Lifestyle – The Pagosa Springs SUN http://www.pagosasun.com The most trusted source for news and information about Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Thu, 17 Sep 2020 16:48:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.2 http://www.pagosasun.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/cropped-sun-logo-512x512-1-32x32.jpg Lifestyle – The Pagosa Springs SUN http://www.pagosasun.com 32 32 Sunday devotionals offered by the Baha’i Faith http://www.pagosasun.com/sunday-devotionals-offered-by-the-bahai-faith-18/ Sat, 19 Sep 2020 11:00:39 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=210339 By Paulette Heber
Baha’i Community of Archuleta County

The Baha’i Community of Archuleta County hosts weekly devotionals every Sunday morning from 10 to 10:30 a.m. via Zoom. All are welcome.

Zoom link: https://zoom.us/j/884668836?pwd=bkdEeVlaSWN0bFRMdFhidXpzWjV5Zz09, call-in number: (669) 900-6833, meeting ID: 884 668 836.

A weekly theme is reflected in the prayers, music, poetry and selections from world religions and various sources. All are encouraged to contribute inspirational pieces. This Sunday, Sept. 20, our theme is purity of heart.

 “O Son of Spirit! My first counsel is this. Possess a pure, kindly and radiant heart, that Thine may be a sovereignty ancient, imperishable and everlasting.” — Baha’u’llah.

 The Baha’i Faith is a world religion whose purpose is to unite all people of the world in one universal cause, one common faith.

To learn more about the Baha’i Faith, please visit the official international website of the Baha’i Faith at www.bahai.org. Our local contact is archuletabahais@gmail.com.

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New Thought topic: ‘Show Up For Creator’s Divine Plan: Live Large!’ http://www.pagosasun.com/new-thought-topic-show-up-for-creators-divine-plan-live-large/ Sat, 19 Sep 2020 11:00:28 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=210333 By Lisa Burnson
New Thought Center
for Inspirational Living

“There is no passion to be found playing small — in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” — Nelson Mandela.

All are welcome to join New Thought Center for Inspirational Living this Sunday, Sept. 20, for our presentation, “Show Up For Creator’s Divine Plan: Live Large!” Are you playing small — hiding your true self? It’s time to create a plan that feeds your soul and allows you to love life in its best expression. Our speaker will be Shayla White Eagle McClure. 

We will have spirited live music.

Upcoming events

Meditation Circle is held each Wednesday at 6 p.m. All are welcome.

Thursday, Sept. 17, 6 to 8 p.m.: Courtyard Concert presents The Retro Cats in a benefit for Rise Above Violence. Tickets will be available at the door. Please bring a lawn chair or blanket and picnic snacks. Beverages will be available for purchase and/or donation. Outside alcohol is not allowed. Text 309-6067 for more information. See you there.

Prosperity class beginning soon. Date and time to be determined. Call/text 309-6067 for more information.

About us

The New Thought Center promotes living a spiritually centered life, and promotes the philosophies of Centers for Spiritual Living and Agape Centers. New Thought honors all lifestyles, cultures and religious paths to the divine.

We welcome local talents to share gifts, aptitudes and knowledge. Participate, learn or contribute your insights, beliefs, knowledge and skills. 

New Thought events are held at 3505 W. U.S. 160, on the second floor of Best Western Lodge (elevator available). 

Request prayer treatment or obtain information by joining us; emailing pagosacommunitynewthought@gmail.com; mailing P.O. Box 1052, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147; or calling 309-6067. Find us on Facebook (Pagosa Community of New Thought) or YouTube (Pagosa New Thought Channel). 

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Catholic Church to offer faith formation classes http://www.pagosasun.com/catholic-church-to-offer-faith-formation-classes/ Sat, 19 Sep 2020 11:00:27 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=210331 By Augusta Happ
Pope John Paul II Catholic Church

Are you searching for the meaning of life?

Do you have true happiness in your life?

Do you want your family to know God and his love?

Do you want to return to your faith?

What is the point of it all? Is there a point of it at all?

Are you overlooking the answers to every question of the human heart? 

Maybe you think religion is not doing anything for you or religion has been presented to you in a way that just turns you off.

Jesus’ first words to humanity in the gospel of John were kind of striking. He turned to two people who were following him and asked, “What do you seek?” He knew the answer: “I want happiness.”

Everywhere you look, people are throwing answers to you. Answers to those fundamental questions to your longing heart. There are self-help programs out there everywhere. This journey is not self-help. One of the things self-help programs tell you is how to be happy, but not why. 

