Finally Starting to Care

Power Lines

EC File Photo

We have been in an energy crisis for a long time now. It is about time that we put in place some new plans about what to do.

News From Indian Country reported that solar power is starting to make its move on the traditional oil and gas companies that are in this area. Ever since petroleum was found in this area the oil and gas companies have been pillaging the land that we love so dearly. It is nice to see that people are finally going to wake up and change to a clean and efficient form of energy.

We cannot just switch to one method of energy, and as we start switching to more sustainable forms of energy we need to learn as much about these new forms as possible. The Salt Lake Tribune reported that, “Utah will be getting $16.6 million in grants for energy conservation and research into geothermal energy and carbon capture.” A portion of that money is going to go to Utah State University for energy research. That is a great way to spend this money, if we do not know what we are going to change to then it definitely will not happen.

The Vail Daily reported that the people of Pitkin and Eagle counties voted for a program designed to help out with investing in renewable energy and renewable energy projects. It is nice to see these communities come together and care enough to spend this money, totaling about $7 million, on such good causes.

If we do not start the ball rolling on these energy issues we will be too late to do anything about them. These three articles show that people are starting to care. Without your vote we will not be able to get the projects in place, so when you have a chance get out there and show your support for a greener tomorrow.

– Royce Johnson

Save the Gulch


EC File Photo

Durango area residents have a common misperception that the Horse Gulch area is a protected playground. Horse Gulch is used for hiking, biking, horseback riding, wildlife habitat, and it serves as an important natural classroom for the college. All these activities in this area could easily be lost.

Volunteers from Trails 2000 began work in 1991 to build an impressive trail system in this area. Horse Gulch was host to the Single Speed World Championships at the end of last summer; this is a prestigious event that takes place once a year in different venues around the world. The fact that it landed in Horse Gulch illustrates the areas importance as a recreational resource.

Much of Horse Gulch is privately owned. These areas would be worth millions of dollars if they were to be developed and turned into homes. Some of the land is owned by the city of Durango and some by Fort Lewis College but that does not mean that the private owners do not have their own agenda. If the city built a road back into Horse Gulch, which has been talked about in city planning meetings, there would be a rush for private owners to start developing. A road may be built through this area to clear congestion on Hwy. 160 near the Farmington Hill. Many of the uses would be forever ruined if this were to happen.

An interpretive guide was put together last summer explaining all of the uses of Horse Gulch and will soon be on sale at the college and around town. The money from the sales of this guide will go towards a massive cleanup effort in the spring. For more information on this topic refer to this informative guide. There are many people that use this area daily and would be willing to do what it takes to keep it safe. With community support this area can be a free and permanent part of the Durango outdoor experience.

– Royce Johnson

Lazy is as Lazy Does

There is an epidemic engulfing our society at an alarming rate.  Eco-laze.  This is a new term that is defining a whole new class of lazy.  Webster defines lazy as “…not eager or willing to work or exert oneself; indolent; slothful…”, when you gear this general laziness towards the environment around us that’s when I start to rant.

I have been standing right next to my manager, when I was working at a fine dining restaurant, water was running, constantly and no place to put recyclable waste.  Now that’s eco-laze.  She could have easily implemented some simple rules that would have changed the operations of the restaurant.  This is an example of how eco-laze can spread quickly without us even knowing it.  The manager by not implementing eco-friendly policies is infecting all of her employees with the horrible affliction of eco-laze.
Another example of how the disease is engulfing the world is when the “cool kids” put down eco-friendly people for doing the simple things that everybody should be doing to protect the environment.  Just because you are apathetic towards the issue does not mean that it is not important.  It’s crazy that some people look down on others who are using canvas shopping bags or washing out and separating their recyclables.  Hey, we are the ones that are saving the world for your children!

I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine that was telling me about how environmentally friendly people are the nicest and most responsible people that he has ever met.  This gives me hope for the future of this great planet.  So how about you lazy bums that do nothing for the environment take a few minutes and think about what you could contribute to the cause. I know I am not perfect, and every now and again I get a touch of eco-laze but when this happens my doctor always prescribes a long hike and a bunch of fresh air.  Breathing in all of the fresh mountain air reinforces the notion that we must protect the environment before we are so polluted that there isn’t any left.  If we all take a stand against eco-laze we can get this epidemic under control and return our environment to healthy and productive place.   If that were to happen then I would finally be able to move on to another rant, and I can assure you there are plenty more where this came from.

– Royce Johnson