Top of the Pines Fundraiser Thursday
by Watch Staff
May 23, 2012 | 904 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
RIDGWAY – There’s a fundraiser for Top of the Pines Thursday, May 24, 6-9 p.m., at the Four Corners Café at the Chipeta Solar Springs Resort.

Expect food, spirits, music and a portion of all sales goes to Top of the Pines, Inc., the nonprofit running the 175-acre, former Girl Scout Camp in the big ponderosa pines atop Miller Mesa, five miles south of Ridgway on County Road 5. The county-owned property provides facilities for camping, hiking, cross-country skiing, and outdoor education with close-up views of Mount Sneffels and the Cimarron Range.

Garden Talk at the Gardenclub

TELLURIDE – The Gardenstore’s Gardenclub will meet weekly on Thursdays, 5-6 p.m., at the Gardenstore, 359 E. Colorado Ave. Refreshments will be served at the first meeting on Thursday, May 24. “I came up with the idea to start the Gardenclub as people often come into the store asking about gardening tips and advice,” said Kristin Undhjem, owner of the Gardenstore and a seasoned gardener, with over 20 years of high-altitude gardening experience. 

I envision it to be informal like a knitting circle.  We encourage everyone, from seasoned gardeners to those who want to learn how to plant a garden, to join us.”

General gardening tips and advice will be shared, with topics and conversations driven by the participants. Gardening tips will be posted at HYPERLINK ""

For more information, call 728-1818.

Rockfall Work on Red Mountain Pass Stops Friday-Tuesday

OURAY COUNTY – The Colorado Department of Transportation continues work on rockfall reduction on US 550 on Red Mountain Pass south of Ouray, between the Bear Creek Tunnel and the snow shed (MM 91). The project will be completed by June 15.

In addition to the rockfall mitigation, crews are making repairs to a crib wall (a retaining wall below the highway) under the southbound lane at mile point 89.6, approximately 1.5 miles north of snowshed. Work will stop Friday, May 25-Tuesday, May 29, over Memorial Day holiday weekend, resuming Wednesday, May 30.

For the duration of the project motorists will encounter single-lane, alternating traffic, Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-6 p.m., on the northbound lane; there will be no weekend work. Expect full traffic holds of up to 20 minutes during work hours. Delay times will vary depending upon traffic volumes.  (Access for emergency vehicles through the work area is planned for.) Weekday night closures from 8 p.m.-6 a.m. will be announced later.

US 550 to Close Saturday, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.

DURANGO – Memorial Day Weekend and the 41st Annual Iron Horse Bicycle Classic begins on Saturday May 26th.  US Highway 550 will be closed north of Durango, from Durango Mountain Resort (about MM 45) to Silverton (MM 70) on Saturday, May 26, 8 a.m.- 1 p.m., under a special permit from the Colorado State Patrol, for the 14th year in a row. For more information go to

Sustainability Think Tank Thursday, May 31 

MONTROSE –The Alliance for Sustainable Colorado, Office of Resource Efficiency, EcoAction Partners and the FORE Alliance hosts a think tank event in Montrose to discuss energy, water, waste, transportation and food issues in the southwestern part of the state, at the Region 10 Conference Room, Thursday, May 31, 1-4 p.m. Members of the public are invited to join regional leaders from the government, nonprofit, business and education sectors in Delta, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Montrose, Ouray and San Miguel counties to discuss collaborative solutions to sustainability issues.

“This discussion will be a fertile venue for collaboration, bringing together the community to discuss a variety of sustainability-related issues in southwestern Colorado,” said Anna Zawisza, education and outreach director for the Alliance. “We hope this event will be the next step in energizing the community to think strategically about sustainability.” The event will help to provide direction on regional sustainability priorities and find ways to connect economic development to issues of sustainability. The group also hopes to identify opportunities for collaboration on clean transportation, local food development and local energy generation.

The event takes place Thursday, May 31, 1-4 p.m., at the Region 10 Conference Room (300 N. Cascade Ave., #1, in Montrose). Registration is $8 in advance, and $10 at the door. For information visit or contact Zach Owens at or 303/454-3307. For information visit the Alliance for Sustainable Colorado’s website at

OCHS Raffle Quilt Honors Ouray County’s Ranching History OURAY – The Ouray County Historical Society’s new raffle quilt combines craftsmanship, pastel painting and history in a single piece of original fiber art.

Raffle tickets for this work, which is entitled “High Country Ranching,” are now on sale at the Ouray County Historical Museum. The tickets (two for $5 and five for $10) are available through Sept. 28, the day of the raffle drawing.

