Horse Gulch Blog

Watchdogging for the greater Durango area

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Artwork by Austin Hatala.

Submit follow up comments after last joint board meeting on proposed trail closures

15 Dec 2014 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

The City of Durango is accepting additional public comments regarding the recommendations from the Natural Surface Trails Committee, and more importantly, their proposal to close several popular trail segments on City lands. If you attended the last joint meeting between the Natural Lands Board and the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board where they discussed the Committees’ recommendations, heard public comments and discussed the proposed closure of trails on City lands, you may have some questions such as: Why is Trails 2000 on a Committee that’s…

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Latest GOCO Open Space Grant request to help fund upper Raiders Ridge purchase–denied

15 Dec 2014 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

Last Spring, the City of Durango applied for a grant from Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) to help purchase 113 acres of Jake Dalla’s land on the extended Raiders Ridge. This week, we got word that the City’s GOCO grant request had been denied, which means that Durango might instead follow their backup plan to purchase all or part of Dalla’s land with with its own money. While a purchase made with matching GOCO and City of Durango funding would likely result in the land going…

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Buddies on Raiders Ridge

Raiders Ridge

7 Dec 2014 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

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Erosion-control wattles, seen at the bottom of the drainage in Horse Gulch, were placed with good intentions. Their ability to actually control the flow of rain water and debris in this application is questionable. They were placed in the ditch right above the Horse Gulch trail head.

Questionable placement of erosion control wattles in Horse Gulch

7 Dec 2014 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

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City to soon close on Jake Dalla’s Raiders Ridge property

10 Nov 2014 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

The City of Durango will be closing on 113 acres of Jake Dalla’s Raiders Ridge property at the end of December, which could come with the help of a Great Outdoors Colorado grant. With or without the grant, the city is under contract to purchase the land from Dalla at his requested price of $6,000 dollars per acre. If the GOCO grant is not awarded, the city will purchase the 113 acres in two phases, said Durango’s Assistant Community Development Director Kevin Hall. Assistant Community…

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La Plata Open Space Conservancy’s Jerry Zink dismisses needs of mountain bikers

10 Nov 2014 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

The president of La Plata Open Space Conservancy scoffed at the requests of fourteen mountain bikers who asked two city boards at a joint meeting not to close several trails on city lands that are slated for closure. Jerry Zink, President of La Plata Open Space Conservancy and owner of Sunnyside Meats processing facility, erroneously told a crowd of mostly mountain bike advocates that conservation easements don’t respond to need, and that Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) does not award grants for user-specific projects. La Plata…

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Horse Gulch Blog election result predictions on a few local and regional issues/candidates

2 Nov 2014 | Posted by Adam Howell. 2 Comments  

The following is an attempt to predict a few of the 2014 election results for Colorado. It is a prediction of what I think will happen, and not in all predictions what I want to happen: Governor (D) John Hickenlooper ↑51% (R) Bob Beauprez ↓49% U.S. Senate (D) Mark Udall ↑51% (R) Cory Gardner ↓49% U.S. House of Representatives, 3rd District (R) Scott Tipton ↑60% (D) Abel Tapia ↓ 40% Colorado State House of Representatives, 59th District (R) John Paul Brown ↑51% (D) Mike McLachlan…

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Reason to label GMOs: politicization and lack of long-term human health studies

25 Oct 2014 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

At the polls this November, I will be among the many registered voters who agree that when you shop at the grocery store, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and most of the products produced with GMOs should be labeled. I’m proud to live in Colorado knowing that most people around me care about their health. One example is our people have the lowest rate of obesity of any other state in the U.S., according to the United Health Foundation. Caring about your health means knowing what’s…

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New road base and water bars on Horse Gulch Road

25 Oct 2014 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

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Horse Gulch Road gets new road base of dirt smoothed out by county’s equipment

21 Oct 2014 | Posted by Adam Howell. 2 Comments  

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A woman rides part of Grabens Loop (slated for closure) directly above its connection with the top of Star Wars Trail in Overend Mountain Park.

