Horse Gulch Blog

Watchdogging for the greater Durango area

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Free top five list: budgetary mismanagement of tax dollars by City of Durango officials

10 Nov 2018 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

City of Durango officials are threatening to avoid maintaining public streets in the city because of alleged budgetary shortfalls. Meanwhile, numerous financial decisions that City officials have made for fiscal year 2018 amount to self-inflicted budgetary mismanagement. These poor financial decisions that were made by City officials occurred before voters denied a Nov. 6, 2018 ballot proposal to issue a blank check for a new police station, public sidewalks, streets and cops. Free top five list! Budgetary squandering of tax dollars Here are five of…

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A glimmer of hope for marijuana industry with election of Jared Polis for Colorado Governor

6 Nov 2018 | Posted by Adam Howell. 1 Comment  

Recently elected Colorado Governor Jared Polis has given the marijuana industry a ray of hope for more equitable regulatory treatment, as he is known as a supporter of Amendment 64 and legal cannabis. As this is written, Polis leads in the ballot count over his republican opponent Walker Stapleton by over 100,000 votes. This lead will take him to victory as Colorado’s first governor who is not a marijuana prohibitionist. What the election of Jared Polis means for cannabis enthusiasts and the marijuana industry is…

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She was riding down Hogsback Mountain

4 Nov 2018 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

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City taking public comments and reviewing one-year electric bike trial period Wednesday

21 Oct 2018 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

The City of Durango will be taking public comments on and reviewing the electric bike pilot program at 5:00 p.m. this Wednesday at the Durango Community Recreation Center. Over the past year, the City of Durango has allowed Class I and II electrical bicycles on several hard-surface trails, as well as on one soft-surface trail during a trial period. Hard-surface trails where they were allowed included the Animas River Trail, the Goeglein Gulch Road Trail, and the Florida Road Trail. The only soft-surface trail where…

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FOIA records request stonewalled by San Juan Ntl Forest FOIA Coordinator Jeremiah Hyslop

17 Oct 2018 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

A records request for fire investigation reports related to forest fires that were possibly started by trains of the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad was stonewalled by San Juan National Forest Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Coordinator Jeremiah Hyslop. Hyslop works under San Juan National Forest Supervisor Kara Chadwick in a position where he, in theory, is supposed to help facilitate the release of records to people who make FOIA requests. Hyslop’s ability to respond to my records request may be restricted by officials…

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Scenes from afternoon trail work in Horse Gulch, Telegraph Trail, with Trails 2000

26 Sep 2018 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

Telegraph Trail was a busy place today, where tons of people were riding bikes, running and doing trail maintenance. I joined up with some people from Trails 2000 to trim back the oak brush and trees, and install some basic water bars. We moved some dirt around as necessary with hand tools. Telegraph Hill has some great climbing challenges through some chunky gnar. Remember: Telegraph Trail was named after what was actually a party telephone line.

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Video: Splitboarding east side of Lobo Peak, Wolf Creek Pass, last winter

22 Sep 2018 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

Finding people to go splitboarding with during the winter is spotty. That’s why sometimes you just have to go solo. This is a video that I shot with a Canon Rebel, as well as a GoPro Hero last winter. I rode down Lobo Peak. The snow was deep!

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Bait and switch? City of Durango Mayor cancels camp promise with County last minute

3 Sep 2018 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

A commitment that the City of Durango’s mayor made to La Plata County Commissioners to open a sheltering area by the Durango Dog Park in exchange for the County closing its camp on county land was cancelled this summer. The mayor changed her mind after the County Commissioners followed through with the agreement by closing the County encampment. For many, the question is whether or not this pressure from Madam Mayor Sweetie Marbury was a tactic that was used in order to convince the county…

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Open letter to County Environmental Specialist encouraging revegetation of Horse Gulch Road

22 Aug 2018 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

Dear La Plata County Environmental Specialist Leslie Jacoby, I am writing you to convey my concerns with the barren, hard-packed condition of Horse Gulch Road following the attempts that were made to rehabilitate it last winter. In January, a La Plata County dozer operator filled in ruts, regraded the tread, installed water bars, and widened Horse Gulch Road around the intersection below the Meadow Loop, according to the County Engineer. Seed was raked into the ground following the bulldozer operation, you said. For several months,…

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Stories+public pressure provoke distortion of barricades, closure signage at Falls Creek Road

