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Briefs from the San Luis Valley

Brief by Marcia Darnell

San Luis Valley – February 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine

Citizens Rise from Dead

Citizens for San Luis Valley Water lives! The non-profit formed to combat AWDI’s proposed water exports is back, this time battling the seekers of oil and natural gas. The group will sponsor the Water Preservation Coalition.

“Water is still the critical issue,’ says Chris Canaly of the SLV Ecosystem Council, who is also an old-time Citizen. “There are oil and gas lease issues in the Del Norte area and the Baca Refuge.”

Donations are tax deductible. To join or donate, write PO Box 351, Alamosa, 81101. A website,, is in the works.

Other Eco News

The Saguache County Commissioners resolved to put a six-month moratorium on drilling, pending county regulations for drilling.

The chain of snowstorms in December left the Rio Grande Basin with a snowpack of well above average. The state ended 2007 with a 7,700 acre feet credit from the Rio Grande Compact.

The BLM proposed swapping 2,693 acres in Rio Grande County for 189.8 acre-feet of water from Anderson Ditch to irrigate the Blanca Wildlife Habitat Area near Alamosa. Public comments on the trade are being taken until Feb. 2.

Manassa the Mostest

Manassa, in Conejos County, one of the poorest areas in the state, gives the most. According to the Colorado Non-profit Association, Manassa residents donate more of their income than anyone else in the state.

Planting Roots

Alamosa and East Alamosa (that’s the part of town east of the U.S. 160 bridge) are closer now, thanks to an agreement over the water treatment plant. Mandated by the feds, the city has to lower the amount of arsenic in its drinking water, and it’s cheaper for two entities than one to build and manage the facility. The two had previously teamed up on wastewater treatment.

Brief Briefs

The Valley’s community Christmas dinner broke yet another record. More than 1,600 people were served on Christmas Day.

Alamosa’s city employees will still get free water — up to a point. The perk gives muni workers 7,500 gallons a month for free. After that, they pay the same as other residents.

The Cumbres & Toltec Railroad acquired an historic locomotive once owned by Gene Autry, as well as a $300,000 grant to restore it. The San Luis & Rio Grande Railroad began construction on a maintenance facility in Alamosa.

The Alamosa police are planning to move headquarters to a shopping center.

Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Alamosa earned landmark status from the Alamosa historic Registry.

Creede Repertory Theatre won two Ovation Awards from the Denver Post, for Best Year for an Actor (John Arp) and Best Musical Number (“Run, Freedom, Run”). The theater also won eight Reader’s Choice awards from the Post.

District Judge John Kuenhold was appointed to the new Water Court Committee, a branch of the state supreme court.

White tailed deer have been spotted in Alamosa, a rarity among the herds of mule deer.

The La Gente program received $100,000 from the feds for its Dedicated Dads program.

Adams State College is considering adding an MBA program to its curriculum. The school has already begun an agribusiness program.

Alamosa is developing regulations for its downtown design. No more metal buildings or vinyl siding.

Adams State bought a 5-acre plot north of campus. The college has no plans for development now. The college has begun restoring the Rex Activity Center, aided by a $25,000 grant from the state Historical Society. Work was needed in the theater building after a sprinkler went off over winter break.

Alamosa High wrestlers did well at the national tournament in Reno, finishing seventh out of 66 teams. Three student athletes won medals at the event.

Ruth Ann Woods, president of Trinidad State Junior College – Valley Campus, was named to the governor’s Jobs Cabinet.

George Wilkinson is the new chair of the Alamosa County Commission. Commissioner Darius Allen announced he’s running for re-election.