Protect Yankee Boy Basin and Red Mountain Pass
Jul 23, 2009 | 808 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print

We love it here. In Ouray County we found the integrity of its community together with its incredible and unique landscape, a place to commit our time and capital. It is obviously important to all who live and visit here. The time has come for Ouray County to decide the worth of its most picturesque landscapes – Red Mountain Pass Area and Yankee Boy Basin with their incredible mountains and waterfalls. These stunning landscapes are Ouray County’s greatest attractions for tourists and locals alike. The question is simple: Do we want poorly regulated residential development in the high country with new roads that crisscross the landscape from Ironton to Red Mountain Pass?

Here’s what’s at stake: There are over 1,100 mining claims on Red Mountain Pass, near Ouray and in Yankee Boy Basin. A majority won’t be built on, but as few as 30-40 homes built without improved rules on size, appearance, fencing and access could have a major impact on the landscape and wildlife.

All 47 hiking trails maintained by the Ouray Trail Group in this area traverse mining claims. Some or many could be closed if poorly regulated development occurs.

Ouray County’s economy. Our tourism and businesses in Ouray depend heavily on these areas.

Here’s what’s not at stake: Legality. This kind of management of unique landscapes has been done in other Colorado counties and has been vetted by our county attorney.

The right to build homes. Landowners will have new guidelines but can still build.

Mining. This regulation has no effect (none) on mining rights.

Here’s some background: A few years ago, home construction began anew in the Red Mountain Pass area. During the past 18 months, the County has held numerous workshops on modest regulations for home and road construction. Much research was done and property rights were always considered. Interested citizens participated.

On June 18th, the Planning Commission held a public hearing and a new audience with attorneys and special interests appeared. They were mainly owners of mining claims, and they asked the Planning Commission to “toss it (the regulation) in the trash can.”

Our County Commissioners, to their credit, decided to ask the public for more input before deciding how to proceed. They seem to favor the regulation, but your comments will influence the direction they take.

If this issue is important to you, please accept the commissioners’ invitation to speak out at the Ouray County Courthouse on Monday July 27 at 7 p.m. In addition to attending, you can email the commissioners at with your thoughts. Copies of the proposed regulation (Section 30) are available – call 626-9775 (Land Use Office).

Denise Gendreau Thanks for 10 Years of Hard Work


On behalf of the 10 doctors and licensed health care professionals practicing at Rocky Mountain Integrative Medicine (RmIM) in Ridgway, I would like to express our sincerest appreciation to the Holistic Health Resources of the San Juans (HHRSJ) for their valuable service and contributions over the last 10 years.

The Holistic Health Resources of the San Juans mission was to,  “…enhance the health and well being of the greater community through ongoing education about holistic treatment options and by providing financial assistance to eligible individuals for holistic services.”

Over the years, the HHRSJ frequently provided RmIM with significant tangible donations and funding to purchase updated books for our natural health reference and lending library. Their unique Optimum Wellness Clinics offered our practitioners opportunity to showcase their diverse modalities in a relaxed, experiential setting. Most importantly, their grant-funded Alternative Care Assistance Program provided much needed aid to many of our patients challenged with chronic conditions that integrative medicine was best able to address. They never turned away a single application forwarded to them from our clinic. We in turn were privileged to witness these patients reaching their optimum health goals and hearing their success stories. This is the best part of my job, and for that I too personally thank them.

Now, our clinic is deeply saddened to learn that due to lack of a sufficient number of participating board members the HHRSJ is closing its doors. Unfortunately, this scenario is not uncommon among non-profits and is thus all the more reason to applaud those few individuals who carried the HHRSJ through the years with minimal assistance.  

Our gratitude is extended to Julia Marie Gillett, their president and treasurer. Julia’s creative vision, attention to detail and remarkable tenacity nurtured the HHRSJ through its fledgling years and on to the present. Together with the combined talents of intermittent boardmembers and with their superb program director, Elyssa Kerins, at the helm, the HHRSJ grew to become a model non-profit – one whose legacy should not be lost to any group seeking a prototype. 

RmIM would also like to acknowledge the Telluride Foundation and others who supported the HHRSJ through their grants and gifts making the services of the HHRSJ possible.

While 10 years has gone by quickly, a life span of this length is statistically considered an accomplishment among non-profits in Western Colorado. Your efforts have not been in vain.

“Wherever the art of medicine is loved, there is also a love of humanity." – Hippocrates

We thank you all for this love and for making a difference !


Heidi Comstock, Office Manager, Rocky Mountain Integrative Medicine
Comments-icon Post a Comment
No Comments Yet