News

Fri
25
Aug

Highgraders Holiday at new Ouray Miner’s Park this weekend

Highgrader's Holiday

Highgraders Holiday co-organizer Steve Martinez drills a test hole into a San Juan Tuff boulder using a 125-pound jack leg. The jack leg drilling contest requires competitors to drive a three-foot length of steel into two numbered squares on two different boulders. The event takes place this weekend in Ouray.

Courtesy photo


by Mary Menz
news@ouraynews.com


Imagine holding a carbon steel stake straight while your partner swings an eight to 12-pound sledge hammer to drive it into the rock being drilled. The hole needs to be deep enough to hold a stick of dynamite, so it takes multiple swings to drive different lengths of stake into the rock. The one swinging the hammer is the “driller.” The one holding the stake is the “shaker,” for good reason. Both require nerves of steel, because one wrong move and the contest is over for them.
The double-jack event is just one of the mining skills competitions at this weekend’s Highgraders Holiday.
The competitions take place...


 

Fri
25
Aug

Water steering committee moves forward


by Dalton Carver
dalton@ouraynews.com

Fri
25
Aug

New Ice Park proposal gets chilly reception from council

Ouray City Council Meeting

Ouray resident Michael Bazin reads portions of a four-page prepared statement to Ouray city councilors in front of a packed house Monday night, detailing issues and solutions to the shortage of long-term housing in Ouray and the outbreak of short-term rental housing without, as Bazin described, adequate oversight and regulations. The council decided to place the discussion on a future agenda.

Plaindealer photo by Alan Todd

 


by Alan Todd
atodd@ouraynews.com


The question posed to the Ouray City Council Monday night was whether or not the council will negotiate with Ouray Ice Park, Inc., on a long-term agreement for the Ice Park. After months of negotiation and meetings with an Ice Park steering committee composed of two council members, the city administrator and multiple representatives from the OIPI board of directors, the council was thrown a curve by OIPI within the past two weeks, when its board delivered a new proposal for negotiation.
The new plan sets forth...


 

Fri
25
Aug

Citizens recommend sales tax measure for courthouse renovation

Ouray County Courthouse

At the fourth and final meeting of the courthouse project task force last week, citizens unanimously voted to recommend placing a sales tax measure to improve the courthouse on the November ballot.

Plaindealer photo by Dalton Carver


by Beecher Threatt
beecher@ouraynews.com


Citizens who gathered for the fourth and final meeting of the courthouse project task force last week voted unanimously to recommend that the Board of County Commissioners place a question on the November ballot to increase sales taxes to fund restoration and renovation of the 129-year-old county courthouse. They also recommended the board establish a citizen oversight committee if the ballot measure passes and the project moves forward.
Nine county residents attended the meeting, fewer than at previous meetings. In addition, two county commissioners, other elected officials, and county administrative and court staff were present.
Before the vote...

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...

To view more please log in or subscribe to the digital edition.

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...

To view more please log in or subscribe to the digital edition.

Pages

Subscribe to News