Created by local quilt artists, the quilt features a center panel based on the pastel, “Elk Meadows Mother and Son,” by Ridgway artist Floyd Day. The quilters recreated Day’s pastoral images in vibrantly colored fabric. Sixteen sepia-tone photographs from the collections of the OCHS and Ridgway Library surround the “painting.” The scenes of authentic ranching activities include calf-branding, hog-slopping, horse-powered plowing, and family gatherings.

“Floyd’s pastel was the inspiration for the quilt, which is a true representation of his piece,” said Sue Hillhouse, leader of the quilting team. “It is made with batik cloth and embellished with hand-embroidered grasses and wildflowers and thread sketching. We used cloth paint to simulate snow on the mountain peaks.”

The label on the back of the quilt is an additional vintage photo signed by all the quiltmakers: Paula Ashmead, Joan Chismire, Susan Dougherty, Charlotte Duckett, Linda Hanson, Penny Hanshaw, Sue Hillhouse, Martha Metzger, Sandy Michaud, Joan Moyer, Kathy Pettengill, Nancy Rule, Norma Shafer, Mary Stapleton, and Marianne Zegers.

The 48-by-44 inch piece is now on display at the museum at 420 Sixth Avenue in Ouray. The drawing will take place at the OCHS annual Quilter’s Tea, 3 to 4 p.m. at Venue Roscoe Fox, 539 Main Street on Sept. 28. For more information and museum hours, please call (970) 325-4576.

Reinstatement of Funding for Senior Property Tax Exemption for 2012

MONTROSE – In accordance with House Bill 12-1335, signed into law on May 7, the senior property tax exemption has been reinstated for tax year 2012 (payable in 2013). A property tax exemption is available to senior citizens, surviving spouses of previously qualified senior citizens and disabled veterans.  For those who qualify, 50 percent of the first $200,000 in actual value of their primary residence is exempted.  The State of Colorado pays the exempted portion of the property tax.  Once approved, the exemption remains in effect for future years, and the applicant should not reapply.

 The exemption is available to applicants who meet the following three requirements, as of Jan. 1, 2012: They are at least 65 years of age, have owned their home for at least 10 years and occupied it as their primary residence for at least 10 years. The application form is available online at: or can be picked up at the Montrose County Assessor’s Office, 320 South 1st St., Room 9, P. O. Box 1186

Montrose, CO  81402. For more information, contact the Montrose County Assessor’s Office at 970/249-3753.


RAT Fest Coming June 8

RIDGWAY – Ridgway Area Trails group hosts its Second Annual RAT Fest June 8-10. From bike demos to trail building to group rides to a clinic taught by two-time World Mountain Bike Champion, Sara Ballantyne, to a full on bash in the park, the weekend is sure to get your summer rolling.

On Saturday afternoon, from 4-8 p.m., Tony Rosario and The Hillbilly Healers will take the gazebo in Hartwell Park (Town Park) – complete with local food vendors and beers from New Belgium Brewing, Colorado Boy and Ouray Brewery. There’ll also be a silent and live auction. All proceeds go to the Ridgway chapter of the Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Trail Association (COPMOBA) and will be used to build miles and miles of single track in Ridgway.

The Schedule:

Friday, June 8:

5-7 p.m., Trail building. Meet at the Weaver Eagle

7-9 p.m., Movie and Beer in the Park

Saturday, June 9:

10 a.m.-4 p.m., Demos from Bootdoctors/Paragon Sports in Town Park

10 a.m.-12 noon, Trail building. Meet at the Weaver Eagle

1-3 p.m., Group Ride on the RAT

1-3 p.m., Bike Clinic with Sara Ballantyne

4-9 p.m., Music, Beer, Food, Auction, Bike Games in Town Park

Sunday, June 10:

11 a.m.-2 p.m., Group Ride to the Dallas Trail

2-4 p.m., Beers at Ouray Brewery’s new tap room

“Last year was a success, and this year we hope will be even better – we’re committed to

creating great trails in Ridgway because we know how important they are and how much they can impact a local economy,” commented COPMOBA’s Ridgway board member, Rodney Fitzhugh.

World and National Mountain Biking Champion and Ridgway resident, Sara Ballantyne said, “Ridgway has such amazing terrain – I hear it time and time again from people who ride here for the first time. And although we’re small...and although every agency (local, state, federal) seems to have a hand in its development, we’re making it happen. It’s a huge effort and we need as much support as possible – not just from bikers but from the community!”

The live auction will have items from a number of great sponsors such as New Belgium, Strider Running Bikes, Loki Outerwear, and more!

For more information, check out the RAT Facebook page or visit

About the RAT. Ridgway Area Trails was conceived in 2004, when local residents approached the Ridgway State Park and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) with a proposal to develop a multi-use trail system on the adjoining parcels of land these agencies manage. Identifying this land, on the outskirts of the Town of Ridgway, as having ideal terrain, trail connectivity, and access, the process of obtaining permission for this project began. For more info, contact Brian Scranton 970/201-8570.

