Services
about qualifying for financial assistance at (719) 672-4131.
Costilla County
Housing Authority
Costilla County Housing Authority
is now accepting applications for Senior
and Family housing.
Please come to the office located at
915 Pedro Street in San Luis, CO or
call the office at 719-672-3379.
House for rent
2 bedrooms 1 bath on 2 acres of land. Washer dryer hookups. Please call 719-588-2416
Veterans Service Office
Veterans Service Office is located
in the front office at 401 S. Church
Place in San Luis. Mr. Franco
will be holding office hours every
Tuesday and Thursday from 9:00AM
to 5:00PM and by appointment. Mr. Franco can be reached at 719580-6126 and by email at [email protected]
County Offices Sheriff - 672-9230 or 0673 For police services dial 911 or 719-6723302
County Offices: Main General # (719)937-7668 (this # will give you a directory
of offices & employees)
County Commissioners - 672-3372
Assessor’s Office (719)-937-7670
Clerk & Recorder -(719)-937-7671
Treasurer’s Office (719)-937-7672
County Health Nurse - 672-3332
Social Services- 672-4131
Public Library - 672-3309
VSO: 719-580-6126 and by email at
[email protected]
Colorado Road Conditions: Dial 511 or
Area U. S. Post Office
phone #’s
San Luis Post Office -672-3968
Blanca - 379-3654 ;
Chama - 672- 3123
Fort Garland - 379-3481;
Jaroso - 672-4269
Subscription rates:
$22 in Colorado
$25 Out of State
Street Address:___________________
City:____________; State___
La Sierra Newspaper
P. O. Box 591
San Luis, Colorado 81152
December 27, 2013
Wildlife Capture
Operation Planned
In San Luis Valley
COGCC Toughens
Spill Reporting
MONTE VISTA, Colo. – To expand its
study of Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep
in southern Colorado, Colorado Parks
and Wildlife is planning a capture operation in the South San Juan Mountains
sometime between Jan. 1-15.
The nine-member Colorado Oil and
Gas Conservation Commission today
unanimously approved new spill
reporting regulations that significantly
tighten the volume thresholds and
timeframe for operators to report
spills of oil as well as exploration and
production waste.
Some of the operation could occur in
the South San Juan Wilderness and the
Rio Grande National Forest has given
the agency permission to fly a helicopter
into the area.
Radio collars will be put on six sheep in
the ongoing effort to learn about their
movement patterns in the area. Wildlife
managers will be able to collect information from the collars for three years
or more, depending on how long the
batteries last.
Under the new rules, any spill of
five barrels or more must be reported
within 24 hours. In addition, any spill
of one barrel or more that occurs
outside secondary containment, such
as metal or earthen berms, must also be
reported within 24 hours. The previous
threshold for such reporting in both
instances was 20 barrels, and spills
between five and 20 barrels could be
reported within 10 days.
Bighorns and domestic sheep are susceptible to the same diseases. By learning about bighorn movements Colorado
Parks and Wildlife can work to keep
distance between wild bighorns and
domestic sheep.
The rules continue to require reporting
within 24 hours of any spill that
impacts or threatens to impact waters
of the state, any occupied structure,
livestock, a public byway or surface
water supply area.
“Our goal is to understand how to best
manage our bighorn populations,” said
Stephanie Ferrero, terrestrial biologist in
the San Luis Valley.
The rules approved Tuesday build
upon House Bill 13-1278, which was
approved by lawmakers earlier this
year and took effect August 7.
There are three distinct bighorn populations in the South San Juan Mountains.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife started to
study the bighorns in 2012 to determine
why the population of one of the herds is
in decline.
“These are important improvements
to our spill reporting requirements
and improve our ability to track and
respond to spills and releases across
Colorado,” said COGCC director
Matt Lepore. “These regulations will
improve the public’s confidence in our
ability to protect public health, safety
and our environment.”
Users of the national forest might notice a low-flying helicopter in the area
during the first two weeks of January.
The flights, however, will take place in
remote areas and disturbance to recreational users will be minimal. No flights
are planned on holidays and weekends.
Partners with CPW on the project
include the U.S. Forest Service and the
Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep Society.
For more information about Rocky
Mountain bighorns, go to cpw.state.
L a Sierra
San Luis, Colorado
Rust Fungus to Battle
Widespread, Damaging
Canada thistle
LAKEWOOD, Colo. – Canada
thistle is one of Colorado’s most
widespread and damaging exotic
invasive weeds, infesting croplands as
well as pastures, rangelands, roadsides
and other non-crop areas. The United
States Department of Agriculture
(USDA) and the Colorado Department
of Agriculture (CDA) have entered
into a cooperative agreement to
control the noxious weed Canada
thistle using a rust fungus.
The four year agreement provides
$392,000 to the CDA’s Biological
Pest Control Program to harvest
and redistribute the rust fungus to
uninfected patches of Canada thistle
and monitor the decline of the weed
following infection. If successful,
the program is expected to help
landowners and weed managers save
millions of dollars by reducing weed
infestations and cutting control costs.
The fungus, known as Puccinia
punctiformis, only attacks Canada
thistle and kills the plant by infecting
the root system. Canada thistle has
an extensive and long-lived root
system which makes it resistant to
most control methods. The weed can
survive mowing, burning and often
even chemical treatment, sending up
new shoots from the still-living root
system. The rust fungus is deadly to
Canada thistle because it enters the
root system, eventually killing the
plant from below.
The rust is already found in
Colorado but the natural spread of
the rust is slow and sporadic which
is why most Canada thistle patches
don’t already have the fungus. USDA
Agricultural Research Service (ARS)
scientists have done extensive work
to better understand the rust life cycle.
New knowledge gained from this
work has enabled the development of
methods for getting the fungus to more
readily attack Canada thistle patches.
Dr. Dana Berner, plant pathologist at
the USDA ARS facility in Ft. Detrick,
Maryland, has recentlyreported
successful Canada thistle control at
L a Sierra
San Luis, Colorado
Ski Valley From Page 1
Bacon, a media-shy hedge-fund
manager and land baron renowned for
locking his acreage in conservation
trusts, owns several large ranches in
Colorado. He famously battled Xcel
Energy’s plan to run solar transmission
lines across his 171,400-acre Trinchera
Blanca ranch in southern Colorado’s
San Luis Valley in 2010 and 2011. In
2012 he placed his 20,000-acre Tercio
Ranch near Trinidad in a conservation
easement with Colorado Open Lands.
His easement prohibiting development
on Trinchera Blanca is the largest ever
for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service as
well as the largest in Colorado.
Bacon has owned base-area property
in Taos Ski Valley since 1996 and
worked with the Blake family to develop a master plan that re-developed
the aging village and expanded the
mountain’s terrain with new lifts like
a proposed chair climbing Taos’ iconic
12,481-foot Kachina Peak. The Forest
Service approved the expansion plans
in 2012.
Taos chief Mickey Blake in a statement said Bacon’s conservation ethic
as well as his partnership with the
family prodded the Blakes to suggest
an outright sale.
“Part of the reason Mickey chose Louis was because ... they are not going
to come in and change what Taos Ski
Valley is. They aren’t going to come in
and knock down all the buildings and
build an Intrawest ski area. They are
sticking with the flavor and character
of the ski area,” Adriana Blake said.
Bacon spokesman Peter Talty — a
longtime Taos skier — in a statement
said the Bacon team will embrace the
Blake tradition.
“It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity
to be a part of this iconic ski area,”
Talty said. “Our mandate is clear and
we are dedicated to advancing the
Blake family vision and legacy of Taos
Ski Valley, by continuing to provide
an unmatched skiing experience while
serving as an economic driver for
northern New Mexico.”
The deal buys out all the Blake shareholders. (There are many Blake grandchildren who own shares of the ski
area.) And while Mickey and Adriana
December 27, 2013
will stick around for the transition,
they will be leaving Taos at the end
of the season. Longtime chief operating officer Gordon Briner will
take over as Taos’ ski boss.
The departure of the Blakes marks
not just an end of an era of Taos but
yet another loss to the increasingly
antiquated notion of family-owned
ski areas operating and developing
with cash earned from lift ticket
sales, gear rentals, lessons and
Ernie Blake — who died in 1989 at
age 75 — hand hewed the ski area
and its precipitous terrain, crafting
a premiere ski school and adding
flourishes like tucking beakers
of martinis behind trees on the
mountain. He staunchly prohibited
snowboarding but his family
opened the area to riders in 2008,
reversing a slide in visitation.
