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Old 01-04-2010, 05:21 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,223,386 times
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The valley areas of western Colorado have always been susceptible to significant air inversions, especially in winter, that can trap pollutants. That, combined with the altitude, can lead to significant, but episodic air pollution problems in just about any community in western Colorado. The main pollution sources used to be small, mulitple-source generators of air pollution--coal furnaces, incinerators, etc. Much of that has long disappeared, but has been replaced with proliferations of motor vehicles, and--in some places--large single-sources like coal-fired power plants. A couple of the Four Corners units near Farmington, NM are some of the oldest large coal-fired power plants and used to be pretty dirty. I would guess that some retrofitting has been done, but they are still older-design plants. My personal observation is that most of the visible pollution from those generally stays south of Durango.

Probably a bigger local problem is some pollution from gas drilling, but I suspect the biggest issue is the proliferation of motor vehicles in a high mountain valley that has quadrupled in population in the last three decades or so. Another case where a zillion transplants wind up destroying the very qualities they were looking for when they moved there . . .
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Old 01-04-2010, 05:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
The valley areas of western Colorado have always been susceptible to significant air inversions, especially in winter, that can trap pollutants. That, combined with the altitude, can lead to significant, but episodic air pollution problems in just about any community in western Colorado. The main pollution sources used to be small, mulitple-source generators of air pollution--coal furnaces, incinerators, etc. Much of that has long disappeared, but has been replaced with proliferations of motor vehicles, and--in some places--large single-sources like coal-fired power plants. A couple of the Four Corners units near Farmington, NM are some of the oldest large coal-fired power plants and used to be pretty dirty. I would guess that some retrofitting has been done, but they are still older-design plants. My personal observation is that most of the visible pollution from those generally stays south of Durango.

Probably a bigger local problem is some pollution from gas drilling, but I suspect the biggest issue is the proliferation of motor vehicles in a high mountain valley that has quadrupled in population in the last three decades or so. Another case where a zillion transplants wind up destroying the very qualities they were looking for when they moved there . . .
Jazzlover,

I appreciate the feedback. So where is the place to go in Colorado for a family wanting to live on a ranch with clean air and water???
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Old 01-04-2010, 06:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by gamana View Post
Jazzlover,

I appreciate the feedback. So where is the place to go in Colorado for a family wanting to live on a ranch with clean air and water???
If you plan to actually make a living off the ranch and not be a "hobby rancher," or "tax-writeoff rancher," it probably won't be in Colorado. The developers and land speculators have pretty much taken care of that. The old joke that the only way you make money ranching in Colorado is to either inherit one or marry one has never been more true. The second truism is the old joke:

Q: "How do you make a small fortune ranching in Colorado?"
A.: "Start with a big fortune."

As a former agiculturalist, I can tell you that hobby ranches are usually big money pits that take a lot more work than most people are willing to put into them. They get seduced by all the hype about the "neat" lifestyle and fail to understand the back-breaking work involved. Their kids usually grow up wanting nothing to do with the lifestyle, and move to some metro blob where they can make a living. The work is no less grueling in a big ag operation, but at least one has some prospect of making a living from it. There are the trust-funder types that live on their hobby ranch and hire everything done. Of course, that's about as phony as a non-golfer living on a golf course and pretending to be Arnold Palmer. Unfortunately, in Colorado, those goofball "pretend" ranchers outnumber the real ones manyfold. They pat each other on the back and tell each other that they are "ranchers," when nothing could be farther from the truth.

An awful lot of the "real" ranch people I know in Colorado are looking elsewhere to ranch, usually away from anything to do with tourist and transplant-infested areas--places like Nebraska, Oklahoma, the Dakotas, eastern Wyoming, eastern Montana, and some places on Colorado's Eastern Plains. That's too bad, because Colorado's ranching heritage is a rich one. The few places that heritage still exists in Colorado are under full assault by land development, absentee ownership (usually corporate and often tied to future development for non-ranching purposes), and water grabs.
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Old 01-04-2010, 06:48 PM
 
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Jazzlover,

Once again, I thank you for taking the time to post all this valuable info. The ranching heritage is exactly why i am looking at Colorado first. We do have a ranch in the Dominican Republic with horses and dairy cows but nothing huge. We practice natural horsemanship. We are really looking at Colorado for a place to set up a horse ranch for breeding, training and trail riding. The dude ranch aspect could be an option down the road but more oriented towards training than tourism.
The other main reason we are looking at Colorado is the presence of alternative families doing homeschooling. I am not sure about all the other states you mentioned.
What about west of Boulder?
We will be exploring for 2 months in April and May. Just give me a starting point and a direction and I will try to find paradise... :-)
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Old 01-04-2010, 07:39 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,131 posts, read 26,394,884 times
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Originally Posted by gamana View Post
Jazzlover,

