The story goes on, and on: Looking deeper at the lives impacted by the rise of Ridgway Reservoir

by Dalton Carver

Inspired by the reemergence of history at Blue Mesa Reservoir in Gunnison County, the Plaindealer was interested to know what may sleep beneath the pool of our local water reserve, Ridgway Reservoir. This story, focusing on two families that were directly impacted by the reservoir’s construction, is the final installment of the series that revisits the reservoir’s impact and history on Ouray County.

Dick Jossi, a Ouray County resident for 44 years, sits down on the couch in his living area as his wife, Gail, works in the kitchen. Soft jazz music is playing in the background as the sun streams in through a large window. The Jossi property is covered with equal measures of sun and snow, an excellent omen for the very topic Dick is prepared to speak about – Ridgway Reservoir.
The Jossis live just north of the City of Ouray, near the wastewater treatment pool. Motorists, both residents and visitors, pass by the Jossi residence without even knowing the local history the couple has lived through. When Dick was contacted for an interview, he considered refreshing himself on the history of the area and the project but decided against it.
“Why do I need to?” he mused. “I’ve watched all this stuff happen.”
Being long-time residents, the Jossis have seen Ouray County change and develop over the years, including the Dallas Creek project in its entirety.
After selling a business in Los Angeles, Dick and Gail purchased Heald Mesa in...

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