RCIA, Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults, is going to address those fundamental answers to those fundamental questions about the meaning of life, why you should be hopeful, where are you going to find the love you were made for, and more. 

Immaculate Heart of Mary/John Paul II (JPII) Catholic Church wants to welcome those returning and their families to the Catholic faith. Immaculate Heart of Mary/JPII has faith formation classes for the entire family. 

RCIA is a religious program for adults who have not completed their sacraments, those wanting to become Catholic and/or individuals who wish to further understand and strengthen their Catholic faith. The RCIC (Rite of Christian Initiation for Children) program is for children ages 7-16 who have not yet been baptized. Also, religious education (RE) classes are for those children who are on the spiritual journey completing the holy sacraments. These classes are offered to students pre-K through high school.

Please join us for RCIA classes Monday evenings (masks are required) beginning Sept. 21 at 6 p.m. in the JPII Catholic Church meeting rooms to begin the journey to understanding what we all seek. 

Enroll your children for Sacramental and RE classes, to be held on Sundays after 10:30 a.m. Mass starting Oct. 4 in the JPII meeting rooms. Please wear a mask. Classes are offered in a safe, socially distanced environment or optional take-home lessons for one-on-one family instruction. The importance of religious education classes is not just sacrament achievements, but life lessons to live morally and responsibly, and awareness of God’s eternal love.

For more information on all Immaculate Heart of Mary/JPII faith formation classes, please contact August Happ at the parish office at 731-5744. We are looking forward to “welcoming you home.” 

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Pagosa Farmers Market http://www.pagosasun.com/pagosa-farmers-market-3/ Fri, 18 Sep 2020 11:00:50 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=210351

Photo courtesy Pauline Benetti

Abundant juicy, flavorful nutritious tomatoes. The Pagosa Farmers Market vendors had bushels of them for most of the summer, along with a variety of other vegetables. As always, our season draws too soon to an end and the supply is slowly reduced. This Saturday is the last market, so do come on by and select from the end-of-the-season bargains and say goodbye to your favorite growers. The hours are still 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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E-tickets still available for GGP’s Breakfast IN a Balloon http://www.pagosasun.com/e-tickets-still-available-for-ggps-breakfast-in-a-balloon/ Fri, 18 Sep 2020 11:00:43 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=210317 By Sally High
Geothermal Greenhouse Partnership

Geothermal Greenhouse Partnership (GGP) supporters can still buy e-tickets for Breakfast IN a Balloon for Saturday or Sunday, Sept. 19 or 20. Each $40 e-ticket provides a GGP annual membership, a delicious breakfast in a box and a long-stem rose. It’s easy. Pick up your breakfast boxes at Pagosa Baking Company after donating online.

The GGP continues to plan educational programming even though students cannot be in the Education Dome just yet. The GGP cares for the Rotary Garden and the Native Plants Garden, and continues to welcome volunteer gardeners to Community Garden Dome. The Innovation Dome continues to move forward, nearing operations, despite restrictions. The Pagosa Springs community continues to support the GGP.

What this year’s Breakfast IN a Balloon ticket cannot give us is the excitement of seeing the hot air balloon ascension, listening to live music and smiling with each other elbow to elbow in the GGP amphitheater. The GGP looks forward to September 2021 — the music, the gourmet breakfast, the hot air balloons ascending downtown, the in-person smiles and just being together in a crowded amphitheater for ColorFest.

Thank you, Pagosa Springs. Buy your breakfast e-tickets for Saturday or Sunday at https://pagosagreen.org/breakfast-in-a-balloon. 

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Library News: Virtual voter registration tutorial next Tuesday http://www.pagosasun.com/library-news-virtual-voter-registration-tutorial-next-tuesday/ Fri, 18 Sep 2020 11:00:28 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=210356 By Carole Howard
PREVIEW Columnist, and the library staff

Are you registered to vote? Do you know how to review your voter registration or update information to ensure you are eligible to vote? Join us on Facebook on Tuesday, Sept. 22 from noon to 1 p.m. for this informative tutorial. After the event, it will be posted on the library’s website to view anytime or share with friends.

Here’s how to access the videos after the event: If you have a Facebook account, log in to Facebook and search for the Ruby Sisson Memorial Library. If you don’t have a Facebook account, access the page by visiting our website and clicking the Facebook icon (a lowercase f) in the upper left-hand corner of the screen. Or, contact us and we can send you a direct link. 

