WELCOME to the 100th Ski Hi Stampede Week in the San Luis Valley – historic in nature and tons of fun along the way. Weather ahead looks good – not too hot, not too dry in the forecast. The Ski Hi Stampede Board of Directors is hoping for three days of sold-out rodeo crowds on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with a specialty act by Tomas Garcilazo.

To get the 100th Stampede started, Dwight Yoakam and the Josh Abbott Band will kick things off on Thursday evening. This Valley Pod episode with board members Karla Willschau and Eric Kimberling will fill you in all the plans for the 2022 Stampede. You can get all your tickets and a full schedule at SkiHiStampede.com.

Marisa Fricke leans on the pitchfork she uses to clear waterways on Subdistrict 1 land

1.Weighty water issues
The Rio Grande Water Conservation District Board of Directors has its quarterly meeting beginning at 9 a.m. Tuesday. The RGWCD board has weighty issues to decide, including whether to greenlight and move forward to the state a fourth amendment to the Plan of Water Management in Subdistrict 1. Remember this is the subdistrict on the northern and western end of the Valley that is working to bring sustainability to the unconfined aquifer of the Upper Rio Grande Basin, and is under state orders to do so or face well curtailments. That’s why the Subdistrict 1 Board of Managers has been working so hard to draft a fourth amendment to the plan. This story from April will bring you up to speed on the plan and what’s at stake.

ribbon cutting at trail head

2. Rito Seco Trail opens in Costilla County
Tucked in a canyon of ponderosa pine and aspen trees is an old campground full of concrete benches, where you’ll find a serene trail that follows the Rito Seco creek. San Luis Valley Great Outdoors and their partners in Costilla County held a grand opening and ribbon cutting for the Rito Seco Trail on Friday, July 15. The project has been in the works for over 12 years and gives Costilla County a space on public land that can be accessed by everybody. More here.


3. National Heritage Area seeks conference sponsors

The Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area (SdCNHA) will host the Alliance of National Heritage Areas 2022 Fall Conference October 10-14, 2022, and is looking for community partners to give the event an extra special San Luis Valley touch. SdCNHA is inviting partners and local businesses to donate products, stickers, brochures, and other items to be included in gift bags for conference attendees, allowing them to take home a little bit of the San Luis Valley. If you’d like to participate, please contact Alina Marquez at 719-580-8044.

lilly lavier_PROMO

4. Home for the summer

We learned a lot listening to Lilly Lavier, one of Alamosa High’s most heavily recruited student-athletes in the past decade, talk about her experience as a four-time state champion and now veteran member of the Oklahoma State University running program. Home for the summer, she was our latest guest on The Valley Pod. Our biggest takeaway: She recruited the schools she wanted to attend as much as they recruited her. You can listen here to the episode.

In the podcast studio this week will be La Jara Town Manager Larry Zaragoza and Adams State President David Tandberg. Subscribe to The Valley Pod anywhere you get your podcasts and follow along.


5. We wish her well … and thank you

Marisa Fricke, the very capable program manager for Subdistrict 1 of the Rio Grande Water Conservation District, has called it a day. Her last day at the conservation district office was Friday, July 15. She has helped us greatly in understanding the business of the water conservation district, and the heavy lift and sacrifices ag producers in Subdistrict 1 have endured in their efforts to bring sustainability to the unconfined aquifer of the Rio Grande Basin. She’s been a great champion of the subdistrict. We will miss her. And we appreciate her being a a podcast guest as well as her patience with us as we asked and asked and asked her to explain to us so we could explain to you the complex nature of water, farming and ranching in the San Luis Valley.

TOP PHOTO: A jogger at dawn at Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge.

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