News from the San Luis Valley

by Gena Akers Drilling Lawsuit Moves Forward Individual declarations have been submitted to the U.S. District Court and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to contest the authorized exploratory oil/gas drilling in San Francisco Creek, an area south of Del Norte. The complainants assert that the BLM violated the National Environmental Policy Act by failing to …

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All That Remains of Bonanza is a Name

By Allen Best

When does a town cease to be a town? That’s been the question this year for Bonanza, a place that for most of its existence has failed to live up to its name.

It’s located in south-central Colorado, 13 miles of gravel road from the nearest highway, post office or business. This is in the forested fringe of the northern San Luis Valley, a broad triangle of high desert sandwiched by 13,000- and 14,000-foot peaks.

The town was launched as a formal municipality in 1881. This was during Colorado’s mining boom. Bonanza had seven dance halls, four smelters, two hotels and one newspaper, along with 1,000 residents.

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