by Larry Patrick
WALSENBURG- The Huerfano County Commissioners got a report from Park Manager, John Brandstatter of Lathrop State Park in Walsenburg on some additional activities for the upcoming season and beyond. An equestrian trail will be set up on the west end of the park beginning in May of this year to allow locals and visitors to exercise their horses. Brandstatter said it will not be a large area, but sufficient for horses to get some exercise. Also, an archery range will be set up in an area for the public to use and it will not require a park permit. That also should be ready by May of this year.
Brandstatter said another area will be set aside on the western edge of Horseshoe Lake for additional campground space. He says it will accommodate 8 additional sites that could handle about 56 total people.
In other developments, County Administrator John Galusha discussed possible changes at the Waste Transfer Station. Greg Wilson of Recycle Exchange is working with the county on securing a grant that would put up another building holding two balers to recycle a large amount of material. The grant is for $120,000 and will require a match, which would be provided by Recycle Exchange. Galusha believes about 75% of what is now going through the crusher could be separated and handled by the balers to be recycled.
A meeting is being held tonight in La Veta about the destruction of forest land by the pine beetle this year. The Forest Service personnel say that above 9,000 feet they expect 100% destruction of the trees. They will report at the La Veta Community Center how to handle all of the dead trees and the danger it could bring during the summer season.
Commissioners received a tourist attendance report at the Walsenburg Mining Museum this past year. The museum board reported a decline in out-of-state visitors except in the states bordering Colorado. They saw a significant increase in Colorado visitors this year.
Gary M. Vezzani was elected Walsenburg’s mayor in Tuesday’s special mayoral election/recall vote. Preliminary results announced Tuesday night show that both Nick Vigil in Ward