Summary of our partial reopening

• We’re now open on Thursdays from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. with 1 to 2 p.m. reserved for seniors and higher-risk populations. 

• Other hours: Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. for seniors and higher-risk populations. Saturdays: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays: closed.

• We are accepting meeting room reservations for small groups, with library programs having first dibs on the rooms for our programs. In addition, you can schedule only so far out, usually two weeks to a month, depending on where we are in the month. 

• Up to 30 patrons at a time can come into the building. 

• Hand sanitizers are available and there will be frequent cleanings inside the building throughout the day. Please practice social distancing and wear facial coverings while you are in the building. If you don’t have a mask, we are happy to give one to you. 

• Nine computers are available. In most cases, computer usage will be allowed for three hours per day. Staff will clean and disinfect the computers between uses.

• One early literacy computer is available for youngsters Monday through Saturday. 

• For those not comfortable coming into the building or unable to wear a mask, curbside service continues Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. except for Thursdays, when it’s available from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Phone 264-2209 when you are in the parking lot so staff can bring the items out for you. If you put a hold on something, please wait for your usual alert (email, phone call or text) before coming to pick it up. 

• You now can drop your returns of books, CDs and DVDs in the drop box at City Market, as well as in the drop box at the library. No donations in the City Market box, please.

• Notary service is available during open hours on Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. The cost is $5 per notary. 

• You can place holds on items from other libraries. They are in different stages of reopening, so items may take longer than usual. 

• We’re happy to provide tech help in person or over the phone for our online resources.

Urgent census request — we’re lagging the state

Have you completed your census questionnaire?

The current self-response rate of Archuleta County households is only 41.8 percent compared to 68.9 percent for the state of Colorado and the national rate of 65.6 percent. This self-response rate is a reflection of households that completed the census online, by phone or by mail. 

Census Bureau enumerators also visit households of nonrespondents to ensure everyone is counted. The efforts of census enumerators combined with an area’s self-responses give us the total number of households counted so far for that area. Nationally, the total number of households counted is 89.4 percent and the state total is 89.7 percent. The total number for Archuleta County is not published yet, but a lot of work remains for census enumerators in our area. The best way to help them is to answer the door if you hear them knocking and respond right now to the census if you have not already done so. 

It takes less than 10 minutes to respond to the census and your answers are kept anonymous. The law ensures that your private information is never published and that your answers cannot be used or shared by any government agency or court.

Please contact Brad or Josie at the library if you have any census-related questions or visit 2020census.gov for more information.

Suffrage poster display

We hope you’ll stop by the library to view a display of 10 suffrage posters celebrating the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment. Titled “Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence,” the exhibition is a joint effort of the Smithsonian Museum and the National Portrait Gallery. The crusade for women’s suffrage was one of the longest reform movements in U.S. history. The posters will be on display until Sept. 22 on the maroon wall behind the computers, on the other side of the checkout desk. 

Tech Time

Make a 15- or 30-minute appointment for one of three free in-person slots available noon to 1 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Brad will help one person (or one couple) at a time. If you have a Tech Time appointment on Thursday, phone from the parking lot or knock loudly on the front door to be let in. 

ESL

Free in-person classes take place Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 to 7 p.m. by appointment. Please register so we can keep it to a small group in our limited open spaces. No walk-ins, as the front door will be locked. 

Adult learning 

GED classes plus HiSet, CDL and other free in-person tutoring from Mark is available on Tuesdays from 2 to 7 p.m. by appointment for both new and returning students. 

Dungeons and Dragons via Zoom

Join us via Zoom on Wednesdays from 4 to 6 p.m. for Dungeons and Dragons free for teens and young adults. Contact claire@pagosalibrary.org for details on how to join. 

Children’s programs on Facebook 

Every Wednesday at 10 a.m. and Saturday at 2:30 p.m., join us on the library’s Facebook page for free children’s programs. Wednesday storytimes are on Facebook Live, so if you go to Facebook at 10 a.m., you can interact with Josie. Saturday’s Discovery Times — with games, art ideas, science experiments, history and more — are prerecorded. 

If you have a Facebook account, log in to Facebook and search for the Ruby Sisson Memorial Library. If you don’t have a Facebook account, access the page by visiting our website and clicking the Facebook icon (a lowercase f) in the upper left hand corner of the screen. Or contact us and we can send you a direct link. 

