Time Machine: 50 years ago, Vail filmmaker Roger Brown speaks out against trans-mountain water diversions

A cartoon from the June 23, 1972 edition of the Vail Trail newspaper.
Vail Daily archive

5 years ago

June 22, 2017

Bravo! Vail celebrated its 30th anniversary. Composer Edgar Meyer heard Joshua Bell and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields play his work in front of a crowd for the first time on Opening Night, which was also streamed on Facebook in another first for Bravo! Vail.

June 26, 2017

Trout Unlimited announced that the Abrams Creek restoration project in Gypsum was awarded $190,500 in grants. The project created a pipeline to Gypsum’s Buckhorn Valley neighborhood to leave more flows in Abrams Creek for the benefit of the creek’s native cutthroat trout population.

10 years ago

June 21, 2012

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The Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management launched a full assignment for structure protection, complete with air support, into the Wildridge neighborhood after concerned residents called in a sighting of smoke in the air north of the community.

“The report turned out to be nothing, but these kinds of reactions are necessary as the state faces record-setting drought conditions, forests full of pine beetle-killed trees and other dead and dry fuels and wildfires already burning around the state,” the Vail Daily reported.

20 years ago

June 22, 2002

Part-time Beaver Creek resident Steve Fossett was clocked at 78 mph in a hot air balloon over the South Pacific, about a quarter of the way through his mission to become the first person to make a solo flight around the world in a balloon.

30 years ago

June 26, 1992

Vail expressed concern that it may lose its bid to host the 1999 World Alpine Ski Championships due to corruption.

“George Gillett calls it ‘voting inducements,’ while others less politely call it bribery,” the Vail Trail reported. “But by whatever name, the politics of vote brokering among delegates at the FIS congress in Budapest, Hungary, earlier this month has Vail delegates concerned.”

The fact that Gillett, who owned Vail Mountain before filing for bankruptcy in 1991, was part of the Vail delegation in Budapest, sent a message to the FIS, said Vail Valley Foundation President John Garnsey.

“It sent a message that the old team was still intact, and that these guys meant business,” Garnsey told the Vail Trail.

40 years ago

June 23, 1982

A single-engine plane, owned by a Phoenix dentist who was reportedly in Vail to speak at a dental conference, landed illegally at the Avon STOLport.

Because a previous incident on the Avon runway involved a plane suddenly taking to the skies and fleeing the scene when it was supposed to be taxiing to a nearby truck to be moved, the Phoenix dentist’s plane was chained up while the county consulted with the Federal Aviation Administration regarding penalties for the illegal landing.

The Avon Stolport was clearly marked as off limits on the aviator’s sectional maps and it wasn’t an emergency landing, said Timothy Mooney, district manager for Rocky Mountain Airways, which had exclusive use of the runway.

50 years ago

June 23, 1972

Colorado filmmaker Roger Brown urged “Denver residents who are Vail friends” to vote no on a Denver Water Board bond measure to allow more trans-mountain diversions from the Western Slope to the Front Range.

Brown warned about diversions occurring in the proposed Eagles Nest and Holy Cross wilderness areas if the bond measure passed.

The column ran alongside an editorial cartoon called “The Western Slurp” which depicted a city-dwelling octopus using a tube to drink water from the mountains.

60 years ago

Week of June 21, 1962

H.R. 2206, a bill to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to construct the Fryingpan-Arkansas Reclamation Project, was on the minds of many in Eagle County due to its recent passage in the House of Representatives.

The bill would later be signed into law by President Kennedy in Colorado.

“With the passage of the Fryingpan-Arkansas diversion bill, one should think that Eagle County and Eagle should immediately take a look into the future,“ the Eagle Valley Enterprise opined.

A District Judge dismissed action to form the Eagle Water Conservancy District, based on petitions from attorneys which were presumed to be made as a result of the House of Representatives passage of H.R. 2206.

70 years ago

June 26, 1952

The Eagle Valley Enterprise published a story about the possibility for a tunnel through the mountains, creating a “super highway” which would be a “substitute for Loveland Pass.”

The story foreshadowed the battle to come between advocates for the Highway 40 route for the super highway, and advocates for the Highway 6 route which the interstate would eventually take.

“Loveland tunnel is a much better proposal than the Boulder brainstorm for a tunnel through the divide to Tabernash,” the Enterprise wrote.

80 years ago

June 18, 1942

Local resident and mine worker Harry Palmer was killed and two others were badly injured when a round of explosives was prematurely detonated in the Empire Zinc mine at Gilman.

“Palmer was directly in front of the first explosion and undoubtedly caught the full force of it, being killed instantly,” the Eagle Valley Enterprise reported, calling the incident one of the most horrible tragedies in the history of the Gilman mine.

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