12 Aug 2018 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

Two gates with “trail closed” signage that Ed Zink installed across Falls Creek Road in June were removed following reporting on Horse Gulch Blog that the barricades defied a court order to keep the road open to the general public. The day before a different, but related story by Jonathan Romeo ran in The Durango Herald, the gate at the top was taken down, and the gate at the bottom was opened. Both gates had the “trail closed” signs removed. It’s unclear who removed these…

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Walking Bishop Castle with a GoPro in Rye, Colorado

8 Aug 2018 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

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Scenes from a trail work day with Trails 2000 in Three Springs

1 Aug 2018 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

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Bike shop owner interferes with popular general public trail-to-forest access on Falls Creek Road

20 Jul 2018 | Posted by Adam Howell. 2 Comments  

The owner of Mountain Bike Specialists has tried blockading all of the general public from crossing a popular public trail known as Falls Creek Road. Falls Creek Road is an unmaintained road that’s used as a trail connecting County Road 203 to National Forest lands and County Road 205. Ed Zink said that he installed two new gates with signage that reads, “Trail Closed Extreme Fire Risk,” across each end of his lands where Falls Creek Road crosses over them. The 416 Fire never burned…

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Trail Review: Spur Line Trail and “skills area pump track” at Three Springs Community Park

11 Jun 2018 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

A new beginner trail in the subdivision of Three Springs has some fast, hard-packed dirt through a mosaic of gamble oak brush, and berms to help you hold the corners. Spur Line Trail, on Southern Ute Growth Fund Land, was built by Trails 2000 crew leaders and volunteers. Hogan Koesis, Purgatory Resort’s Director of Mountain Biking, assisted with machine work on the trail. To get there from Durango, drive east to Wilson Gulch Road, where you will eventually see the trailhead near the northeast corner…

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Scenes from the bmx/mtn bike race at the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic

28 May 2018 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

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Harassment on Ella Vita Court by drunk man from County homeless camp, Jeff Hamerly

26 May 2018 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

While riding my mountain bike up Ella Vita Court towards the Overend Mountain Park, a stumbling drunk man who I’d never seen or met before started talking trash to me. I later learned from the people where he lives at the County homeless camp that his name is Jeff Hamerly. He had a hiking stick, was wearing a black shirt with the sleeves cut off and a black visor for a hat. At about 4:30 when I was riding past him on Ella Vita Court…

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Trail work on Mike’s Trail today, and this Saturday is a trash cleanup day at Cap’s Trail

16 May 2018 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

Today Trails 2000 did some trail maintenance at the top of Mike’s Trail–mainly drainage work and deberming. It’s really hard to work with dry, dusty soil and rock that doesn’t want to pack down. What Mike’s Trail needs is some rain so that we can put some berms on a few corners. You know? This Saturday, May 19, Trails 2000 is organizing people at 9:00 a.m. below the meadow in Horse Gulch to do some trash cleanup beside Cap’s Trail in honor of Colorado Public…

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City officials ask board members to restrict their 1st Amendment right to free speech

13 Apr 2018 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

At an orientation meeting on Thursday, City of Durango officials asked the appointed members of its 21 boards to restrict their speech outside of board meetings. Several examples of speech that City officials asked the board members in attendance to restrict could be interpreted as free speech that’s protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. The First Amendment of the U.S.  Constitution lays out the right: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;…

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Scenes of Durango Devo Flyers learning to fly, freeride mountain bike culture

10 Apr 2018 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

When you ride jumps or features on your bike in such a way that allows you to express style, that’s freeride mountain bike culture. Durango Devo Flyers teaches youth how to play this sport of using their mountain bike as a toy, and I support that lifestyle. Bikes are not just for transportation. Take pride in the sport. Love it. This post is a rare glimpse into the sport that’s here to stay in Durango. href=”https://horsegulchblog.com/?attachment_id=9763″>

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$5,000 approved for closure of trails & meadow restoration in Overend Mountain Park

25 Mar 2018 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

A $5,000-dollar meadow restoration project that would also close trails at the top of Ned’s Hill in Overend Mountain Park was approved by the Natural Lands Preservation Advisory Board this month. I was the only Board member to vote against it; I don’t vote for trail closures without more confidence-inspiring alternatives that are less impactful. Impacts from this project would come in the form of trees, brush, and grass that would have to be removed to reroute the trail around the meadow. A map of…

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