Storywalks for kids

Every other Thursday, Josie posts signs outside the library that follow the sidewalk up towards the elementary school detailing a new free Summer Reading Storywalk for kids. The Sept. 10-24 theme is making friends. Get outdoors and follow the pages of a book as you stroll along. After you finish, pick up materials for a craft or activity at the library. 

By popular demand, Storywalks will continue until the snow makes it too difficult to proceed.

Books on CD

“The Midwife Murders” by James Patterson and Richard DiLallo is set in a university hospital in New York City. “Choppy Water” by Stuart Woods is a Stone Barrington thriller. “The Silent Wife” by Karin Slaughter is a mystery featuring a GBI investigator and a medical examiner. “Humanocracy” by Gary Hamel and Michele Zanini documents how to replace bureaucracies so organizations can become bold, entrepreneurial and nimble. “Near Dark” by Brad Thor is an adventure featuring Scot Harvath. “A Private Cathedral” by James Lee Burke is a crime romance featuring Det. Dave Robicheaux. “The Nemesis Manifesto” by Eric Van Lustbader is the beginning of a new thriller series.

Mysteries, suspense and thrillers

“Chaos” by Iris Johansen features a female CIA agent willing to go rogue if it means catching a killer. “The Invention of Sound” by Chuck Palahniuk exposes the collision course that threatens to expose the violence beneath Hollywood’s glamorous façade.

Other novels 

“The Last Great Road Bum” by Hector Tobar is a novel based on the personal writings of Joe Sanderson. “The Big Door Prize” by M.O. Walsh is a story of a mysterious machine that upends a small Louisiana town.

Nonfiction

“The Truth is Marching On” by Pulitzer Prize-winner Jon Meacham is a biography of civil rights activist John Lewis. “More Alike Than Different” by David Egan is a memoir by a man with Down syndrome who has become an advocate for all people with disabilities. “Live Free or Die” by Fox News host Sean Hannity is a tribute to conservatism and a critique of the Democrats’ policies. “Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth” by CNN anchor Brian Stelter explores the symbiotic relationship between Fox and the president. “Blitz: Trump Will Smash the Left and Win” by David Horowitz chronicles the left-wing attacks on the president. “The Answer Is … Reflections on My Life” by Alex Trebek is a memoir by the “Jeopardy!” host. 

Downloadable e-books and audiobooks 

We have a wide variety of downloadable e-books and downloadable audio books for patrons of all ages — children, tweens, teens and adults. Using cloudLibrary, you can download a book to read or an audio book to listen to. The items in cloudLibrary are purchased separately from physical items, so the books available are different — and it continues to use the consortium’s contributions, not just those that we bought. That is why you need to select AspenCat Union Catalog when setting up cloudLibrary for use. Please email or phone us at 264-2209 if you need our help setting up this service on your device. 

Donations 

We are grateful to Sherry Spears for the generous monetary contribution in honor of Bud Forman, and to Medora Bass and our anonymous donors for books and other materials. 

Please put your material donations into the drop box at the library — not at City Market, which is reserved for returns. Donations will undergo the same rigorous three-day quarantine process as returns. 

Quotable quote

“There are more than 9,000 public libraries across the United States — in cities, suburbs, rural areas and small towns. In surveys, libraries rank among the most trusted institutions in America. They assist with the census and offer voter registration services. They are open to everyone. They are nonpartisan. They are free. Even in today’s fractured digital age, libraries rank among the most popular and well-visited places in our cultural landscape. According to a 2019 Gallup poll, on average, U.S. adults go to the library nearly once a month, making library visits ‘the most common cultural activity Americans engage in, by far.’” — Dr. Eric Klinenberg, a sociologist at New York University, writing in The New York Times, Sept. 3, 2010.

Website

For more information on library books, services and programs — and to reserve books, e-books, CDs and DVDs from the comfort of your home — please visit our website at pagosalibrary.org.

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St. Patrick’s seeking clothing donations for annual giveaway http://www.pagosasun.com/st-patricks-seeking-clothing-donations-for-annual-giveaway/ Fri, 18 Sep 2020 11:00:17 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=210319 By Lynne McCrudden
St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church

It is a small window, but we are hoping for a great gathering of winter clothes for the annual clothing giveaway. 

