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253Re: [hr100] course change?

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  • Ulrich Kamm
    Mar 7, 2001
      Hi Charlie,

      I have to leave in a minute. I don't know yet where the possibly "forbidden"
      area is. But there are so many mountains around Silverton - it shouldn't be
      too difficult to create a new HR course. If detailed planning of such a
      change, if it becomes necessary already for this year's race, wouldn't be
      possible, let's do a low key event with very few people -like in the "good
      old days", with map and compass and only vry few aid stations (crews). I'm
      sure you it would be a lot of fun for you to design a new course.

      We got our Green Card 3 weeks ago.

      In a hurry,

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Charles T. Thorn" <thorn@...>
      To: <hr100@yahoogroups.com>
      Cc: <cappis@...>; <spat@...>
      Sent: Wednesday, March 07, 2001 11:50 PM
      Subject: Re: [hr100] course change?

      > Bob Boeder wrote:
      > >Anybody know anything about a proposed course change coming off Handies?
      > Bob and All,
      > My response has three parts. The first two address your question and why
      > the change. Part C is intended for mature audiences and you should NOT
      > feel obligated to read it. "DISCLAIMER:" What follows is my personnal
      > opinion and does not necessarily represent the opinions of anyone else.
      > It's also undoubtedly riddled with inaccuracies and prejudices that might
      > be rooted out in time.
      > A. Short Answer:
      > You're correct about the course change. We will be coming over the top of
      > Handies and then take the north ridge to the trail going east into Grizzly
      > Gulch, then down Grizzly to Burrows Park. From there we'll take the shelf
      > road to Sherman. That change adds some miles. We will subtract about two
      > miles by NOT going all the way through Ouray to the City Park. The Ouray
      > aid station will be on the south edge of town near or at Box Canyon Park.
      > B. Now, you ask, "Why are we changing the course?"
      > The answer is fairly long and still unfolding. I'll try to give a very
      > short version.
      > Last summer, in Silverton and other communities across the San Juan
      > Mountains of Colorado, several community meetings were held to gauge local
      > support for Federal legislation that would create new Wilderness areas.
      > The Silverton meeting had representation from the Colorado Environmental
      > Coalition (CEC). AT that time and in email correspondence, CEC indicated
      > that they supported Hardrock being able to continue if this area were made
      > into a Wilderness. The San Juan Board of County Commissioners supported
      > the proposed wilderness with a few reservations. One of those
      > was that the Hardrock be grandfathered.
      > Just after the November election, the CEC, with absolutely no coordination
      > with the Hardrock organization, filed notice with the BLM that Hardrock
      > does not have an Environmental Assessment. According to Colorado BLM
      > edict, such an EA seems to be required for special use activities, such as
      > Hardrock, that go through a Wilderness Study Area, namely Handies WSA. No
      > serious informed person could conclude that Hardrock causes any long term
      > negative environmental impact and only neglible short term impact.
      > Hardrock folks found out about the CEC action within a month and have been
      > working with officials to get an EA in place. The EA is (or will soon be)
      > complete. I believe, based on feedback to date, that Hardrock will be run
      > in 2001 but there is a very slim chance we will be shut down if CEC blows
      > enough smoke. On the plus side is the fact that the political winds have
      > shifted the smoke since November so it's easier to see through.
      > Because of the November timing of the CEC action and because there is a
      > of snow in the high country by November, there was no way that anyone,
      > less an EA field team, could actually go up on the course before summer to
      > check out routes that are not "system" trails. Our Boulder Gulch route is
      > not a system trail. So, it became obvious that if we even wanted to run
      > Hardrock over Handies in 2001, we'd have to settle for a "system" trail.
      > The only candidate over Handies is the Grizzly Gulch trail.
      > Subsequent informal talks with CEC offices lead me to believe that the CEC
      > intends to make sure the Handies WSA becomes a congressionally mandated
      > Wilderness Area and that they will work very hard to ensure the Hardrock
      > not allowed to go through it or through any other Wilderness Area. Parts
      > of the Pole Creek drainage are also in the proposed Wilderness Areas
      > supported by CEC. In the future, if and when, this area becomes a
      > Wilderness Area, Hardrock will either not operate through it, or must have
      > specific legislative authorization to allow us to continue. CEC has
      > indicated they oppose such specific legislative language.
      > C. Political Diatribe (REMEMBER, MATURE READERS ONLY!!!):
      > I strongly support the concept of Wilderness as stated in the Wilderness
      > Act of 1964. Wilderness is crucial for the health of the individual and
      > the health of our society. We do the Hardrock because of wilderness. The
      > beauty and strength we enjoy up in the high country enriches our lives and
      > makes us more human. This enrichment doesn't fall off, like dried mud,
      > when we get back to the cities and to the everyday mundane and inane. The
      > fact that we have been there and experienced it stays with us and makes us
      > better people, spouses, parents, and citizens long after we've returned to
      > the lowlands of the everyday.
      > To create WILDERNESS, we've employed lawyers, politicians, and a lot of
      > others who may never have experienced the highs we take as normal. I'm
      > thankful they've done it. I hope there is more designated WILDERNESS.
      > But, I've concluded that the Wilderness Act of 1964 is fundamentally
      > flawed. It does not allow a bunch of crazies like us to legally run
      > in our underwear through the WILDERNESS if we have paid an entry fee or
      > participating in a "competitive" event.
      > Hardrock ran for nine years in ignorance, not knowing the nuances of the
      > beaurocracy and believing ourselves to be law abiding citizens enjoying
      > outdoors and the wilderness. We took little more that photos and left a
      > few footprints that were quickly washed out by the hails of July. But
      > year, the informed watchdogs noticed our criminal activity and, being the
      > good citizens they are, pointed it out to the officials.
      > WHOA, suddenly, I'm feeling extremely light headed. It must be the height
      > of the soap box I'm on. I'm hyperventilating so, I'll end with three
      > suggestions.
      > First, you can contact your elected officials and Interior Secretary
      > to express concerns that the inmates are in charge of the asylum and we
      > expect that to change. Second, check out the web site
      > (http://www.ourcolorado.org/) of CEC and check out their "partners." Let
      > their "partners" know what you feel and do not support these "partners."
      > Third, check out the web site for a group that is trying to put some sense
      > into the Wilderness Act. It's at
      > http://www.mhjc.org/wilderness_act_reform_coalition.htm
      > Thanks much for suffering through my ravings. I'm off the soap box and
      > feeling much better, thank you. I'm gonna find my underwear and go run in
      > the mountains.
      > Charlie Thorn
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