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Monumental warnings

Vail Daily Editorial
Vail CO, Colorado
Special to the DailyWhile some have said they'd like to preserve the Wilkes-Barre head frame, the developer who wants to build there say the ground below is too polluted.
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Amazing what passes for historic preservation.

There’s a toxic trestle pipe running along the Eagle River into Minturn and there are people out there who want it preserved. There’s also a push to preserve the so-called Wilkes-Barre headframe up at the Gilman mining camp that is near one of the worst piles of waste the operation left behind.

Developer Bobby Ginn, who’s planning a private ski resort up above on Battle Mountain, owns the land and wants to build condos, a golf course and a gondola around the trestle and employee housing at the mining camp.

The company plans to tear down the homes at the mining camp because they’re too contaminated to keep. The new homes, the company says, will look similar to the old ones, but the headframe, which Ginn once considered keeping, also has to go.

It’s starting to fall over, for one thing.

The State Historic Preservation Office wants to keep a portion of the trestle pipe and Ginn may grant their wish.

But this begs the question of why anyone, in the age of global warming, wants to keep these monuments to environmental depredation?

On the other hand, maybe we can keep them around as warnings.

Back in the hey-day of the Eagle Mine, far fewer people had made the connection between man’s hunt for resources and the pollution of the environment.

We know better know, but many still don’t believe it. Maybe it’s a good idea to keep the monuments to our own destruction.

” Matt Zalaznick for the Editorial Board


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