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Plan to create more land gets commissioner approval

(Almont) A sweeping new blueprint which would effectively create more land in Gunnison County got by a major stumbling block Thursday as the Gunnison Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to give the plan a go.

The concept, brainchild of Tiera Tiera Tiera, a Denver geophysical consulting firm, calls for the expansion of current acreage some 10% each year over the next few years resulting in an additional 145,000 acres at the end of the program, which is expected to be concluded before 2030.

At first cold to the idea the commissioners warmed up when told that the expansion would be comprised of 40% wetlands and another 35% dark timber contemporary, comparable to the Ohio Pass region and lands above Crested Butte. The remaining 25% of the new land would be alpine and sub-alpine tundra.

Environmentalists reportedly have reserved final comments until a public hearing, slated for early 2022. Although cynical at first, many seem to have adopted the idea from a custodial standpoint allowing potential conservation measures to overcome preliminary fantasies and physical laws.

“We can envision acres of greenbelt, surrounded by Nature Conservatory parcels dotting the landscape,” said one High Country Citizens Alliance source. “We know what these people are up to and it has to do with feeding the building boom. Sure, we can tolerate a few more trophy homes just so long as at least half of the land is protected from development for all time.

If the land expansion goes as proposed, Gunnison County officials will be hard pressed to find enough wildlife to fill the newly created vacuum. Expanding the current deer and elk herds won’t be much of a chore but attracting the right kind of predators, more trout and twice the eagle population could take decades. All parties agree that preserving the food chain remains a top priority. 

“People take the elements of living here for granted,” said one commissioner. “Do they think all of these animals just showed up last night? And what of the trees and plants? It took generations for these intricate elements to meld as one ecosystem. If we are going to pursue this exiting experiment with space we want to do things right. Rushing into a poorly conceived notion at this point will spell trouble down the road.”

Already the largest county in Colorado, the newly emerging landscape could, in a few years, represent a mass larger than several New England states and the District of Columbia.

“We’re not map snobs,” said a spokesman for Tiera Tiera Tiera, “or megalomaniacs intent on expanding our reality for the sake of power or profit. We just want to offer rural counties the option of positive growth beneficial to everyone…you know, more elbow room. When the first pioneers arrived they didn’t have to deal with land use codes, covenants or easements. Why? Because there was more than enough room for everyone, except of course uncooperative residents like the grizzly bear and the people who already called the place home.”

Whether the existing population centers will expand has not been discussed at press time nor was the necessary construction of new roads connecting old land with new. Percentages of vertical to horizontal parcels likewise has not been undressed.

“We’d like to see more people able to buy land, more animals grazing, more water, said one commissioner, “and, yes, even more sagebrush. Let’s not forget the sagebrush.”

– Kashmir Horseshoe

“You will never find peace with these fascists

You’ll never find friends such as we

So remember that valley of Jarama

And the people that’ll set that valley free.

From this valley they say we are going

Do not hasten to bid us adieu 

Even though we lost the battle at Jarama

We’ll set this valley before we’re through.

All this world is like this valley called Jarama

So green and so bright and so fair

No fascists can dwell in our valley

Nor breathe in our new freedoms air.” 

― Woody Guthrie