Starting this Saturday, Sept. 19, St. Patrick’s parishioners will be collecting winter clothes from 9 a.m. to noon in the parking lot. We are hoping the citizens of Pagosa Springs have had time to collect their outgrown, in-good-condition winter clothes for men, women, children, teenagers and infants. We are looking for pants, shirts, warm sweaters, sturdy winter shoes and boots, snowsuits for kids, winter jackets for adults and children, warm hats, warm socks, and scarves and mittens to keep out the chill. 

Our collection continues on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, Sept. 21, 22 and 23, from 9 a.m. to noon, but if these hours do not work with your schedule, give the church office a call at 731-5801 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. during the week and we will try to make other arrangements for drop off. Please don’t leave clothes by the church door; we would hate to have your donation get wet or be used as bedding by our four-legged friends.

Our new interim rector, the Rev. Lyn Burns, has heard about our clothing giveaway. In fact, it has been the talk of the Episcopal diocese. She can’t wait to see the piles of clothes that are donated and then greet the shoppers on Sept. 26. 

Our driveway will be the staging area for this year’s giveaway on Sept. 26, and shopping will be available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

Please plan on parking at the hospital in the area closest to St. Patrick’s. There is a stairway access from the hospital parking lot to St. Patrick’s and we can arrange for handicap parking if necessary. We are so grateful for the community’s support in the past and look forward to your help in keeping everyone warm this winter.

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Tickets available now for Dancing with the Pagosa Stars http://www.pagosasun.com/tickets-available-now-for-dancing-with-the-pagosa-stars/ Fri, 18 Sep 2020 11:00:12 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=210314

Photo courtesy Jeff Laydon

By Lilli Peters
Seeds of Learning

There are only two weeks left until Seeds of Learning hosts the third annual Dancing with the Pagosa Stars on Saturday, Sept. 26, at 7 p.m., and we can’t wait. This event will be delivered virtually to ensure our wonderful supporters can participate and contribute while remaining safe and healthy at home. 

Picture this — on Sept. 26, after a beautiful day of Pagosa fun, you gather with your family or close friends you’ve been spending time with during the pandemic, sit back in your comfortable chair in front of your TV screen and tune in to watch an entertaining night of jokes, dancing and competition by your very own Pagosa folks. Our emcees, Lisa Peters and Martin Rose, have some hilarious quips and our stars and coaches have some theatrical dance routines to hold your attention. Where else can you see a local business owner that waited on you that afternoon put on a fancy dance costume and entertain you that night?

All you have to do is purchase a virtual ticket for $55 by going to http://growingseeds.org/go/dance2020/ or you can go to the Seeds website at growingseeds.org. No tickets will be available at Seeds of Learning. Ticket purchasers will receive an Internet link to access the show the week prior to the event and contact information for technical assistance, should you need it. 

The cost of the ticket will be used to help support the over 85 percent of Seeds families whose income does not allow them to pay full tuition for their children to attend. At Seeds of Learning, we teach 2 1/2- to 5-year-olds social, emotional and educational skills through a creative play curriculum. 

Did you know that research shows that 85 percent to 90 percent of a child’s brain is developed by the age of 5? So, catching children early in life is critical to their life-long development towards becoming productive citizens. The staff at Seeds of Learning works hard to ensure all students receive the best education possible. This includes maintaining their status as one of only 10 percent of preschools in the United States to be nationally accredited. 

Not only do kids graduate from Seeds prepared for kindergarten, but they also have better social and behavioral skills. 

Kathy Faber, a kindergarten teacher at Pagosa Springs Elementary School, said, “As kindergarten teachers, we are always so excited for our new group of students that come to us from Seeds of Learning. The dedication and care they have received from their preschool teachers is evident and sets them on the path of success at the ‘big’ school, as they call it. They come to us confident and ready to learn.”

If you are not available to watch the show, you can also vote for your favorite star to reward them for their hard work and at the same time contribute to a child’s education. Each vote is $1 and you can vote with as many dollars as you want. To vote, go to www.growingseeds.org.

In the creative community the term “break a leg” is used as encouragement and best wishes for success. To our amazing stars and their talented coaches, we pass along that sentiment, but, even more, we pass along a heartfelt thank you. And to this wonderful Pagosa community, we are eternally grateful for your continued support during this difficult year. If you are interested in supporting this amazing event, then vote today and purchase a virtual ticket to watch a fun night. 

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Writers on the Range: COVID-19 and recreation: too much poop, too many people http://www.pagosasun.com/writers-on-the-range-covid-19-and-recreation-too-much-poop-too-many-people/ Thu, 17 Sep 2020 21:00:58 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=210358 By Todd Wilkinson
PREVIEW Columnist

Mark DeOpsomer of Bozeman, Mont., is a backpacker with lots of miles on his soles. For almost four decades, he’s gone to the remotest corners of the Northern Rockies.

