Don Ewy is no timber beast


HCN subscriber Don Ewy is not your typical logger. A self-described environmentalist who has fought to limit development on public lands, Ewy has selectively logged small trees in North Park, Colorado's only state forest, for the past 31 years. During that time his only employees have been his three children, and he says his daughter is "the best hand I ever had."

But on Jan. 4, Don felt the heat that he says other loggers probably feel more often. Most days, Ewy leaves the 10-person town of Gould by 6:45 a.m., but he spent part of the morning at a meeting about ORV use in the state forest. By the time he arrived at the forest, he knew immediately that something wasn't right.

"Somebody monkey-wrenched my little dozer," he says. The fuel lines were cut, the gauges were smashed, a chocolate bar was dumped into the diesel tank and 30 gallons of oil were dumped over the truck.

"It's obvious that someone who was recreating in the forest came along and said to themselves, ÔOh, logging is bad, I better do something about it,' " says Don. "This just came out of the blue."

Don and Ann Ewy are offering a $500 reward for anyone who has substantial information; nothing has turned up so far. It's not the end of the world, Don says. For the last four years, his family has struggled with a bigger beast than vandalism: In 1996 doctors detected a tumor on Ann's brain. Since then, she has undergone four brain surgeries, extensive radiation and chemical treatments.

"At this point in my life," says Don, "I try to laugh at almost anything."

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