Women’s Outdoor Skills Workshop in Montrose 

MONTROSE – Women who are interested in taking up hunting and fishing should sign up for a special upcoming weekend workshop sponsored by Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

This women's-only event will be held June 22-24 at the Jim Olterman/Lone Cone State Wildlife Area in Dolores County.

"This is a great event for women who are curious about hunting and fishing but have never had a chance to give them a try," said Kelly Crane, district wildlife manager in the Ouray area. "No experience is necessary and we have a lot of fun."

At this workshop women will learn the fundamentals of archery, fly fishing and shotgun shooting. Participants will also learn about the basics of wildlife biology and wildlife management. Expert instruction will be provided by Parks and Wildlife staff. 

The weekend is especially designed for novices. All equipment and ammunition will be provided. Participants can bring their own fishing rods, bows and shotguns. Those bringing guns must provide their own ammunition. 

Participants age 16 and older must have a current Colorado fishing license.              

Food will be provided; but those with specific dietary requirements should bring their own. 

A cabin and camping are available on site. Participants must bring their own sleeping bags and can bring their own tents if they wish. 

The registration deadline is June 4, but call early as this event usually fills up quickly. The workshop is limited to 15 women, ages 14 and older. A $40 refundable deposit is required. 

The event will start at 5 p.m., June 22, and conclude at noon on June 24. The state wildlife area is located 25 miles south of Norwood.

To register, or for more information, contact Dawn Bresett at the Parks and Wildlife office in Montrose at 970/252-6000, or by email,

Ouray Woman’s Club Goes Countywide

OURAY – In March 1897 a very small group of women met in the Ouray Courthouse to organize Woman’s Club of Ouray, which, 115 years later, continues to foster the traditional values of its founders.

Clubmembers recently voted to change its name to the Woman’s Club of Ouray County.

“At the inception of the WCO, travel around Ouray County was a slow process, and naturally the majority of the founding members lived in the City of Ouray,” explained longtime member Vicki Caldwell. “As our modern age emerged and transportation and travel became more easily available, the Woman’s Club quickly added members from the entire Ouray County area. Today less than half of the membership lives in Ouray; the majority of our 80-plus dedicated members live throughout Ouray County. Hence, the need and the recognition of our organization’s name which represents unified women committed to making Ouray County a better place to live.”

From the establishment of the Lincoln Memorial Library in 1898 to the recent funding and maintenance of a hospice room in Valley Manor Care Center, as well as the opening of the first Medical Loan Closet available to all people in Ouray County, the Woman’s Club continues to keep the tradition of philanthropy alive.

In October 2011, the Woman’s Club granted over $9,000 in funds to 21 Ouray County nonprofit organizations in order to support other important groups within the county. The Woman’s Club also concluded a series of outstanding monthly programs in May centered around “Uncommon Women: Uncommon Lives,” all of which highlighted exceptional Ouray County women and their unique contributions to the county.

Other recent highlights include monthly contributions to the Ridgway Community Food Pantry, participation in the 4-H Holiday Bazaar, selection of Joan Fedel as WCO Woman of the Year, reorganization of the Medical Loan Closet, an annual salad luncheon to honor all Ouray County graduating senior girls and their mothers, and sponsorship of the Cedar Hill Cemetery Clean-Up.

Installation of new officers is coming up on June 12.

All projects, donations and grant monies provided to others have one common monetary funding source – The Woman’s Club of Ouray County’s Annual Rummage Sale. A longstanding tradition, the sale offers gently used clothing, books, linens, housewares, sporting goods, home improvements, arts and crafts, floral items, furniture, luggage, jewelry and decorative/miscellaneous items each year. The Corley and Wolkin families allow their garages to be used for storage; club members work many hours sorting and pricing the items, and bargains abound. This year’s sale takes place Friday, June 22-Saturday, June 23; donations will be accepted on Wednesday, June 20. For information, contact Caldwell at 325-4816, Nancy Wolkin at 325-4368 or Nancy Rule at 325-4306.

Montrose Medical Alliance Donates to the San Juan Healthcare Foundation Caring Friends Fund

MONTROSE – Phoebe Benziger and Dr. Gayle Frazzetta, representing the MontroseMedical Alliance, donated $750 to Tom Barrett of the San Juan Healthcare Foundation for the Caring Friends Fund.  Funds were raised through their annual holiday auction and other fundraisers. The Caring Friends Fund provides items and services to help patients and their families at Montrose Memorial Hospital and the San Juan Cancer Center.  The donated money helps provide services that are beyond the patient’s medical needs including; massages, manicures, PlayStation video console for hospitalized children, gas cards, grocery cards, medication assistance, travel and lodging expenses and meals for nutritional support during therapy. Call 970/240-7397 for information. 

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