Summit Daily letters: Preserve the history of the 10th Mountain Division
Preserve the history of the 10th Mountain Division
As one of the few remaining 10th Mountain Division veterans, I am writing to express my support for the Continental Divide Recreation, Wilderness and Camp Hale Legacy Act, currently being considered by our House and Senate.
There are many possibilities for continued and future use of this area — education, outdoor recreation, historic interpretation and more — but first the area needs to be protected. The Continental Divide Recreation, Wilderness and Camp Hale Legacy Act would safeguard 28,000 acres in and around Camp Hale from development. It would protect the valley where the camp bustled with 10,000 troops, barracks, a rifle range, 40,000 mules, sled dogs, a train depot and a climbing rock still used today. It also would protect the surrounding mountains where we lugged our 90-pound packs uphill on stiff, wooden skis, bivouacked in snowstorms, learned to use our ice axes and endured some of the roughest mountaineering conditions possible in our training for winter warfare.
I believe these are sacred areas and deserve protection and the same respect that the 10th Mountain soldiers earned during their heroic defeat of the enemy in the Italian Alps. This would be the first ever National Historic Landscape protection in the United States, and I can think of no area more deserving. Not only were we warriors for our country, but many of us returned home and dedicated the rest of our lives to building the highly successful U.S. ski industry.
Today, skiing is a major part of the outdoor industry in our country. According to the latest study reported in the Denver Post (Oct. 27, 2018), in Colorado, we have a $62.5 billion outdoor industry that accounts for 500,000 jobs. Ninety percent of Coloradans took part in some sort of outdoor recreation last year! Skiing and snowboarding, of course, contribute a big chunk to our thriving outdoor industry.
The 10th Mountain Division’s legacy is a big part of this story. When we returned from World War II, I and many of my fellow soldiers came back to the mountains we loved. Some started ski areas like Vail and Arapahoe Basin. Others became businessmen with retail stores that continue today, like Gorsuch, Ltd. Others, like me, continued to ski for the pure love of the sport and of the mountains. This is how we contributed and helped the ski industry become what it is today.
With Colorado the attraction it is, it’s also important to protect the lands for future generations. Camp Hale is situated in the middle of the largest wildlife migration corridor in North America and at the headwaters of the Eagle River. Safeguarding this area is key for healthy wildlife populations, which attract hunters and fishermen from all over.
I grew up in an America that valued our wild lands, and this is a value I hope lives on long after I’m gone. I’m now 95 years old and I want to see the Camp Hale lands protected before I die. Come on Congress, and especially Sen. Gardner, let’s get this bill approved!
Editor’s note: Sandy Treat is an Edwards resident and 2010 inductee to the U.S. Ski Hall of Fame. He taught skiing to the troopers at Camp Hale and served in the European theater during the war. He shares his stories of Camp Hale weekly through ‘fireside’ chats at the Colorado Snowsports Museum in Vail.
Thanks for the support
On behalf of the firefighters, staff and board of directors at Summit Fire & EMS, I wanted to extend a heartfelt and deep thanks to our voters for supporting ballot measures 6A and 6C, which removed the downward-ratcheting effect of the Gallagher Amendment on the budget of Summit Fire & EMS. Measure 6A, covering the Lake Dillon Fire Protection District, passed by nearly a 3-1 margin, and 6C, covering the Copper Mountain Consolidated Metropolitan District, passed by nearly 2-1. We are deeply gratified and delighted by the overwhelming support that our residents and property owners have shown for us, and we do not take that for granted in the least. We also owe a debt of gratitude to consultants David Cunningham and Amy Corsinita, as well as to attorney Emily Powell, who guided us through the maze of election procedures. As always, we continue to strive for providing high-quality, efficient emergency services in an open and transparent way. We welcome you to ask questions, look over our shoulders and let us reassure you that we will continue to be good stewards of your tax dollars and — just as importantly — your faith in us. Thank you!
Summit Fire & EMS
Thanks to trail volunteers
Following up on the Summit Daily staff report from Aug. 3, 2018, titled “Volunteers to begin work on Masontown Trail projects,” I would like to both extend my sincere thanks to Wildlands Restoration Volunteers, the Town of Frisco and Friends of the Dillon Ranger District, and also compliment the entire team on a job well done. Their hard work and dedication are immediately evident when trekking over the sturdy bridges and boardwalks.
The Masontown Trail improvements were completed on the stretch between Bill’s Ranch Trail and Haddie’s Trail above the Peak One neighborhood in Frisco. Many hikers enjoy this section of trail as part of a visit to Rainbow Lake.
The new bridges were strategically installed at points where the trail was washing out and showing signs of rapid erosion. Hikers were having to go off-trail to avoid these muddy patches that were becoming wider and longer. By getting this work done ahead of the first snow, the project will prevent the trail from expanding any further.
I am thankful to those of you who volunteer your time and expertise to manage a sustainable Summit County trail system that will be enjoyed for generations to come.
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