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Know the West

Whose traditional homeland?

  Dear HCN,

Maria Mondragon-Valdez wrote in your March 7 issue about the contentious issue of who should own the 121-square-mile Taylor Ranch in southern Colorado. She questioned whether a corporation or state entity should be able to "dominate and exploit resources at the expense of a community which considers the landscape part of its traditional homeland."

I respect and support Mondragon-Valdez's attempts to keep her corner of the world free of "amenity development" for hunters and RVers. However, I respectfully suggest that before she wraps herself too tightly in the cloak of defending her "homeland," she remember that it was her ancestors who moved into the San Luis Valley only 200-300 years ago, dominating and exploiting the area's resources at the expense of the Indians they pushed out or subdued, often by force - Indians who undoubtedly considered the landscape part of their traditional homeland.

Scott Graham

Tijeras, New Mexico