Restoring and Re-storying the Land We Call Home

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE IN DEEP RELATIONSHIP with the land on which we live? The 33rd Annual Headwaters Conference, hosted by Western Colorado University in Gunnison in December 2022, aimed to answer that question. The theme of the conference was “Land Back: Indigenous Homecoming in the Headwaters.”  In recent years, the conference focused …

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Sustainability, Yet Another Fluid Curiosity

By John Mattingly
Until recently, sustainability has been a foreign concept in the American West. Those who initially settled the West encountered a vast resource where everything was there for the taking: a settler could receive allodial title to land by homesteading, ranchers could freely graze the unfenced plains, and miners could dig a hole and patent a claim. Though this is a simplification, it’s fair to suggest that until the early 1970s when the environmental movement got some political traction, the attitude in the American West toward resources was, to put it nicely, driven by the twin principals of private control and maximum utilization.

Settlers endured some hardship and stresses in homesteading and civilizing the West. Few today would have the right stuff to do it. And, drawing loosely on John Locke’s principal that ownership of property was morally tied to the human being who worked that property, settlers of the American West, and their descendants, have successfully promoted rugged individualism, private stewardship, and a hard work ethic to justify, and to some extent glorify, their successes.

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Western State Thinks “Green” and Brings Sustainability Home

by Mike Rosso

Western State College (WSC) in Gunnison is leading the charge statewide in sustainable building practices in an effort to reduce its carbon footprint. The WSC campus is rapidly becoming a model in earth-friendly, energy-efficient building practices and renovation techniques, thanks in no small part to its students, staff, and alumni.

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Working toward a sustainable Salida

Article by Jayne Mabus

Sustainability – May 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine

HAVE YOU NOTICED the price of gasoline recently? It’s soaring. And the possible repercussions can’t just be avoided by cutting that extra trip to the grocery store.

In our region, a large percentage of locally-owned and operated businesses are tourist-related, and thus they rely on travel — and hence gasoline. Remember a couple of summers ago when Governor Owens declared that all of Colorado was on fire? Tourists called in and canceled their reservations in droves, and local businesses, from motels and lodges, to restaurants and art galleries, had to tighten their belts.

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