While the Blakes in 2010 did begin
a base-area real estate venture, it
was modest and the revenue from
selling 11 slopeside homes went
into upgrading lifts and adding
terrain. The family operated
with minimal debt, eschewing
the prevalent “build a village,”
real-estate centric ethos that has
dominated the industry for the past
The Blakes leave an indelible
impression on the ski resort world,
said Mike Kaplan, the chief of Aspen
Skiing Co., who launched his career
at Taos. Kaplan marvels how the
founding vision of Ernie and Rhoda
Blake has sustained unwavering
through three generations.
“I believe Taos is a great place
because it is a phenomenal mountain
and it has real character and soul,
which came from its founders Ernie
and Rhoda and has been carried
on through the third generation.
From martini trees to the creation
of a phenomenal ski school, the
Blakes have had a real impact on the
American ski business” Kaplan said.
Colorado takes
important step
in resolving
Republican River
Colorado this week completed
successful negotiations with Kansas
and Nebraska to allow for operation
of the Compact Compliance Pipeline
to deliver water to the North Fork
of the Republican River in 2014.
The agreement marks an important
step toward resolving long-standing
disputes under the Republican River
Compact and providing more certainty
to the agricultural economy across the
The agreement allows Colorado
to operate the pipeline in 2014 and
demonstrate its benefits to agricultural
operators in Kansas and Nebraska.
The 12-mile pipeline will deliver
irrigation water directly to the North
Fork of the Republican River near
the Nebraska state line, providing the
water necessary for Colorado to meet
its Compact obligations with Kansas
and Nebraska.
“This is a great step forward,” said
Colorado’s State Engineer Dick Wolfe.
“This has been a hard-fought matter,
and hopefully this demonstrates that
we can work together as three States
to address these challenging issues and
come to a permanent resolution on the
Republican River.”
Colorado sought arbitration of
this matter in May after Kansas
denied Colorado’s request to operate
the pipeline indefinitely to comply
with the Compact. This fall, Kansas
proposed a path forward that would
allow Colorado to operate the pipeline
for Compact compliance in 2014 so all
parties could gain experience with its
On Thursday, the three states
voted to approve a resolution to use
the pipeline in 2014. The Colorado
Department of Natural Resources and
its Division of Water Resources, along
with the State Engineer, express their
appreciation to the Attorney General’s
Office in its efforts to negotiate with
Kansas, and also thank the Republican
River Water Conservation District
and the Sandhills Ground Water
Management District for their efforts
to assist in reaching a resolution.
December 27, 2013
L a Sierra San Luis, Colo-
The Railroaders of South Central Wyoming (series)
by Richard de Olivas y Cordova© continued
Continued from Dec 20 issue of La Sierra
There was a palpable awareness that the
Hispano community was not on equal footing
with the Anglo community. In town –
whether it was the small town of Wamsutter,
or in Rock Springs or Rawlins that were
larger – railroaders were from the south side:
the other side of the tracks. And the two
communities were different. Rarely were
Hispano families invited to Anglo weddings,
or vice versa. Rarer still was intermarriage
until well into the 1970s.
This was not about economic disparity. In
Wamsutter everyone was working class. It
was company town were everyone lived
in housing provided by their employer, not
just the railroaders. Oil and gas companies
provided trailers for their employees and
their families, state highway workers and the
highway patrol were given housing by the
state, even teachers, cooks, and janitors in the
school were provided housing by the school
district. The business owners lived in trailers
behind their businesses next to trailers that
housed their employees. Never the less, the
Hispano population was different.
There was disparity even among the
Hispanics. The Mexicano families were
often reminded that they were not “Manito”
like the rest. One teacher, Robert Stevenson,
who saw the isolation of these families was
moved to incorporate Mexican dances into
his music curriculum and thus influenced the
appreciation of Mexican and Manito culture
by the wider community for many years. The
retired teacher died in 2013 just short of his
100th birthday in Newcastle, Pennsylvania.
Though not related by blood or marriage
the Mexicano community forged lasting
relationships among themselves due to the
social isolation and discrimination from the
rest of the Hispanic railroading community.
