First Americans here as
early as 25,000 years ago
NEW WORLD CALENDAR … I’ve been toying for years with a new calendar to match our Christian-refined Graeco-Roman calendar and yet reflect our ancient history as humans in the New World – the arrival of the first Homo sapiens in North and South America being the baseline date that seemed the most relevant for our species (not just one religious sect). For the last few decades, 12,500 Before the Christian Era [BCE] – or 14,500 years ago -- seemed to be the earliest fossil evidence for humans in this place. The theory went that Clovis people migrated over the land bridge across the Bering Sea and populated the New World … However, recent archaeological finds have thrown that timetable (and that theory) into disarray. The November issue of Scientific American details the change in thinking of pre-history in the New World and the real dates for the arrival of H. sapiens – somewhere between 25,000 and 15,000 years ago … Voilà, a new calendar start date emerges (more on this next week).
MIDGE CARRIERE … One of the kindest and sweetest of the elders in the region, it was very sad to hear of her passing. I remember an interview I did years ago in Norwood with Mildred Carriere for the newspaper – she told wonderful stories and had a great grasp of Telluride’s history. And she had wonderful family in Norwood, including her daughter Charlotte Royer and son Moe Carriere … She will be dearly missed.
WEEKLY QUOTA … It’s not the mistakes you make, it’s what you make of your mistakes.
RICK CABLES … Our former USFS regional forester has taken a job under Mike King at the Dept. of Natural Resources, in the Hickenlooper administration, overseeing the merger of the Division of Wildlife with the Division of State Parks. It’s a cost-cutting measure, but not at the expense of one program over the other (although State Parks is broke and DOW has significant hunting revenues). It just takes out some senior management positions and combines them into one, and leaves most everything else intact – perhaps a few duplicated services … I’ve liked Rick since we met years ago. I’ve known a number of regional foresters for the Rocky Mountains, and Rick has been the most accessible, willing to listen, and supportive of his forest supervisors as well as local governments. Since his USFS office was in Denver, moving from Federal Heights to Sherman Street near the Capitol wasn’t a big jolt. In fact, it beat moving to DC, which could have been his career track, if he’d chosen that … As another Colorado hand did – Jim Hubbard – former State Forester who’s gone on to become Deputy Chief … But who wants to go to DC these days when the politics are so acrimonious. It’s almost gridlock at the top. Nothing much can get done. And Rick likes to get things done. He and GMUG Forest Supervisor Charlie have lots of claims to fame, but none more controversial recently than the denial of the ski expansion into Crested Butte’s Snodgrass Mountain. The matter went all the way up to Asst. Ag Secretary Harris Sherman (another friend of Telluride) and their decision stood … But what I like most about Rick is his philosophy of devolving authority down to the grassroots – a deeply Green thought. In the new Div. of Parks & Wildlife, he’s using “regionalization” to get district managers more involved in state planning and operations – and for tailoring state decisions to their local regions … When I pressed him on an OHV question, he produced Tom Morrissey, his state trails program manager. And commissioners from four alpine counties who share a unique OHV ranger program have already started a conversation with Tom … Things may not work in DC. But in Denver, and in San Miguel County, some bureaucrats and some local elected officials are trying to get things done.
TELLURIDE TIRE … Stuart Armstrong was giving away free raffle tickets for a ski pass to folks who loaded up on four new snow tires this year. Even without giveaways, I like Stuart’s prices and quick, friendly service down in Illium Valley … This is one place where goods are “cheaper in Telluride.”
THE TALKING GOURD
Early morning snow flurry melts
within an hour.
During which, Dream Queen,
what did you achieve?
I listened to a crow's mazurka
on a pebble roof.
From How Shadows Are Bundled, UNM Press, 2009