Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Ranchers Conserving the Open Wilds of Southern Colorado

While I was driving through the amazingly empty southern Colorado/northern New Mexico area on my awesome trip a few weeks ago, I got curious about the mountains to the west of I-25.  It's an interesting ecological area, the border region between the Chihuahuan Desert, the high plains, and the Rockies, and among those empty mountains are 14ers and dinosaur tracks.

You've never heard of any of these; they're kinda sorta the Front Range of the Rockies but way down in southern CO, called the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. From

Turns out the army is trying to expand their little-known base there, and in a familiar theme, the local private landowners, ranchers, environmentalists, and outdoors types recognize they actually all have a common interest to work together.  The story here is a fascinating (and useful one) on multiple levels.  Here's the Summitpost entry for one of those peaks (Culebra), some of which are privately owned - but accessible thanks to the owners.

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