Some years ago I wrote an article for the
Rawlins Daily Times and described the
impromptu dances that took place in Creston
at the gas stations in the late 1950s and 1960s
where guitarists and violinists would play
New Mexico folk dances for the people who
lived in the nearby railroad sections. It was
one more way that these people preserved
their culture in this desolate country. I have
often wondered what tourists who stopped
at the gas station thought of this spectacle of
15th century dances of the Spanish court as
they stopped to gas up their car during their
voyage across this windy, sage speckled land.
My father, Juan Manuel Olivas, established
the “Spanish Hour” on KRAL radio in
Rawlins in 1966 where, for the first time
ever, the Spanish language and the music of
New Mexico, Texas, and Mexico was heard
weekly from Rock Springs to Laramie. By
1972 it was a two hour program that held
a sizeable audience on Sunday afternoons.
For the program he found his own sponsors
and wrote his own commercials. Julio
Delgadillo, Gilbert Martinez, Lee Martinez,
and Martha Arellano were co-hosts and hosts
in the years after my Dad left the program.
Bumping was the established way to move
from section to section. Workers with
seniority bumped for houses and/or bigger
houses. They also bumped to sections where
they wanted to live – closer to schools,
towns, or friends and family. In the list of
section residents you will see couples listed
in two or three different sections because they
lived in those sections due to bumping or
being bumped.
Various sections were abandoned throughout
the years, Hadsell and Ferris; Frewen, Red
Desert, Monell, Robinson, and Black Buttes
to name a few. Sometimes the sections were
abandoned because the workers would rather
live in the larger towns and commute to the
sections to work. This pattern continued to
expand until about 1990 when the sections
were all eliminated in favor of work crews
that traveled by truck to work sites from the
larger towns. The clapboard houses were all
torn down and buried. Today, few visible
signs of those houses and communities
remain. Some descendants of those railroad
workers have remained in Wyoming, most
have left and now reside in almost every state
in the union.
Dangerous Work
These railroad communities were often united
by tragedy. The December 1964 death of
three railroad workers in a snowstorm when a
train hit a group of workers who were riding
in a work vehicle on the tracks behind the
“sperry car” work train, united the sections
in grief. The three dead were from the Riner
section and were originally from San Luis:
Jose Federico Martinez, Maclovio Montoya,
and my father’s brother, Alarquin Sena.
Maclovio Montoya and Alarquin Sena each
left a widow with seven orphans. Maclovio’s
widow, Clorinda Arellano, returned to the
family home near San Pedro, Colorado.
In 1970 Alfonso Sandoval of Las Vegas,
New Mexico was also struck by a train and
killed while conducting adjustments on a rail
aligner and work train. He left a wife and six
orphans who returned to Las Vegas thereafter.
In 1979 Aurora Jimenez and two
granddaughters, Annette Jimenez, 5, and
Brenda Garza, 3, were struck by a train an
killed at the railroad crossing in Wamsutter
while her husband, who was working, tried
in vain to flag her down and prevent the
Each incident reminded the workers and
their families of the risk involved in their
profession and the hazards of life along the
What follows is an incomplete list of the
residents of the sections as remembered
by some former residents. The sections
are listed from west to east between Rock
Springs and Rawlins.
thirteen sites in the US and abroad. Dr.
Berner has demonstrated that the fungus
is a safe, effective and economical
control option for Canada thistle.
The Colorado Department of
Agriculture’s Insectary, located in
Palisade, will begin the Canada thistle
biological control project in the spring
of 2014. The project will consist of the
discovery of naturally occurring fungal
infections on Canada thistle plants
in Colorado, harvest of teliospores
(the infective stage of the rust), and
distribution of the spores to uninfected
Canada thistle patches.
“Timing is everything with the project.
The initial survey of thistle patches for
naturally occurring rust must happen
in the spring when infected plants are
visible, while teliospores only appear
and can be harvested in the summer,”
said Dan Bean, CDA’s Biological Pest
Control Director. “Infection of rustfree Canada thistle patches using the
teliospores is possible in the late summer
and fall, when new and susceptible
foliage begins to grow from the root
The infection and decline of Canada
thistle patches will be closely monitored
by the CDA. For more information
please contact Dan Bean, Director,
Biological Pest Control Program, dan.
[email protected], (970) 464-7916