News

Mon
21
Aug

The frontier eclipse of 1878

The Colorado Springs Gazette ran strange line figure drawings of the June 22, 1878 eclipse in its Aug. 3, 1878 issue. This one depicts a gentleman who went about town just prior to the eclipse with a sample coffin under his arm, since so many were expecting the eclipse to usher in the end of the world.
Courtesy photo

by Alan Todd
atodd@ouraynews.com

On July 22, 1878, the "American Eclipse” passed over the western part of the American frontier.
Predicted by scientists, this rare event stretched from Montana through north and east Texas.
According to David Baron's book "American Eclipse," three scientists set out west to observe the eclipse.
Planet hunter James Craig Watson sought to find a new planet in the afternoon twilight.
Inventor Thomas Edison hoped to leverage the eclipse to further his scientific career.
Astronomer Maria Mitchell wanted to show the world that femininity did not preclude one from being a scientist.
Watson, an accomplished astronomer from the University of Michigan, had discovered...

Sun
20
Aug

OURAY COUNTY: Local ranch leads effort in habitat improvement project

A fire break cut into the base of Mt. Baldy is visible from much of Ridgway. When originally carved into the hillside, the swath was cut to mineral earth and looked like a dirt road. Now, after the annual monsoon, it has greened up and is populated with nearly three feet of new growth, mostly grasses and other plants.

Courtesy photo by Kevin Chismire


By Mary Menz
news@ouraynews.com


At last Thursday’s West Region Wildfire Council meeting in Montrose, wildlife biologist Steve Woodis presented an outline for a project to improve the habitat of the Ouray bighorn sheep population. Still in the early stages, the project described by Woodis aims to defragment bighorn sheep habitat, while increasing the amount and quality of forage for cattle and big game species.
Before he presented the plan, Woodis first dispelled some rumors. Woodis explained that the obvious ribbon of green snaking up the mountain on the east side of US 550 is a fire line, or fuel break. The wide swath cut into the landscape is for...

Sat
19
Aug

OURAY COUNTY: 
Steering committee to form for stream management plan


by Dalton Carver
dalton@ouraynews.com


Following up on a water assessment conducted by Wright Water Engineers in 2016, the Board of County Commissioners authorized the path to the next step to ensure county water viability at a special meeting last Wednesday, Aug. 9. The recommendation followed by the BOCC was one of County Attorney Marti Whitmore’s last as an employee of Ouray County, as she has taken the position of Montrose County Attorney.
With the water assessment detailing how...

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Sat
19
Aug

TOWN OF RIDGWAY: 
Ordinance needed to give bear protections teeth

Town of Ridgway public works employee Danny Powers was honored at the August council meeting for 20 years of service to the town.

Plaindealer photo by Dalton Carver


by Dalton Carver
dalton@ouraynews.com


As town residents have recently noticed, a bear problem has struck Ridgway. Walking through town in the early hours of the morning, one can follow the path bears have taken by following the scattered trash, knocked-over cans and even splintered wooden waste storage structures. In response, town council directed staff at its Aug. 9 regular meeting to look into an ordinance addressing animal-resistant containers and a fee schedule for knocked-over bins and other bear attractants.
The town code, which requires only a tight-fitting lid and notes animal-resistant containers are “preferred,” has no real teeth when it comes to...

Fri
18
Aug

OURAY COUNTY
: Controversy continues over Section 24

An image created by Assistant Planning Director Bryan Sampson illustrates the difference between regulation floor area and square footage in the high alpine residential development regulations.

Courtesy image


by Dalton Carver
dalton@ouraynews.com


The controversial high alpine development regulations have returned to the Ouray County Planning Commission for a guided review of specific sections, but some planning commissioners have a feeling Section 24’s return may be more complicated than just a few tweaks. The OCPC started its review of the section at a work session the evening of Tuesday, Aug. 15.
Considering yurts quasi-occupied structures, the land use department has historically required building permits for yurt decks. With the approval of Section 24 in October 2016, yurt decks became a structure that required a developer to jump through the hoops of high alpine development, including fulfilling parcel retirements and acreage requirements.
The yurt deck process changed a couple months ago when...

Fri
18
Aug

TOWN OF RIDGWAY: 
River district source of public unrest

Seeking to protect the river corridor, town council is considering a river overlay district inspired by the 2011 Land Use Plan.

Plaindealer photo by Dalton Carver


by Dalton Carver
dalton@ouraynews.com


Despite changes from its previous introduction, another attempt to introduce an ordinance that would create an overlay district for the Uncompahgre River failed after significant public input, mostly directed against the proposed regulation. The introduction at the Aug. 9 regular town council meeting was the second time the ordinance had been proposed.
At the July council meeting, the proposed Uncompahgre River Overlay District (UROD) was met with similar...

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Fri
11
Aug
atodd's picture

Community mourns passing of Fedel

by Beecher Threatt
beecher@ouraynews.com

Beloved Ouray resident Joan Fedel passed away in the early morning of Monday, Aug. 7. She was 95.
Hundreds of friends posted tributes on social media in honor of the longtime teacher’s strength of character and open heart. Granddaughter Kentee Larson Pasek’s Facebook page was deluged with an outpouring of condolences.
The family arranged hospice care for Fedel in her home in April, Pasek said, and she was able to stay...

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Tue
08
Aug

TOWN OF RIDGWAY: Rendezvous brings world-class art to town

Ridgway firefighter Mary Reinhardt drives a tractor train at the Ridgway Rendezvous last year. The train transported kids and parents around the park and through the various art exhibits.

Plaindealer file photo


by Mary Menz
news@ouraynews.com


Ranked nearly as high as the prestigious and long-running Cherry Creek and Crested Butte annual arts festivals, Ridgway Rendezvous is a must-attend festival for professional artists nationwide. In historic rendezvous custom, the public looks forward to mingling in Ridgway each August with artists selling their wares, just as trappers and hunters mixed with buyers annually in the early 19th century.
“A juried festival ensures that we have high quality art represented here every year. We’ve been told by several artists that this is one of their top grossing shows, so we know it’s well-received by the buying public in Ouray County,” said Ashley King-Grambley, executive director for Weehawken Creative Arts Centers.
Weehawken is the organizer and promoter of the festival.
The 33rd Annual Ridgway Rendezvous on Aug. 11-12 features...

Tue
08
Aug

OURAY COUNTY: 
Camp Bird mine work may impact Jeep businesses


by Dalton Carver
dalton@ouraynews.com


A deal is in the works for a private company to purchase the non-water rights part of Camp Bird Mine, but that agreement could include some area clean-up by both the company and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Martin Mccomb, an EPA on-scene coordinator, updated the Board of County Commissioners on the situation during its regular meeting Tuesday, Aug. 1 and fielded questions from the public.
Mccomb presented the EPA’s work plan, pending the purchase approval through a bankruptcy settlement, at Tuesday’s meeting. The plan concerns...

Mon
07
Aug
atodd's picture

Hiking on high… a fun way to get in shape for summer

If you are like me—a little kid with 67 birthdays—then you believe Einstein was spot on when he said, “Play is the highest form of research.” And how fortunate are we to have the “lab” in our own backyard?

It’s been a long winter; we are sooo ready to get outside and play in the mountains. But alas, they are waist deep in snow. Take heart my spring-fevered friends, I’m about to share some high altitude options for May and June that do not involve packing skis or waddling around on snowshoes. 

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