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The Front Range Almanac
I got my copy of the Front Range Almanac in the mail the day before Earth Day, which seemed appropriate. It’s full of the usual almanac stuff, and even has a few items about Allenspark. The WIND is shown under “media,” which is pretty nice of them, even if we don’t have a phone number they could list. It also notes that we have 300 residents (a nice, round number) and that we get 155.5 inches of snow a year, which is more than any other foothills town.
The Almanac is published by Peak to Peak magazine, which originated in Nederland and now has an office in Estes Park, as well. It’s published by Don Cooper and edited by Jim Gunn, and for $9 (sent to P.O. Box 1409 in Nederland, 80466) you get five issues (bi-monthly, but just one winter issue) plus the almanac. It concentrates on feature stories rather than local news, and the quality of writing, editing and photography is a good deal better than one would reasonably expect. They cover the towns, true to its name, on the Peak to Peak highway from Estes Park to Evergreen, which is just on the other side of I-70. Evergreen is probably a stretch, but so many live there it’s hard to ignore.
Several area businesses advertise in the magazine: Eagle Plume, Fawn Brook, the banks in Estes Park.
There have been a number of abortive attempts at local magazines in Estes Park in the past 20 years, but this one looks as though it has sufficient advertising and circulation to actually make a go of it. [Alas, shortly after this was written, the magazine went out of business.]
Looking at the Almanac, with its tracking chart of animal footprints and listing of trees that grow in the various altitude zones, cheek by jowl with ads for various tourist attractions, I was once again reminded, this Earth Day, of the man-made forces which are always at work in our mountains.
Since the middle of the 19th century there have been cycles of exploitation and preservation, first in trapping, logging, livestock and mining, followed by the creation of RMNP as a preserve, which was itself then exploited as a means of bringing in tourists and business. For the past few years we have seen, not only in the policies of RMNP, but in the Wild and Scenic proposals and in the reactionary movement about the proposed improvements to our roads, a return to concerns for the environment on a scale not seen in our valley since Enos Mills was alive, some 80 years ago.
The Almanac, with its stories about wildlife and its advertising for businesses should remind us that for most of the country, Earth Day comes but once a year. Here, if we are to maintain this fragile environment for our children and resist the forces that would destroy it, every day must be Earth Day.
© 1985 – 2003, David E. Steiner
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