Not so icy
Several places in Carbondale improved this winter, especially the Promenade and sidewalks near the Recreation Center. Thank you to those whose efforts were put forth. And, flowers to the road crew who worked during those warm, melting February afternoons followed by deep-freezes overnights that create the tire-shredding ice knives of road ruts if surfaces are not cleared.

J.Coursey, Carbondale

Green IS the New Black
Kudos to the folks who produced Green Is the New Black. It was a fun, beautiful event celebrating the reuse and repurposing of all kinds of things into the things we put on our bodies. It is good to be reminded of this message. We have come a long way, learning about the importance of what we put into our bodies, but we often don’t think much about the sustainability of our clothing. 

I find it very timely that this week I have been reading “Unraveling,” by Peggy Orenstein, where I have learned some amazing things. Over 60% of the garments worn on this planet are now either partly or entirely made up of petroleum-derived synthetics (plastics). Every time one of these garments is washed over 250,000 tiny microfilaments, too small to be caught in a washing machine filter or in a wastewater treatment facility, go straight into our waterways. That’s equivalent to 50 billion plastic bottles a year — just in microfibers! Wash less often! Wear Wool, Cotton, Linen!

Today, Americans buy 60 % more clothing annually than they did in 2000. The amount of textiles we throw away has doubled in that time to 80 pounds per person, per year. That’s 5,787 pounds of textiles that are either dumped or burned every second. If you must buy, buy from second hand stores. Check out “Buy Nada Carbondale” on FaceBook. Recycle textiles at Pitkin County Landfill.

Be fashionable and be GREEN!

Kate Friesen, Carbondale

Act to restore the Upper Crystal Valley
There is a simple act you can do right now to reverse the course of the conversion of Marble and environs from a serene wilderness portal to a pit stop for assault vehicles.

The impact of ATVs (all-terrain vehicles) begins as soon as they arrive. Forty-feet plus dually diesels pulling trailers with multiple machines take two to three times the space as a passenger car does. This matters in the tiny town of Marble, where all space in town is taken on a typical summer weekend.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife has banned parking for ATV unloading at Beaver Lake to protect parking for lake visitors. Gunnison County has banned parking on most of County Road 3, citing safety and access concerns. The Forest Service has a plan for parking, but does not consider it an immediate priority. The Town of Marble has responded to citizen concerns by banning ATV trailer parking on all town streets.

This leaves only one space large enough to accommodate ATV parking: the Marble Mill Site Park, a national historic site. Plans to continue to allow ATV use on the Lead King Loop are based on the availability of this parking.

Last summer was the centennial anniversary of the most famous project from the Mill Site Park: the Lincoln Memorial. Covenants held by the Small Business Administration (SBA) protect the park’s historic value. The covenants were included in the deed which transferred ownership of the park to the town of Marble, stating that the park was to be managed only for historic preservation and park visitors. 

Provision of parking at the Park for an offsite user group with great impact is a violation of the covenants. This has been recognized by the SBA and the TOM attorney, but the town has continued to violate the covenants for many years. This violation was recognized by the Gunnison County commissioners, one of whom stated that the problem needs to be addressed. The mayor of Marble has contacted the SBA in an attempt to amend the covenants to allow parking for ATV unloading. 

The amendment of the covenants is governed by the National Historic Preservation Act ( NHPA), which states that when a federal agency licenses or permits an activity that affects cultural resources, that agency must consult with the state historic preservation officer. The federal agency here is the SBA, represented by William Gery. The state historic preservation officer is the state archeologist, Holly Norton of History Colorado. The process is called a Section 106 Review. Gery acknowledged that he had been contacted to amend the covenants and suggested that interested parties contact the state archeologist to express their concerns.

In response to citizen concerns, the Gunnison County commissioners have agreed to sunset the provision which allows ATV use on County Road 3, and revisit the decision annually. Last season they reapproved the ATV use within a few days of expiration. At this point, they have not reapproved the ATV use this year. They may be waiting to see what happens regarding parking.

So, here is what you can do. Write one short and simple email and send a copy to each of these parties:

William Gery, SBA : 

Holly Norton, History Colorado, State Archeologist : 

Laura Puckett Daniels, Gunnison County Commissioner: 

Liz Smith, Gunnison County Commissioner: 

For further information, call me at 970-234-7632 or email 

Alex Menard, Marble

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