On Sept. 19, there was an article in the Herald regarding Colorado State University terminating its contract as a research affiliate at the Old Fort Lewis campus, the San Juan Basin Research Station. On Sept. 28, in a letter to the Agriculture Council, the associate dean of research from the CSU Agriculture Science Department cited “the current budget situation, changing demographics, agriculture and land use in the Four Corners area” as causes for CSU to reach the closure decision.
As a resident and youth leader in the Four Corners, I have grave concerns regarding the future of the Old Fort Lewis campus without the involvement of an educational institution. I feel it is imperative that Fort Lewis College be steward of the land.
This site has played a significant role in the history of Southwest Colorado and could and should continue to do so. It is disheartening to hear the last bastion of agriculture is waning in our county and region. This is especially alarming coming from educational institutions that are educating our future farmers and ranchers.
The need for sustainability continues to be a focus locally. Right here in our midst is a research, educational, production site the we could possibly lose.
Assuming that there may be natural gas or other natural resources that may result in immediate revenues received is short sighted. A better use of the site would be to produce long-term and alternative-energy sources such as wind, water, geothermal and solar. That would help our region become more self-sustainable.
The old campus is a local landmark. The marriage between the need to generate funds to educate Native Americans and the use of the site to develop sustainability is possible.
Denise King-Stovall, Hesperus