Come to joint board meeting next Monday and ask city not to destroy seven local trails

20 Oct 2014 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

Next Monday at 5:30 p.m., our local trails on city lands will need advocates at a city meeting where two boards will be discussing whether or not to destroy seven popular trail segments  that are marked for closure. After Durango’s Assistant Community Development Director Kevin Hall and the Natural Surface Trails Committee inventoried trails on city lands, a map was created, which color coded several trails in Overend Mountain Park and Dalla Mountain Parks for closure, based on Hall’s claims that they were redundant, or…

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Durango Fire and Rescue to Parks and Rec Director: Repair Horse Gulch Road for trucks

15 Oct 2014 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

A captain and the chief of Durango Fire and Rescue have asked the City’s Parks and Recreation Director to repair the access to Horse Gulch Road to ensure a timely and efficient response by rescue personnel in the event of a fire or medical emergency. Chief Daniel Noonan and Captain Leo Lloyd of Durango Fire Protection District sent a letter to Durango’s Parks and Recreation Director Cathy Metz asking for the repairs, while outlining the historical recreational uses of the road. They said that a…

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Anonymous survey on upcoming election for county and state candidates, initiatives

6 Oct 2014 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

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Scenes from 2nd opening day of Durango’s first recreational pot shop, Durango Organics

4 Oct 2014 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

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Horse Gulch Trailhead cleanup costs after Sept. 21st monsoonal downpoor? $4,873 dollars

4 Oct 2014 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

Following a heavy monsoonal rain on Sept. 21, 2014, tons of flood debris and water trashed the brand new Horse Gulch Trailhead in Durango. Horse Gulch Blog LLC filed an open records request with the city to find out how much money they spent removing mud, rocks, sticks and water from the trailhead. Much of the debris needing removal had accumulated upstream of  four ovular culverts installed below some newly-paved parking spaces. Ten city employees using a backhoe, a skid steer, two mini excavators, three…

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From left to right, Kevin Hall, Mary Monroe Brown, and former County Manager Shawn Nau at a meeting on a proposed road connecting Ewing Mesa with Grandview, aka the Grandview Connection.

City Official: barrage of identical email responses on possible trail closures a distraction

30 Sep 2014 | Posted by Adam Howell. 2 Comments  

Emails submitted by readers of Horse Gulch Blog to the City of Durango about the possible closure of seven popular trail segments on city lands has elicited a written response of disapproval from the receiving official regarding the submission format. Assistant Community Development Director Kevin Hall is the city official receiving the emails from mostly local citizens in resistance to the possible closure of trail segments that two city boards will be considering at a joint board meeting on October 27. Hall wrote me yesterday…

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This culvert by Horse Gulch trail head functions as a dam for rain and flood debris

22 Sep 2014 | Posted by Adam Howell. 2 Comments  

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This storm drain under a corner of the Horse Gulch trail head parking lot was completely overwhelmed by rocks, sticks and mud after a storm last Sunday morning.

Horse Gulch gets hammered by monsoonal flood rains

21 Sep 2014 | Posted by Adam Howell. 2 Comments  

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Got gap jumps? Hawks Nest Freeride Trail does for the time being--unless the city goes ahead with recommendations from the Natural Surface Trails Committee recommendation to close (destroy) the trail.

Sign this petition resisting possible closure of several trail segments on City of Durango lands

12 Sep 2014 | Posted by Adam Howell. 1 Comment  

Two Durango advisory boards will discuss and consider the closure of several popular trail segments at Overend Mountain Park, Dalla Mountain Park and other city-owned public lands at a meeting in October. Seven of these trail segments that were recommended for closure by the City of Durango’s Natural Surface Trails Committee were reported on in a previous post on this blog. It’s up to people like you who are willing to make  your voices heard in order to prevent many of these trail segments from…

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Artwork by Austin Hatala.

City boards to consider closing several trail segments in Overend Mountain Park, etc.

12 Sep 2014 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

Two Durango advisory boards will discuss and consider the closure of several popular trail segments at Overend Mountain Park, Dalla Mountain Park and other city-owned public lands at a meeting in October. Horse Gulch Blog is hosting a petition drive to defend the existence of some of these trails as a complement to this story aimed at raising awareness of where these trails are and who benefits from them. Many of the trails that were marked for closure by the Natural Surface Trails Committee (NST…

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