Salute to Bear Creek’s Elder of the Year
JOHN MICETIC … John was one of the earliest people I ran into, when I came back to Telluride, after my disastrous Placerville fire. Back when I re-invented myself from arts council director to freelance writer to cub reporter at the old Telluride Times (Scott and Karen Brown era). Covering Mayor Micetic I always felt -- as a member of the Third Estate -- I could ask any question that popped into my radical hippie head (those were the days when I was moonlighting as Earth First! poetry editor). And John always fairly called on me in turn, and usually let me get some sort of public answer for my story … Three decades later, his resignation Dec. 31st as the County’s representative to the Telluride Airport Board, deserves some kind of fireworks recognition in this community … Whether you agree with the decision to build an airport in this high glacial park or not, there’s no hiding the fact that the Telluride’s financial health (aka the real estate boom) of the last couple decades depended in no small part on the airport’s creation – as much for its private jet access as its federally subsidized locally guaranteed commercial deplanements … And, into the future, for getting at least a foot in the door of the international luxury resort market (although I’m not yet convinced the airport has to remain commercial to do this, if it can’t compete in an unsubsidized marketplace) … John has been tireless in his support, defense and good operation of the airport, which has been an essential element of our financial well-being in San Miguel County. I suggest we all toast our jolly good John for 28 years of protecting the economic engine that allows the 99% to make a good living in these mountains.
LYNN PADGETT … Sorry to see incumbent Montrose County Commissioner David White feel the need to attack a fellow commissioner publicly in announcing his own re-election bid, as quoted in a past issue of the Watch … Ouray County’s Lynn Padgett has done an exemplary job of representing her constituents in state and regional forums (as demonstrated by her award two months ago as Colorado Counties’ Commissioner of the Year). And she’s been the hardest-working researcher on local, regional and even some national issues that I’ve met in my 15 years in local office … Of course, I don’t always agree with Lynn. Conflicting views are intrinsic to politics. But she’s always been willing to listen and compromise, if she can, without violating the trust of her constituents – who come first for her in controversies, as they should … If only as a gentleman, if not as a partisan politician, I think Mr. White ought to publicly apologize to Ms. Padgett for his unsubstantiated slur.
FOREST SERVICE … I think USFS got the message when a lot of us on both sides of the political aisle protested the federal agency’s not extending the timeline for comments on their new nation-wide Planning Rule last year … Our own Uncompahgre National Forest (part of the joint Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre & Gunnison National Forest -- headquartered in Delta but with a Ranger District office in Norwood) has tried three separate times to update its forest-wide planning rule – only to have it tossed out or pulled back for some reason. So, there’s no question a new rule is needed – both on the national level (thanks to a court ruling in favor of an environmental group) and on the local forest level (where they need the certainty of a new rule to finalize their own local planning). But not giving this big national change the opportunity for more comprehensive public comment from collaborative groups (as I was trying to form with enviro and timber interests) seemed unfortunate and politically driven. Bad public policy for good strategic politics was not a trade-off that I appreciated from folks I considered progressive allies. So, I kind of tossed in the national towel, and decided to focus on local issues for a while … But I just learned that Obama’s Sec. of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has proposed the creation of a national Planning Rule Resource Advisory Council to help implement the new Planning Rule that the USFS has officially adopted. As a long-time advocate of resource advisory councils (RACs) for the USFS (particularly as former Chair of the National Association of Counties’ Gateway Communities Subcommittee), I’m heartened to see the USFS embracing this important community feedback tool that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management has used so effectively in Colorado, and all around the country.
25 THOUSAND 12 … Not the year of our Lord or King or Emperor-Pope, but of the first Beringian to set foot on North America … It was an earlier Pleistocene warming trend (similar to our current Holocene anthropogenic catastrophe called Climate Change) that pulled back the Laurentian Ice Sheets and allowed humans a northern passage across today’s Bering Straits. In fact, a recent Scientific American piece pinpoints that possible land passage at some 17,000 years ago. And it goes on, if there were a sea passage, guesstimating first humans as far back as 25,000 years ago. So there’s my working calendar’s “birth” date. The birth of humans in the New World. I want to mark my brief passage on Turtle Island from that moment to this moment. To now.... No question, it’s past time for a new calendar in my life … I began as a very Christian young man. Even studied deeply in that tradition – philosophy, poetry, rhetoric, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, the Bible ... But the Psychedelic Sixties forced me to challenge all traditions. Everything I thought I knew. Everything I believed in. It all got thrown tossed salad up for grabs. I left college for a stint as Volunteer In Service To America on Montana’s Crow Indian Reservation. Where I found a deeper spirituality. Not mine, but one of many beautiful and powerful indigenous traditions … And then I came back to San Francisco in the Summer of Love. And have attended Rainbow Gatherings ever since. My spirituality has grown and shrunk and morphed many times. But the way I mark the days of my life have been stuck in (for me) an old paradigm … Time for a change, I’m thinking (if not at 66, then when?) … So I’ve taken to creating an Ancient North American Calendar (ANAC). Replacing our Julian/Gregorian system of keeping track of time from out the hands of one religion, and into the hands of science’s best guess … Not 2012 [TwentyTwelve] but 25012 [Twentyfive Thousand Twelve].
WILD HORSES … Community blessings on the Serengeti Foundation for purchasing several large Hughes Ranch properties adjacent to San Miguel County’s Spring Creek wild horse herd … I have a feeling our wild horses – probably direct descendants of the thousands of horses the Tabeguache Utes left behind that terrible summer of 1881 (23881 ANAC) when the U.S. Army forcibly evicted Ouray’s band from the San Miguel and Uncompahgre watersheds – have a much more promising future in store … And thank you to all our local and regional wild horse advocates for making this a political issue.
THE TALKING GOURD
Love starts there.
Log Hill Village