Historian: Abbey started a stupid argument | VailDaily.com

Historian: Abbey started a stupid argument

Allen Best/Special to the Daily

BOULDER – Ranchers vs. environmentalists? It’s a time-wasting dispute, says environmental historian Patrician Nelson Limerick.

“Edward Abbey was successful in throwing everybody off track for a while with his attack on ranchers in the mid-1980s, and that was kind of a waste of time because, if the ranchers had collapsed economically and sold out to developers, then Edward Abbey would have played a role in the creation of more condos in the West,” she said in an interview in Divide, a new magazine.

“It doesn’t take the deepest ecological science to know that if your goal is preservation of habitat for wildlife, then you are so much better off with the ranchers than you are with the condos and the big houses spread around the landscape.”

That said, she conceded that coalitions between ranchers and conservationists will always be precarious “and probably have to be renegotiated every morning.”

Kayak water rights trouble Steamboat

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. – Several years ago, Vail and Breckenridge filed for instream flow rights for the water that flows through their kayak parks. Now, after spending $100,000 in configuring the Yampa River, Steamboat Springs is looking to do the same. But unlike Vail and Breckenridge, Steamboat has a lot of upstream neighbors. Some of those upstream neighbors, among them Oak Creek and Yampa, are fidgety and annoyed.

If this happens, they fear that the ability of these towns to appropriate the water necessary to grow will be hampered, reports The Steamboat Pilot. Because of the emphasis on protecting open space around Steamboat, those towns are expected to be increasingly important bedroom communities.

Glenn Porzak, the water lawyer for Steamboat who pioneered the concept on behalf of Vail and Breckenridge, says it’s much ado about nothing. “I have heard a lot of people say the sky is falling. That is simply not the issue,” he said.

Recreational water rights usually are applied only from dawn to dusk, and from April to October, so other water users have plenty of opportunities to divert water without impacting the city’s recreational right, he insists

Maybe, but County Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak of Oak Creek thinks Steamboat has no cause to hurry to file for the rights. “Maybe there is a good reason, but I haven’t heard it or seen it yet,” she said.

Passenger trains in Revelstoke possible

REVELSTOKE, B.C. – Resumption of full year-round railroad passenger service between Calgary and Vancouver could begin on a trial basis next year, reports the Revelstoke Times-Review. VIA Rail has recommended the resumption to three times per week in each direction. The trains would stop at Revelstoke.

Support Local Journalism