Saturday, June 20, 2015, 10 am to 5pm, Wolf Creek Ski Area

Painters, poets and musicians will converge on Wolf Creek Pass, Saturday June 20, 2015 for an all day celebration of the Art for the Endangered Landscape: Honoring Wolf Creek 2015.

This Art Day will be an opportunity for artists of all persuasions to honor the beauty and majesty of this high country straddling the Continental Divide as it runs through the San Juan Mountains of southern Colorado. Facilitation, orientation and amenities will be available from 10 am to 5 pm at the Wolf Creek Ski Area Parking Lot.

Artists and craftsmen will have ample time to observe the landscape during the longest daylight of the year, being the summer solstice.

It may also be the last time for artists and the public to experience the current conditions of the primitive nature of these lands adjacent to Wolf Creek Ski Area.

“If developers have their way, there will be a city of 10,000 people up here. This vista and all of its plants and animals will be disrupted or destroyed for generations to come, “asserts David Montgomery, San Luis Valley painter and event coordinator for the San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council (SLVEC), one of the event sponsors.

The Art for the Endangered Landscape (AEL): Honoring Wolf Creek project consists of two parts.

The first event on Saturday, June 20 will celebrate the existing conditions of Wolf Creek through various artistic avenues; painting, prose, drawing, photography, videography, songwriting, sculpture, printmaking, poetry, dance etc. during the on-location Art Day. Educational professionals are encouraged to bring their students on the Art Day for a unique learning opportunity.

The public is also invited to come up to the Pass on June 20 to watch as artists and craftsman spend the day creating in and around the Wolf Creek Ski Area. Registration, orientation and amenities will be available from 10 am to 5 pm. Lunch will be provided for registered artists. Art fans and interested public may also dine for a suggested donation.

Artists will then offer their creations of Wolf Creek for the second aspect of this project in a travelling show and sale. Shows are slated for Pagosa Springs in September and then travel to Alamosa in October. Plans are also pending to send the show on to Durango and Denver.

AEL sponsors include SLVEC, Colorado Creative Industries, Adams State University Community Partnerships, San Juan Citizens Alliance and Rocky Mountain Wild.

A portion of the art sales will be donations to show sponsors in their continuing efforts to promote public involvement in land management decisions. As the title of the show implies, many feel this area in the San Juan Mountains is endangered.

The Rio Grande National Forest is the focus for public comment in their ongoing processes dealing with a proposed land exchange and resort development next to the Wolf Creek Ski Area.

This proposed development, dubbed “the Village at Wolf Creek”, has been a controversial issue since 1986. Opponents point to this date when a contentious land exchange awarded developers the initial tract at the base of the Wolf Creek Ski slopes after local interests and the Rio Grande National Forest itself turned it down. This decision was overturned by the Reagan administration, granting the exchange, as the first of what many consider repeated instances of private interests trumping public interest with this forest land.

The viability of an introduced population of threatened Canada lynx has also been an issue of concern for development opponents. The planned development is in the middle of a lynx corridor that connects habitat critical to lynx survival and recovery according to Christine Canaly, executive director of the SLVEC. Other wildlife will also be adversely affected, from trout to elk, states Jimbo Buickerood with the San Juan Citizens Alliance.

Rio Grande National Forest officials are standing by their Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) decision to allow the current version of the development despite objections and failure to disclose certain documents for public scrutiny.

The Art for the Endangered Landscape: Honoring Wolf Creek hopes to contribute to the public discourse by highlighting the singular beauty of the view scape around Wolf Creek Pass. AEL hopes to assist in finding a land management solution that will protect this irreplaceable visual asset for the benefit of all.

For more information, contact San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council,
719-589-1518 or Dave Montgomery 719-580-5574