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50th Wilderness Anniversary Events and Programs

SLV Ecosystem Council Sponsored Events



Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act    1964-2014


Public Outreach Program : The History of Wilderness in the San Luis Valley

SLVEC has an active program that is expanding on earlier collaborations with the Rio Grande National Forest, the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, the Bureau of Land Management, San Luis Valley Field Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlfie Service, Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado and  ScSeed. Now, through a grant from the Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area, we are able to present educational, multi- media presentations to SLV middle and high school students. The program lays out the history of wilderness preservation, the importance of wilderness, and opportunities for enjoyment and employment in wilderness. SLVEC will also be compiling the local history of wilderness preservation in the Valley.

Check back for more details as we implement this program.







Mountain Poets Present Crestone Program


Poets of renown will gather and present a program in honor of the 50th year anniversary of the Wilderness Act at the Crestone Community Center (the old Crestone school) on Saturday, October 4 from 7 to 9 pm. Headlining the event are Art Goodtimes and Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer, two nationally acclaimed Colorado poets. The River City Nomads, a poetry ensemble from Salida and other regional and local poets will round out the evening.


This literary night is cosponsored by the San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council, a local grass-roots organization whose charge is to protect, restore, and enhance the SLV public lands and the Friends of the Crestone Library.


Art Goodtimes has exhaustive credentials. Here are few highlights: born in San Francisco from an immigrant Italian father and a sixth generation Californian, spent seven years in a Catholic seminary, earned a B.A. in English from San Francisco State University (1970), and got a lifetime teaching credential from U.C. Berkeley Extension (1978), currently serving a fifth term on the San Miguel County Board of Commissioners as Colorado’s only Green Party partisan-elected official, award-winning member of dozens of boards, commissions and committees on the local, regional, state and even national levels, executive board member and former president of the Telluride Institute, named the first Western Slope Poet Laureate at the first annual Karen Chamberlain Poetry Festival in Carbondale.


Art’s last book wasAs If the World Really Mattered(La Alameda Press, Albuquerque, 2007), which received critical acclaim inBloomsbury Review(Denver) andPoetry Flash(San Francisco). In 2013 Western Eye Press (Sedona, Arizona) will publish a chapbook,Looking South to Lone Cone.


Poet Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer “is a chanteuse of the heart,” says poet Art Goodtimes. Trommer and Goodtimes co-host Telluride’s monthly Poetry Club. She served two terms as San Miguel County’s first poet laureate and worked ten years as director of the Telluride Writers Guild. She has authored and edited thirteen books, and her work has appeared on A Prairie Home Companion, in O Magazine, on back alley fences, in her children’s lunchboxes, and on rocks she leaves around town. She won the ACC Writer’s Studio Poetry Contest in 2011 and 2013.


The public is invited to this poetic evening and refreshments will be offered. A donation of 10 dollars will be greatly appreciated. Proceeds go to SLV Ecosystem Council and the Friends of Crestone Library.

Day Hike - San Luis Hills- Manassa

Saturday, November 15, 2014

We day hiked into the San Luis Hills Wilderness Study Area  near Manassa as part of our ongoing celebration to commemorate the  50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act.

We celebrated the 34 years the study area  has been protected in conjunction with acknowledgement of the  50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act.


The San Luis Hills Wilderness Study Area (WSA) is the only  stand-alone wilderness study area in the San Luis Valley and consists of 10,883  acres that were recommended for wilderness in 1980 by the Bureau of Land  Management. This area is part of a citizen’s wilderness proposal that advocates  for landscape protection connectivity in the Pinon Hills, including Flattop, a  large roadless area that lies just north of the San Luis Hills  WSA.


There are two smaller areas in the SLV that are also recommended  for wilderness by the BLM and are adjacent to the existing Sangre de Cristo  Wilderness Area.


The  San Luis Hills WSA lies within an area known as North Pinon Hills which are a  part of a large south central geographic area in the SLV consisting of the  volcanic San Luis, Fairy and Brownie Hills. These volcanic hills bracket the Rio Grande  from Las Sauces to the New Mexico state line.


The San Luis Hills WSA is an  island of wild in these arid hills and serves as a refuge for plant and animal  communities that are challenged to survive in harsh, high altitude conditions  and is also populated with multiple cultural sites.

 SLHills12001 The view from the top looking south into New Mexico

SLHills13001From the top  looking to the northest to Mt. Blanca and the Rio Grande


SLHillshikers2001Heading up the rocky trail

SLHillshikers3001Lunch at the top

SLHills19001Looking north from the WSA into BLM Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC's)



 Wilderness Paint Out - Creede was held on September 27, 2014

Click here to see pictures of the Paint-Out

Click here to see the artwork created from the Paint-Out


 Visitors checking out the painters
at the Park Corrals, 10 miles west of Creede, Colorado on 149