253Re: [hr100] course change?
- Mar 7, 2001Hi 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@...>
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
> 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
> 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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