BARBWIRE BOB – 1-12-23

The weather is cold enough for the annual Stock Show to commence.   It seems that the weather can  turn cold for the historic event where all roads lead to Denver for cowboys and cowgirls with the National Western one of the top-ranked shows in the United States.  The food courts, rodeos, and vendors draw huge crowds. The Indian jewelry displays are extraordinaire. 

BY BOB SWEENEY

Coming out of COVID-19 and massive area construction, the show must go on with the CSU Spur buildings opening recently.  Agriculture is among the top industries in Colorado and with the war in Ukraine our corn, wheat, and soybeans are bringing record prices.  

Colorado produces beef, lamb, pork, chicken in many locations with large herds of sheep and cattle still grazing on private and public lands across Colorado.  

Denver Post publisher emeritus Dean Singleton has a cattle ranch in North Park near Walden where he spends time with family members.  At least one of his sons chose to be a rancher rather than be a newspaper publisher.  I grew up on a ranch and chose to be a publisher, so different strokes for different folks.

Ranch life during these cold snowy days is hearty work.  My father never missed a day in his life of not taking good care of first, his dog,  the horses, and feeding the livestock.  The Hereford cattle could withstand the cold weather as long as they got their hay every morning and the water holes ice was chopped out. 

In far Northwest Colorado the snow can be very deep and doesn’t melt until spring when “Mud Season” begins.   The mud lasts for several weeks as mother nature melts the snow into the river basins, flowing vast amounts of Colorado snowfall to lower basin states.  Governor Edwin Johnson was from Craig and owned a grain elevator before becoming Governor and United States Senator. He was instrumental in forming the Colorado River Compact with lower basin states that governs western water laws. As long as the snow falls in our Rocky Mountains the rivers will flow and feed the growing needs for water in Eastern and Western Colorado.  The Denver Water Board and City of Aurora have done a masterful job of building water storage for the growth and development of our cities.   Someday, maybe sooner, than later, there will be a drought and there will not be enough of this very precious water to handle the growth and skyrocketing population of  Eastern Colorado.

As the Colorado General Assembly gathers this month, water storage, conservation, and allocation should be among the many topics given high priority by our elected leaders.

The recent snowfall is a blessing for the West and Colorado.