On a recent trek 24 miles into the Bob Marshall Wilderness in Montana, he was relaxing along the banks of a creek, when out of nowhere a pack-rafter floated by. 

“I’d never seen any rafters before in The Bob, but now they’re all over the place,” he said. 

A few weeks later, he was driving to a trailhead at the end of a bumpy 50-mile-long dirt road along the Wind River Range of Wyoming. 

“There’s a game we like to play guessing the number of cars you expect to see in the parking lot,” he said. “Given that this is a strange year, I thought maybe 30. But there were over 200 and the scene was total mayhem.” 

License plates on vehicles hailed from two dozen states and makeshift camps (without designated bathrooms) were everywhere. 

At Forest Service campgrounds near Jackson, Wyo., piles of human waste and toilet paper were ubiquitous and so was litter. The smelly messes were spread throughout an area in the middle of public land frequented by bears, including at times the famous Jackson Hole Grizzly 399 and her cubs. 

When talking with managers of state and federal public lands these pandemic days, two issues popped up: what to do about large amounts of human feces deposited in wild places and how to handle far too many visitors. Both issues have served as a wake-up call to both land managers and environmentalists about the downsides of recreation.

“It’s like we’ve stared into a future that wasn’t supposed to arrive for a few decades,” said Randy Carpenter, who works with the community-planning organization FutureWest, in Bozeman. “The crush of people and the ecological impacts of rising recreation uses is right here, among us — right now — and it’s transforming the character of wild places.”

A paper published in the scientific journal PLOS One reviewed 274 scientific studies completed between 1981 and 2015 that examined the effects of recreation on a variety of animal species across all geographic areas and recreational activities. 

Kevin Crooks, a conservation biologist at Colorado State University, said given what we know now, “It might be time to establish limits on public access to protected areas and encourage changes in the behavior of recreationists.”

Though conservation groups continue to point fingers at logging, mining and ranching, they’ve been slow to acknowledge impacts from outdoor recreation.

Last winter, at a U.S. Forest Service meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyo., biologists noted that backcountry skiing and snowboarding were harming a dwindling, isolated herd of bighorn sheep. Displaying what can only be called a crass attitude, one skier was heard to remark: “Well, the sheep have had these mountains for 10,000 years. Now it’s our turn.” 

Justin Farrell, the author of the book “Billionaire Wilderness: The Ultra-Wealthy and the Remaking of the American West,” grew up in Wyoming, watched it change as big money moved in and now teaches at Yale. He told me recently, “It’s too easy for all of us to look the other way — a sort of willful ignorance — to not really see and examine the actual impacts of recreation.” 

Some recreationists insist on a quid pro quo: They’ll advocate protecting public land only if they’re allowed to use some of it. It’s happened in Idaho over wilderness and recently in debates over how to safeguard wildlife habitat in the Gallatin Range of southwest Montana. 

An outdoor industry eager to get its slice of an $800 billion pie helps fuel the rush to the West’s public lands. Farrell says that outdoor-product manufacturers push hard for increased access to public lands in part because more users boost their bottom lines. 

Meanwhile, many state tourism bureaus — like those in Montana, Wyoming and Utah — spend millions of dollars advertising national parks and other places that are already uncomfortably overcrowded. 

“Critical discussions about recreation are rare because these activities are layered with a thin veneer of innocence,” Farrell said. This recalls a narrative of heedless use that goes back to the 19th and 20th centuries: Exploit a special place until it’s used up and then move on, leaving waste, damage and displaced wildlife behind.

The problem is there aren’t many true wild places left to exploit.

Todd Wilkinson is a contributor to Writers on the Range, (writersontheerange.org), a nonprofit spurring lively conversation about the West. He is the Bozeman-based correspondent for National Geographic and The Guardian and founder of Mountain Journal (mountainjournal.org).

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Payton Brewer http://www.pagosasun.com/payton-brewer/ Thu, 17 Sep 2020 21:00:34 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=210505 Payton Brewer, from Pagosa Springs, graduated from Adams State University, Alamosa, Colo., during the spring 2020 virtual commencement ceremony on June 6.

The full version of this story is available in the print edition and e-edition of the Pagosa Springs SUN. Subscribe today by calling (970)264-2100 or click here.

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