Don't step on a bomb

  • CLOSED QUARTERS: The barracks at Camp Hale c. 1943

    Ralph W. Hulbert, Denver Public Library Western History Collection, TMD-509
 

COLORADO

During World War II, up to 17,000 soldiers, including the famed ski troopers of the 10th Mountain Division, trained at Camp Hale near the town of Leadville, Colo. The men learned to ski, climb rocks and bivouac in 30-below weather. David Brower, who wrote the division's mountaineering manual, was there, as were Vail visionary Pete Seibert and Paul Petzoldt, founder of the National Outdoor Leadership School, based in Lander, Wyo.

Military training may be over, but the tools of war remain. This summer, five rifle grenades and the fuse for an anti-tank land mine were found, leading the Forest Service to close to the public 1,400 acres, including three miles of the Colorado Trail. Then on Oct. 12, a mile outside of the agency's closed area, bow hunters came upon a live fuse for an anti-tank land mine. It is possible that some of the unexploded munitions might have been left during 1959-1960, when the CIA secretly trained Tibetans for guerrilla warfare against China.

Camp Hale reverted back to the Forest Service in 1965, a time when environmental laws were lax. A 1985 law now mandates munitions surveys at former military sites, but public-land managers say this is a chore that could take decades.

Meanwhile, near Camp Hale, officials recommend leaving any suspicious items on the ground and reporting the discovery to the Eagle County Sheriff's Office, 970/479-2200.

Copyright 2000 HCN and Allen Best

High Country News Classifieds
  • COPPER STAIN: ASARCO'S LEGACY IN EL PASO
    Tales from scores of ex-employees unearth the human costs of an economy that runs on copper.
  • FEATURES DIRECTOR - HIGH COUNTRY NEWS
    High Country News, an award-winning news organization covering the communities and environment of the Western United States, seeks a Features Director to join our editorial...
  • GENERAL MANAGER
    The Board of UYWCD seeks a new GM to manage operations & to implement our robust strategic plan. Details at www.upperyampawater.com. EOE
  • IN TUCSON, FOR SALE: A BEAUTIFUL, CLASSIC MID-CENTURY MODERN HOME
    designed by architect David Swanson in 1966. Located a block from Saguaro National Forest, yet minutes to Downtown and the UofA campus, 3706 sqft, 6...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    The Friends of the San Juans is seeking a new leader guide our efforts to protect and restore the San Juan Islands and the Salish...
  • 80 ACRES
    straddles North Platte Fishery, Wyoming. Legal access 2 miles off 1-80. Call 720-440-7633.
  • DIRECTOR OF PRODUCT AND MARKETING
    High Country News seeks a Director of Product and Marketing to join our senior team during an exciting chapter of innovation and growth. This individual...
  • OWN A THRIVING MOUNTAIN GUIDE SERVICE.
    Eastern Sierra guide service for sale to person with vision & expertise to take it onwards. Since 1995 with USFS & NPS permits. Ideal for...
  • IMPROVED LOT
    Private road, hillside, views. Well, pad, septic, 99 sq.ft. hut. Dryland permaculture orchard. Wildlife. San Diego--long growing season
  • UNIQUE INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY
    Profitable off-the-grid business located 2 miles from Glacier National Park. Owner has 6 years operating experience. Seeking investor or partner for business expansion and enhancement....
  • REMOTE SITKA ALASKA FLOAT HOUSE VACATION RENTAL
    Vacation rental located in calm protected waters 8 miles from Sitka, AK via boat with opportunities to fish and view wildlife. Skiff rental also available.
  • EXPERT LAND STEWART
    Available for site conservator, property manager. View resume at http://skills.ojadigital.net.
  • CONSERVATIONIST? IRRIGABLE LAND?
    Stellar seed-saving NGO is available to serious partner. Package must include financial support. Details: http://seeds.ojaidigital.net.
  • CANYONLANDS FIELD INSTITUTE
    Colorado Plateau Natural & Human History Field Seminars. Lodge, river, hiking options. Small groups, guest experts.
  • WESTERN NATIVE SEED
    Specializing in native seeds and seed mixes for western states.
  • CHUCK BURR'S CULTUREQUAKE.COM BLOG
    Change will happen when we see a new way of living. Thinking to save the world.
  • COMING TO TUCSON?
    Popular vacation house, furnished, 2 bed/1 bath, yard, dog-friendly. Lee at [email protected] or 520-791-9246.
  • OJO CALIENTE COMMERCIAL VENTURE
    Outstanding location near the world famous Ojo Caliente Mineral Spring Resort. Classic adobe Mercantile complete w/living quarters, separate 6 unit B&B, metal building and spacious...