Once again, I thank you for taking the time to post all this valuable info. The ranching heritage is exactly why i am looking at Colorado first. We do have a ranch in the Dominican Republic with horses and dairy cows but nothing huge. We practice natural horsemanship. We are really looking at Colorado for a place to set up a horse ranch for breeding, training and trail riding. The dude ranch aspect could be an option down the road but more oriented towards training than tourism.
The other main reason we are looking at Colorado is the presence of alternative families doing homeschooling. I am not sure about all the other states you mentioned.
What about west of Boulder?
We will be exploring for 2 months in April and May. Just give me a starting point and a direction and I will try to find paradise... :-)
Gamana, you said you looked at Asheville but did you consider anything in Virginia? Charlottesville is good but a little known gem is Rappahannock County. You've got the blue ridge mountains to the west making for beautiful panoramas. It's very clean, including the air, and is only 2 hours from DC. There's no oil or coal around there. I trout fish there and the rivers are clean enough to drink out of. The main towns are Washington, VA and Sperryville. Minimum lot sizes are 25 acres and lots of horse and cattle farms are there as well as apple and peach orchards. Lots of folks homeschool here so you'd have quite a bit of company on that. You don't have to deal with altitude like you would in Durango. I'd recommend you give it a look.

See the pic below which shows what it looks like there.
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Old 01-04-2010, 07:43 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,131 posts, read 26,394,884 times
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This place is 42.5 acres for $795K. Here's the realtor's site which has lots of other listings out there:

http://www.cheriwoodard.com/properties/the-farm-on-hawlin-road.php (broken link)
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Old 01-04-2010, 08:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by CAVA1990 View Post
Gamana, you said you looked at Asheville but did you consider anything in Virginia? Charlottesville is good but a little known gem is Rappahannock County. You've got the blue ridge mountains to the west making for beautiful panoramas. It's very clean, including the air, and is only 2 hours from DC. There's no oil or coal around there. I trout fish there and the rivers are clean enough to drink out of. The main towns are Washington, VA and Sperryville. Minimum lot sizes are 25 acres and lots of horse and cattle farms are there as well as apple and peach orchards. Lots of folks homeschool here so you'd have quite a bit of company on that. You don't have to deal with altitude like you would in Durango. I'd recommend you give it a look.

See the pic below which shows what it looks like there.
it looks beautiful. I checked Rappahannock and you are correct, no VOC and Nox at all. All clean air. It is pretty rare in the central eastern part of the US.
thanks a lot for the info. I am going to look into it.
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Old 01-04-2010, 08:15 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,131 posts, read 26,394,884 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gamana View Post
it looks beautiful. I checked Rappahannock and you are correct, no VOC and Nox at all. All clean air. It is pretty rare in the central eastern part of the US.
thanks a lot for the info. I am going to look into it.
I've been all over the West and I think that part of Virginia is one of the most beautiful rural areas in the country. Good luck.
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Old 01-05-2010, 01:31 AM
 
Location: Greeley, Colorado
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I spent over a week in Durango once and I never experienced any environmental issues like smog (granted it was back in 2006) but the entire time I was there the air was clean and the sky crystal blue. Just my experience.
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Old 01-05-2010, 01:44 AM
 
Location: Greeley, Colorado
631 posts, read 1,364,395 times
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Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
Probably a bigger local problem is some pollution from gas drilling, but I suspect the biggest issue is the proliferation of motor vehicles in a high mountain valley that has quadrupled in population in the last three decades or so. Another case where a zillion transplants wind up destroying the very qualities they were looking for when they moved there . . .
CensusScope -- Population Growth Here's a growth chart of the entire county and as you can see it has barely doubled in the past fifty years. Seriously you and your vendetta against transplants...ever consider that the locals or 'natives' as you call them are ALSO destroying the 'very qualities' of the area that make it so great by simply living there? Not to mention multiplication of the 'natives' and THEIR impact...you make it sound like only the outsiders are doing any harm. In fact by living here even YOU are causing damage to the environment. If you want to 'save the natural beauty' of Colorado, then how about advertising that EVERYONE should simply get the heck outta Colorado and then the Federal Government quarantine the entire state for 'preservation of natural beauty'. I'm a transplant myself (PROUD OF IT) and I actually do my best to keep Colorado pretty (partly why I became an Eagle Scout) by planting trees and by not littering, yet you would overlook that fact simply because I'm from Florida and therefore I am satan and should get kicked out like an illegal immigrant.
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