With news of layoffs at Camp Bird this week, we’re reminded of how the fortunes of mining in western Colorado have ebbed and flowed for over 100 years. The hopes and dreams of early prospectors still flicker in today’s mines like oil lamps in a dark passage. As mine employees wait out these 39 days without a job—many of whom gave up steady jobs for the promise of Camp Bird—we are reminded that we’re told this is just a hiccup, and we are reminded that the Revenue-Virginius is doing well.
Our economy, albeit still slowed by the lingering recession, is diverse enough to withstand a hiccup.
Historically, mining is a business marked by interruption. To not expect a hiccup at either mine is to ignore the history of the industry on the Western Slope. As we support those who have recently been laid off for the strange sum of 39 days, we offer this tribute to our local miners, written by a Western Slope newsman, not long ago and not far from here: