Real Estate La Jara Colorado - PDF

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					              A. AREA DESCRIPTION AND DEVELOPMENT HISTORY


            1. Area Covered (Table A-1)


The San Luis Valley in south-central Colorado is a well-known land feature in the State. Located about midway
between Denver and Albuquerque, this is the largest alpine valley in North America. The vast, flat surface of the
valley floor at 7,500/ft is bordered on the east by the sharply rising Sangre de Cristo Mountains which ascend to
14,000/ft peaks; and to the west by the more gradually rising foothills and 12,000/ft peaks of the San Juans
which mark the Continental Divide. The Sangre de Cristos are so named for their rose hue at sunset.


Both ranges join near Poncha Pass at the north end of this valley forming a “ring of mountains,” while the open
end to the south slopes gradually downward after crossing the New Mexico state line. The great open space of
the desert plain and the rugged snow-capped peaks of the Sangre de Cristos in spring resemble a veritable
Altiplano of the Rockies. This is also home to the Great Sand Dunes which are the tallest dunes in North America
and soon to become a National Park.


Boundaries of the San Luis Valley region are represented by the six counties of Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla,
Mineral, Rio Grande, and Saguache, each maintaining a separate identity but economically interdependent.
About 122 miles long from north to south, and about 74 miles across, this covers an area of 8,193 square miles --
- larger than the state of Massachusetts, but with a combined 2006 population of 48,291 (only 5.9 persons per
square mile). Table A-1 shows that Saguache County alone is larger than Delaware and Rhode Island combined.


Within its borders, the Valley harbors a great diversity of both natural and cultural settings. Landscape on the
floor of the valley changes dramatically with the presence of water. From its headwaters in the San Juans to the
Texas coast, the Rio Grande is the Nation’s second longest river and the lifeblood of the Valley’s agriculture and
development in general. Canals and ditches from the Rio Grande and the Conejos River as its major tributary
supply one of the State’s most important farming areas, famous for its potatoes, beer barley, alfalfa, and other
crops.


Vegetation and Cottonwood forests line these and lesser river courses across the Valley in contrast to the
dominant tracts of greasewood and other desert plants. The State’s most extensive system of wetlands is also
found here which supports a variety of wildlife and wildlife areas, including the famous stopover place for crane
migration between Idaho and the Bosque del Apache.




SLV Development Resources Group                           A-1                                     2007 CEDS

SLV Development Resources Group                           A-1                                     2007 CEDS
                                                        Map 2

                                           San Luis Valley Region – Base Map




  Source: San Luis Valley GIS/GPS Authority.




SLV Development Resources Group                             A-2                2007 CEDS

SLV Development Resources Group                             A-2                2007 CEDS
 SLV Development Resources Group
 A-3
 2007 CEDS




SLV Development Resources Group    A-3   2007 CEDS

SLV Development Resources Group    A-3   2007 CEDS
The rise in elevation substantially changes the landscape as marked by a succession of plant and tree species
shown on the schematic cross-section of the Valley. This begins with Sage, followed by Pinon-Juniper, Ponderosa
Pine, mixed conifers, Aspen, extensive stands of Engleman Spruce, and alpine tundra on the peaks. Streams,
lakes, and reservoirs are found higher up and on the flats as well. Several millions of acres of public land affords
a variety of recreational opportunity, wildlife habitat, and protected wilderness areas with hiking trails.


A true sense of place captured by the Valley’s natural setting is further enhanced by its equal depth of history,
art, culture, and people as described later in this chapter and other parts of the analysis. Population is diverse,
with 46.5% Hispanic Origin and 32.3% Spanish speakers, many of whom are descendants of the early settlers.
An effort to advance these resources to a place of national significance via National Heritage Area designation is
currently underway.


            2. Component Counties


A very brief summary on each county is presented below to give some idea of their diversity and contribution to
the region as a whole.


Alamosa County: The City of Alamosa serves as the regional hub with the Valley’s largest hospital, airport,
motels, business services, railroad and trucking terminals, industrial parks, Federal and State government offices,
and regional shopping. Adams State College and Trinidad State Junior College are also located in Alamosa.
Major attractions include the Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve, San Luis & Rio Grande Railroad
passenger line, Zapata Falls, San Luis Lakes State Park, National Wildlife Refuges, Colorado Gators alligator farm,
and Cattails Golf Course. The Nation’s largest solar panel farm located north of Alamosa was recently developed
by a SunEdison/Xcel Energy partnership.


Conejos County: Major attractions include the Cumbres & Toltec railroad from Antonito to Chama New Mexico,
Mormon Pioneer Days, Jack Dempsey Museum, Platoro and La Jara reservoirs, Colorado’s oldest church in
Conejos, and the Los Caminos Antiguos Byway. The Conejos County Hospital is located north of La Jara. Perlite
mined in New Mexico and processed in Antonito is shipped by rail. Small farms and ranches with hay, sheep, and
cattle ranches are a visible part of the economy. Second homes are being built in Conejos Canyon, and Antonito
is gateway to Espanola and Santa Fe via US 285.


Costilla County: Major attractions include museums in Fort Garland and Colorado’s oldest settlement in San
Luis, Stations of the Cross Shrine, Santa Ana & Santiago Celebration, a bronze foundry, artist colony in Jaroso,
and the Los Caminos Antiguos Scenic & Historic Byway. Notable fishing areas include Sanchez, Smith, and




SLV Development Resources Group                              A-4                                       2007 CEDS
                                                   Map 3

                                 San Luis Valley Region – Political Geography




  Source: San Luis Valley GIS/GPS Authority.




SLV Development Resources Group                         A-5                     2007 CEDS
Mountain Home reservoirs, and Culebra Creek. The county also contains the Valley’s largest tracts of private
lands including the Forbes Ranch and Blanca Trinchera which focus on hunting and real estate, and the 70,000-
acre La Sierra tract which was originally a Spanish Land Grant. Small villages and farms are notable near San
Luis, with larger farms in Jaroso and the Fort Garland area. San Luis is about 40 miles from Taos.


Mineral County: Creede has art and sporting goods shops, Repertory Theatre, and airport. Wolf Creek Ski
Area on the pass is in Mineral County. Guest ranches are located on CO 149, and many second homes are being
built. Other attractions include a mining museum, ghost towns, North Clear Creek Falls, Gold Medal fishing areas,
and access to the Rio Grande headwaters streams, lakes, and reservoirs in neighboring Hinsdale County. Creede
is about 40 miles from Lake City on the Silver Thread Byway covering some of the most beautiful scenery in
Colorado.


Rio Grande: Rio Grande is the largest potato and barley producing county in the State. Monte Vista is known
as the Valley’s agribusiness center but also has a tourist information center, regional shopping, State Veterans
Center, and one of the most attractive main streets. Del Norte serves as a gateway for tourists and is attempting
to expand Rio Grande County hospital. South Fork is the fastest growing town, with extensive second home
construction, tourism, a new golf course, and start of the Silver Thread Byway. Major attractions include Rio
Grande County Museum, Beaver Reservoir, Big Meadows, Gold Medal fishing, and backcountry trails. It is also
the closest town to the ski area, and gateway via US 160 to Pagosa Springs and Durango.


Saguache County: Saguache is the largest county spanning both mountain ranges, with many backroads and
trails to high lakes and remote areas. The Town of Center is a busy potato shipping and warehousing locus of
activity with San Luis Central freight service. It also has ag treatment facilities currently supporting a potato
processing plant, and farmworker housing. The Crestone/Baca community lies at the foot of the most rugged
part of the Sangre de Cristos, and has the greatest diversity of ancestry in the Valley including the Haidakhandi
Ashram and Mountain Zen Center. It also has many second homes and hosts Colorado College classes.             The
courthouse is located in the Town of Saguache which has a museum and serves as a gateway to Gunnison via CO
114 and Poncha Springs via US 285. Valley View and Mineral Hot Springs are located off US 285 near Villa Grove.
The Baca Ranch was added to the Sand Dunes as part of the National Park designation.


            3. Location and Travel Information (Table A-2)


Location within Colorado is shown on Map 1. Table A-2 shows a distance of 73 miles from I-25 to Alamosa.
Alamosa and the Valley are about halfway between Denver (239 miles) and Albuquerque (214 miles). Driving
time to Denver is about 4.0-4.5 hours via US 160/I-25 or CO 17/US 285, and about 3.5-4.0 hours via 285/I-25 to
Albuquerque. Use of snow tires, chains, or 4-wheel drive vehicles are frequently required for winter driving on


SLV Development Resources Group                           A-6                                        2007 CEDS
                                                         Map 4

                            San Luis Valley Region – Mountain Peaks




                1    Blanca Peak                      14,345         14   Wild Horse Mesa        8,826
                2    Trinchera Peak                   13,517         15   Cochetopa Dome        11,132
               3     Mt Ouray                         13,944         16   Little Bear Peak      14,037
               4     Bennett Peak                     13,203         17   Mount Lindsey         14,042
                5    Del Norte Peak                   12,400         18   Treasure Mountain     11,908
                6    Conejos Peak                     12,600         19   Lobo Lookout          11,800
               7     Bristol Head Mountain            12,706         20   Trout Mountain        11,950
               8     Culebra Peak                     14,069         21   Jacobs Hill            9,445
               9     Crestone Peak                    14,294         22   Bowers Peak           12,449
               10    Crestone Needles                 14,191         23   Trickle Mountain      10,132
               11    Kit Carson Mountain              14,165         24   Flagstaff Mountain    12,072
               12    Lookout Mountain                 12,448         25   California Peak       13,849
               13    Pool Table Mountain              12,215         26   Storm King Mountain   10,849

         Source: San Luis Valley GIS/GPS Authority.


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La Veta pass to Walsenburg, and Wolf Creek pass to Pagosa Springs and Durango.              Other passes including
Cochetopa, Cumbres, Poncha, and US 285 at the New Mexico border may also require these conditions on a less
frequent basis. Spring Creek and Slumgullion pass west of Creede on CO 149 may be closed in winter.


Air service at the San Luis Valley Regional Airport in Alamosa is provided by Great Lakes Aviation with a United
Airlines connection at DIA. Three flights per day going to and from DIA on weekdays, one to and from on
Saturday,


and two to and from on Sunday are available. Flight time is about one hour. Roundtrip fares average about
$225. Connections to DIA and United are also possible through Frontier Airlines. Car rental is available at the
airport, and shuttle service may be available.


Bus service by TNM&O/Greyhound from Alamosa departs at 10:20 pm daily for Albuquerque (arriving at 2:15
am), and for Denver at 11:50 am (arriving at 4:50 pm). The bus route passes east through Walsenburg where
Greyhound connections can be made to other destinations. Travel times from Alamosa to other cities and towns
listed in the table and shown on Map 2 range from about 15 minutes to La Jara, 20 minutes to Monte Vista, one
hour to San Luis, and 1.5 hours to Creede.


            4. Political Geography


County seats are indicated on Map 3, and include the cities, towns, and places of Alamosa, Conejos, San Luis,
Creede, Del Norte, and Saguache.        Conejos is located a short distance north of Antonito.        A total of 18
incorporated cities and towns are shown on the map as stars.


            5. Climate (Table A-3)


Climate on the valley floor of the San Luis Valley is characterized by dry air, sunny days, clear nights,
moderate/high evaporation, and large daily temperature extremes. Extremely frigid conditions and blizzards can
occur, but severe weather conditions such as tornadoes, floods, deep snow, and damaging hail are uncommon.
Surface winds are heaviest from March-June, and gusts of 30/mph and greater are common. The strongest
winds reliably blow from the southwest.1         The mountains which surround the broad interior valley form
substantial barriers against approaching atmospheric moisture. As a result, the valley floor is the driest place in
Colorado, typically receiving only 7-10 of inches of precipitation a year. The valley also acts as a large collection
basin to trap cold air, creating temperature inversions where dense, cold air is trapped beneath warmer air.
Extremely cold temperatures occur when clear weather follows winter storms with significant snowfall. With close
to 330 days of sunshine,2 the cold noontime temperatures can be 35-40 degrees warmer than early mornings.


SLV Development Resources Group                             A-8                                     2007 CEDS
                                                   Map 5

                              San Luis Valley Region – Physiographic Provinces




   Source: San Luis Valley GIS/GPS Authority.




SLV Development Resources Group                     A-9                          2007 CEDS
The San Luis Valley receives between 5-7 hours/day of sunshine, which makes solar heating a feasible
proposition.


By contrast, the foothills and mountains receive gradually higher amounts of precipitation with the increase in
elevation. Table A-3 shows annual averages ranging from 7.1 inches in Alamosa (7,544/ft), 13.7 inches in
Creede (8,838/ft), and up to 45.4 inches on Wolf Creek Pass (10,850/ft).


Snowfall also follows the same pattern, with the table showing an average low of 24.6 inches in Center to an
amazing 435.6 inches on the pass. The Wolf Creek Ski Area typically has the best quantity and quality of snow of
any ski area in the State, and snow depths of 60 inches or more are common. High elevation also explains why
an area located this far south in the continent (coordinates for Alamosa = 37.73 degrees N by 105.75 W) would
have such relatively cold temperatures in winter and cool nights in summer.


Extremely low nighttime temperatures which usually occur over a 6-week period from around Christmas to early
February give the San Luis Valley a reputation of being one of the coldest places in the Nation, but Gunnison and
some other places are as cold or worse. These reports do not take into account the relatively short number of
hours over which these extremes occur, and the predictable sunshine, dryness of the air, and a sharp
temperature rise by noonday.


The table shows January average minimums ranging from –1.8 F in Alamosa to 10.1 F in Crestone. Alamosa also
holds title to the extreme low of –42.0 F. Summer high temperatures are usually milder than most parts of the
Southwest, ranging from a July average maximum of 65.8 F on Wolf Creek Pass to 83.5 F in Crestone.


Recent years have had milder winters and much hotter summers than experienced in the past, indicating a global
warming trend and/or extended drought cycle. Record highs of 90+ F were set in 2002 which accompanied
record low rainfall and the lowest water conditions in the Valley’s recorded history.


Climate allows a growing season which averages 90-130 days, with frost free days ranging from 73 in Monte
Vista to 124 at the Great Sand Dunes.


               6.   Geology


The San Luis Valley is part of the much larger Rio Grande Rift Zone, which extends from southern New Mexico
northward through the San Luis Valley to its northern termination near Poncha Pass. The Sangre de Cristo
Mountains on the east are the result of extensive block faulting during the Laramide Orogeny, and the placement
of Precambrian basement, Paleozoic sedimentary, and Tertiary intrusive rocks in contact with Tertiary valley-fill


SLV Development Resources Group                             A-10                                    2007 CEDS
deposits. The San Juan Mountains on the western flank are the result of extensive Tertiary volcanism. In sharp
contrast with the steeply faulted eastern side of the valley floor, the Oligocene volcanic rocks of the San Juans
gently dip eastward into the valley floor where they are interbedded with valley-fill deposits.1


Five distinct physiographic provinces (Upson 1939) are noted:
    •   Alamosa Basin --- A broad almost featureless plain of alluvial valley-fill
    •   San Luis Hills --- Rugged hills and mesas of eroded volcanic rock.
    •   Taos Plateau --- Widespread thick basalt flows.
    •   Costilla Plains --- Representing an erosional feature rather than a depositional one.
    •   Culebra Re-entrant --- A topographically diverse area with elevated foothills near the mountains, an
        eroded central depression, and a prominent mesa toward the valley center.1


Faults in the valley floor which produce geothermal water flows have not been much of a concern for
earthquakes, but mild quakes do occur occasionally. An earthquake registering 3.4 on the Richter scale was
registered at an epicenter 20 miles southwest of Del Norte in May 1991, with a previous quake of 3.1 in the same
area in January 1988.3


            7. Land Ownership (Table A-4)


A total of over 5.243 million acres is estimated within the confines of 6 counties, with 2.988 million Federal
(57%); 2.044 million private (39%); and 211,774 acres (4.0%) owned by State government. Costilla County is
99.9% private owned, with Mineral almost the exact opposite with 93.7% Federal ownership. Alamosa shows
60.9% in private ownership, and only 27.1% Federal.


Nearly 2.1 million acres (39.8%) of the Valley’s acres are managed by the Forest Service, and a little over
632,000 acres (12.1%) are under control of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Saguache and Mineral
counties have the greatest concentrations of National Forest, and Saguache and Conejos have the greatest
concentrations of BLM.


Private land acquisitions for expansion and upgrade of the Great Sand Dunes from Monument to Park status
resulted in the addition of 34,318 acres of private land to the Park Service in Alamosa County, and 78,747 acres
to the Park Service in Saguache. As part of the upgrade, 58,144 acres of the former Baca ranch in Saguache
County were added to the US Fish & Wildlife Service to establish the Baca National Wildlife Refuge. Federal lands
managed by the National Park Service of 149,514 acres now represent 2.9% of the Valley, and the USFWS now
holds 116,739 acres, or 2.2%.




SLV Development Resources Group                              A-11                                  2007 CEDS
                                                               Map 6

                                               San Luis Valley Region – Land Ownership




  Source: San Luis Valley GIS/GPS Authority.




SLV Development Resources Group                                  A-12                    2007 CEDS
            8. Land Use (Table A-5, A-6)


About 2.3 million (43.6%) of the total Valley acreage in Table A-5 is utilized as rangeland; 2.1 million acres
(39.3%) is forest; and a little over 616,000 acres (11.8%) is classified as agricultural land.


County land uses vary from the regional pattern. Alamosa (60.4%), Conejos (51.7%), and Costilla (47.5%) have
higher percentages in rangeland; Rio Grande (25.2%), Alamosa (24.3%), and Conejos (16.0%) have relatively
greater shares for agriculture; and Mineral (71.2%) and Saguache (43.6%) have larger percentages of forest.


Table A-6 shows a total of about 2.1 million acres covering the area defined as the “valley floor.” Concentrations
over 10.0% include: heavy vegetation (23.9%); irrigated meadow (13.1%); medium vegetation (12.1%); and
sparse vegetation (11.6%).


Crop acreages include about 139,000 acres of alfalfa; 114,000 of grain; 80,000 acres of potatoes; 7,600 acres for
other vegetables.


            9.      Area and Economic History, 1840-1970


The following list provides a brief history of the Valley to understand the events which shaped its development.
Dates are approximate and events are selected.
Early Settlement, 1840-1880
    •   Before 1840 --- Ute Indians are the predominant people. Notable Spanish explorers include Juan de
        Onate, Juan Maria Rivera, and Juan de Bautista Anza. Americans such as Zebulon Pike and John Fremont
        followed.
    •   Early 1840’s --- Mexico established land grants in the Valley, including the Trinchera, Baca Grande, and
        Sangre de Cristo.
    •   1848 --- San Luis Valley is ceded to the United States by Mexico in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.
    •   1851 --- Fort Massachusetts is established.
    •   1852 --- San Luis founded as the first permanent Spanish settlement.
    •   1850’s --- Flourmills built to grind wheat.
    •   1866 --- Christopher “Kit” Carson appointed commander of Fort Garland.
    •   1870 --- Gold and silver discovered in the San Juans spurs development of Del Norte and Saguache.
    •   Early 1870’s --- Mormon settlers establish Manassa, Sanford, and Romeo.
    •   1878 --- The Denver & Rio Grande completes its line to Alamosa, soon becoming the Valley’s hub for
        grain and timber shipments.




SLV Development Resources Group                             A-13                                   2007 CEDS
                                                  Map 7

                               San Luis Valley Region – Generalized Land Use




  Source: San Luis Valley GIS/GPS Authority.



SLV Development Resources Group                       A-14                     2007 CEDS
Boom and Bust, 1880-1920
    •   1880 --- Tracks are extended to Antonito and Espanola on the “Chili Line,” and extensions to Creede and
        Poncha pass are being developed.
    •   1883 --- Rio Grande Canal is the first major irrigation project.
    •   Late 1880’s --- The beginning of a shift from wheat to potatoes as the chief crop.
    •   1893 --- A 12-year drought strikes the Valley, and many farms are abandoned. Mining is impacted by a
        drop in silver prices.
    •   1905 --- Forest Service begins management of public lands and regulates grazing.
    •   1906 --- First upstream storage dams built on the Rio Grande.
World Wars and Depression, 1920-1950
    •   1920 --- World War I brings prosperity with potato prices at $4.00/cwt.
    •   1921 --- Colorado begins building concrete highways.
    •   1925 --- Adams State College is established.
    •   1932 --- The Great Depression finally hits the Valley, and potato prices drop to $0.35/cwt.
    •   1940 --- Census population reaches 51,217.
    •   1941 --- World War II commences and Red McClure potatoes are shipped in volumes to feed troops.
    •   1950 --- Wartime military service and migration to defense jobs lowered the population to 45,963.


Postwar Era, 1950-1970
    •   1950 – Railroad cuts back services due to competition from trucking and declining log shipments.
    •   1950-1960 --- Adams State College increases enrollment to 3,000.
    •   1969 --- Gerry Outdoor Sports Industries locates plant in Alamosa’s industrial park, employing 100.
    •   1960-1970 --- Population hits a low of 37,466 in 1970.             Agriculture remains the Valley’s principal
        economic base. Proliferation of center pivot sprinkler systems reduces labor demands.


            10. Summary of District Involvement in the Valley’s Development, 1970-Current


District operations to improve economic conditions in the Valley counties over the past 32 years has required four
partnership changes. Each has had different points of emphasis with varying degrees of success as described in
the following summaries.


District Activities Under SCEDD, RDPC, and COG, 1970-July 1980


Before the existing six-county District was formed, the Valley counties were part of the larger Southern Colorado
Economic Development District (SCEDD) based in Pueblo.             Programs at this time were operated under a




SLV Development Resources Group                             A-15                                       2007 CEDS
partnership of SCEDD, the San Luis Valley Regional Development and Planning Commission (RDPC), and the SLV
Council of Governments (COG).


The RDPC was established in 1970, starting with offices on campus and strong ties to Adams State College as an
affiliated organization.   In 1972, the COG was formed to carry out the administrative functions, with RDPC
representing the Valley counties on the SCEDD and advisory to COG.


The main focus at this time was on infrastructure, funded mainly by HUD and State agencies encouraging
regional planning under Colorado Management and Planning Regions. The San Luis Valley COG operated as
Region 8 in the State system.


Programs under the COG umbrella included mapping and drafting services; assistance to local governments in
completing comprehensive plans needed for HUD funding; base studies; zoning and subdivision regulations;
housing program coordination; water and sewer, open space, and outdoor recreation planning; nursing and
health planning; water quality monitoring; job training programs; senior citizen services; and others.


Following are some of the major development projects during this period:
    •   Alamosa Industrial Park --- $700,000 EDA Public Works.
    •   Grant to establish community development partnerships with COG, ASC, and Hispanic community ---
        $785,000 W. K. Kellogg Foundation.
    •   Cumbres & Toltec restoration.
    •   J. R. Simplot potato company (decided not to locate in the Valley).


District Activities Under RDPC and COG, 1980-1982


A separate San Luis Valley Economic Development District was formed in August 1980 with RDPC as the
contracting entity and COG providing the staffing support. Emphasis shifted from planning and infrastructure to
an aggressive search for new industry. The following project developments or efforts made are attributed to the
RDPC/COG partnership:
    •   Alamosa Mushroom Farm (currently Rahkra Mushroom Farm) --- $12 million investment and still
        operating.
    •   Colorado Agro Energy ethanol plant --- $7.5 million investment.       Closed shortly after startup due to
        design problems and drop in oil prices.
    •   SLV Protein Energy. Never became operational due to equipment problems.
    •   Prospect for barley malting plant did not materialize.




SLV Development Resources Group                            A-16                                      2007 CEDS
    •   Prospect for diversified wood products manufacturing using small shops in various locations and an
        interstate agreement with New Mexico did not materialize.
    •   Other unsuccessful attempts were made to develop boxed beef packing; alfalfa pellet mill; various types
        of manufacturing for adobe bricks, gun safety devices, mining equipment, solar energy equipment, and
        industrial scrubbers; and an attempt to connect Valley produce with the Tulsa Barge Canal for accessing
        Gulf ports.


RDPC Administration, October 1982-December 1993


COG terminated its operations in September 1982 following spending cuts affecting its programs. Determined to
continue District activities for the Valley, RDPC secured EDA and local government support, completed
organizational work needed to carry out staffing and operations, and relocated to smaller office facilities on
campus. A revised course of action was required due to reduced operating budgets and staff levels, and a
greater emphasis was focused on tourism and the existing small business base believed to provide a more
consistent return on investment.


Selected projects and developments under RDPC management of the District are as follows:
    •   The San Luis Valley Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) was founded in 1984 as an ongoing tool to assist
        business projects.
    •   Nonprofit tax-exempt status under 501 (c) (3) of the revenue codes was established as part of the
        reorganization work.
    •   Legal assistance from RDPC helped to create the Mountain and Valley Wool Association (MAVWA) as main
        sponsor for the Taos Wool Festival.
    •   Regional tourism planning and marketing began with the hiring of a Tourism Coordinator and attractions
        map. Later this was spun off as the Valley-Six Promotion Council.
    •   RLF gap financing generated 30 business startups and expansions in the period including Brimhall
        Industrial (re-manufacturing of generators and other large power plant equipment); San Luis Care
        Center; San Luis Assisted Living Center; and 5 fast-food restaurants with a tourism rationale.
    •   A focus on the Valley’s geothermal resource potential for aquaculture and RLF funds was a major factor
        in the development and expansion of the SLV Alligator Farm and intensive culture tilapia operation.
    •   The prospect of a $10 million Louisiana-Pacific Corporation aspen waferboard plant did not materialize.
    •   The Gerry sewing-machine operation was shut down in August 1983 following a company decision to
        move operations overseas.


In the late 1980’s, a separate SLV Economic Development Council (EDC) was formed along the lines of the
Pueblo Economic Development Corporation (PEDCO), which required paid business membership. Main emphasis


SLV Development Resources Group                            A-17                                     2007 CEDS
was placed on business recruitment, administration of Enterprise Zone State tax credits, development of business
location incentives, and tourism.


After a decline in funding sources and staff turnover, it was determined that a model of this type could not be
sustained without State funding support.     Grants were eventually provided to establish offices in downtown
Alamosa, and the RDPC co-located with EDC in 1990. Work programs of the two agencies emphasized a high
level of cooperation and adjustments to avoid any duplication of effort, but since both required local matching
funds for operation consolidation was advised.


San Luis Valley Development Resources Group (DRG), January 1994-present


    •   The RDPC and EDC boards agreed to combine as many organizational memberships as possible from
        both boards under the EDA District membership guidelines, with a name change to the San Luis Valley
        Development Resources Group. Staff positions of both agencies were retained, with one chosen to head
        the DRG. A joint resolution to this effect was made in November 1993, the EDC was dissolved, and the
        name change became effective in January 1994.Accomplishments of the consolidated organization are
        noted throughout this document, with selected ones as follows:
    •   Development of the Center Ag Waste Treatment Plant in June 1998 --- $2.7 CDBG assistance package.
    •   Partnership effort with DOLA to establish the E-911 Authority and GIS/GPS Authority.
    •   Proposed Rio Grande Hospital expansion --- $600,000 DOLA Energy Impact grant (total project estimated
        at $11.5 million).
    •   CEDS consistency approval for San Luis Mainstreet project --- $835,000 EDA Economic Adjustment.
    •     “         “          “       South Fork Industrial Park --- $595,000 EDA Economic Adjustment.
    •     “         “          “       Cumbres & Toltec track upgrades --- $1.6 million EDA Public Works.
    •   Collection lines for Colorado Gourmet Potato plant and warehouses in Center --- $87,740 USDA Rural
        Development RBEG grant.
    •   Creede Repertory Theatre housing for actors --- $658,500 ($86,000 CDBG grant, $300,000 DOLA, and
        balance from State Historical Fund and private foundations).
    •   Feasibility grants for B-size potato processing --- $55,000 RBEG, $6,068 Colorado Economic Development
        Commission.
    •   Carrot processing feasibility grant --- $22,081 Colorado EDC.
    •   Barley processing feasibility grant --- $10,000 Colorado Department of Agriculture, Marketing Division.
    •   Development in April 2003 of the Idaho Pacific/Otter Tail potato flake plant in Center as the Valley’s
        largest agricultural value-added operation, representing $550,000 in BLF loans and $4.4 million in private
        sector investment.




SLV Development Resources Group                           A-18                                      2007 CEDS
      •   A series of One Land, One Plan community meetings and workshops in 2005 provided input on Valley
          issues and needs to U.S. Senator and native son, Ken Salazar.
      •   Development in February 2005 of the Alta Fuels biodiesel blending plant in Alamosa, assisted by
          $200,000 in SLVDRG loans and representing $1.8 million in private sector investment.
      •   Economic Impact study for Adams State College in March 2005 shows total impact at $70.1 million and is
          instrumental in a $2.9 million Opportunity Grant award to the college.
      •   After being closed for over 10 years, a total of $360,000 in SLVDRG loans and $640,000 in private
          investment in January 2007 made it possible for Moraine Partners of Wisconsin to purchase the former
          potato starch plant north of Monte Vista which will resume operations in early 2008.
      •   Purchase of a depot building in downtown Alamosa in 2007 will make it possible to create a Business
          Development Center including the SLVDRG offices and other co-located agencies, and to consider a
          multimodal transportation site for passenger rail, intercity buses, and transit.
      •   The first large-scale operation using the Valley’s abundant solar resources to produce electricity began in
          April 2007 with development of an 80-acre solar farm north of Alamosa, which is designed to produce 8.2
          megawatts for the grid and contains the Nation’s largest array of solar panels. Private sector funding
          estimated at $60 million through a partnership of SunEdison and Xcel Energy made this possible.


      •   SLVDRG is currently working with the National Renewable Energy Lab and other partners to asses the
          feasibility of developing a 100-megawatt operation using CSP technology and requiring over $300 million
          in private investment.




1
    Bureau of Land Management, San Luis Valley Resource Management Plan, September 1989.
2
    Article by Nolan J. Doesken and Thomas B. McKee of CSU Colorado Climate Center entitled “The Incredible
    Climate of the San Luis Valley,” 1989.
3
    Erin Smith, The Pueblo Chieftain, 5/11/91.



SLV Development Resources Group                               A-19                                    2007 CEDS
                                                 Table A-1

                           Land Area and Population Density, 2006
                                             Persons per                                         Persons per
                                Square          sq/mi                                 Square        sq/mi
                     Population Miles         2000    2006         Other States        Miles     2000     2006

Alamosa County            15,765   722.74     20.7     21.8          Rhode Island        1,045 1,003.2 1021.63
  Alamosa city             8,490     3.99
  Alamosa East CDP         2,000     3.61                            Delaware            1,955   400.8   436.56
  Hooper town                121     0.25
                                                                     Connecticut         4,845   702.9   723.38
Conejos County             8,587 1,287.22      6.5      6.7
 Antonito                    844     0.39                            Hawaii              6,423   188.6   200.13
 La Jara town                871     0.35
 Manassa town              1,022     0.94                            New Jersey          7,419 1,134.2 1175.97
 Romeo town                  405     0.23
 Sanford town                785     1.41                            Massachusetts       7,838   810.0   821.28

Costilla County            3,602 1,227.10      3.0      2.9          New Hampshire       8,969   137.8    146.6
 Blanca town                 384     1.78
 Fort Garland CDP            432     0.29                            United States   3,536,278    79.6    84.66
 San Luis Town               729     0.48

Mineral County               966   875.72      0.9      1.1
 Creede town                 424     0.61

Rio Grande County         12,803   911.60     13.6      14
 Del Norte town            1,629     0.85
 Monte Vista city          4,528     1.89
 South Fork town             658     2.37

Saguache County            6,568 3,168.44      1.9      2.1
 Bonanza town                 14     0.44
 Center town               2,269     0.83
 Crestone town               123     0.25
 Moffat town                 108     1.38
 Saguache town               558     0.38

San Luis Valley           48,291 8,192.82      5.6      5.9

Colorado               4,812,289 103,718      41.5     46.4



Source: Population - 2000 population from U.S. Census Bureau, 2000 Decennial Census.
                    - 2006 draft estimates from Colorado State Demmography Office, Oct. 2007
       Square miles - Colorado and counties - U.S. Census Bureau, 2000 Decennial Census.
                     U.S. and other states - Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2007 .




SLV Development Resources Group                          A-20                                     2007
CEDS
                                            Table A-2

                                        Travel Information
One-Way Miles From Alamosa

Walsenburg (I-25)                  73                Colorado Springs               163
Poncha Springs/Salida           77/83                Montrose                       187
Gunnison                         122                 Denver                         239
Pueblo                           121                 Lamar                          244
Durango                          150                 Grand Junction                 248
Taos, NM                           90                Dallas, TX                     779
Santa Fe, NM                     141                 Los Angeles, CA              1,070
Albuquerque, NM                  214                 Chicago, IL                  1,259
Phoenix, AZ                      596                 New Orleans, LA              1,365
Kansas City, KS                  679                 New York City, NY            2,057

Commercial Airline Services – San Luis Valley Regional Airport – Bergman Field, Alamosa
Great Lakes Aviation - United Airlines connection to Denver International Airport
Alamosa-DIA                 Mon-Fri 7:35/8:33 am 11:00/11:58 am 5:45/6:44 pm
                            Sat 7:35/8:33 am Sun 9:00/9:58 am 5:45/6:44 pm
DIA-Alamosa                 Mon-Fri 9:25/10:23 am 4:40/5:38 pm 8:05/9:03 pm
                            Sat 5:20/6:18 pm Sun 4:40/5:38 pm 8:05/9:03 pm

Bus Services – 8480 Stockton, Alamosa
TNM&O Coaches            Depart Alamosa/arrive Albuquerque   10:20pm / 2:15 am
                         Depart Alamosa/arrive Denver        11:50 am / 4:50 pm
                         Greyhound connections in Walsenburg
Major Highways
US 160                   Alamosa east to Walsenburg and I-25 link to Pueblo, Colorado Springs, Denver
                         Alamosa west to Pagosa Springs, Durango, Cortez
US 285                   Alamosa south to Espanola, Santa Fe, Albuquerque
                         Monte Vista north to Saguache, Poncha Springs, Fairplay, Denver
CO 17                    Antonito south to Chama, NM, Alamosa north to US 285
CO 149                   South Fork northwest to Creede, Lake City
CO 114                   Saguache northwest to US 50 link to Gunnison, Montrose
CO 159                   Fort Garland south to San Luis, Taos

Radio Stations
KGIW/KALQ - FM 1450/93.5 FM Alamosa                  KSLV 1240/95.3 FM Monte Vista
KRZA (NPR station) 88.7 FM Alamosa                   KSPK 100.3/103.5 FM Walsenburg
KASF (Adams State) 90.9 FM Alamosa

Commuting Distance One-Way Miles From Alamosa
Monte Vista  17        South Fork 48                 La Jara    14         Manassa        24
Hooper       20        Crestone    50                Sanford    19         Ft. Garland    26
Center       32        Saguache    57                Blanca     21         Antonito       30
Del Norte    35        Creede      70                Romeo      21         San Luis       49
Moffat       37




SLV Development Resources Group                      A-21                                      2007
CEDS
SLV Development Resources Group
                                                                                                 Table A-3

                                                                                         Elevation and Climate

                                                                                         Period of Record = 1948-2007


                                                       Elevation                Temperature (Degrees Farenheit)        Precipitation Snowfall   Frost      Crop
                                                      (Mean Sea         Average Maximum                Average Minimum Ave Annual Ave Annual Free         Growing Annual
                                                      Level – ft) Jan   Apr July Oct Annual Jan Apr July Oct Annual      Total (in)  Total (in) Days      Season Sunshine

                                  Alamosa County
                                   Alamosa              7,544    34.6 58.8 82.1 62.6 59.3     -1.8 23.9 47.4 24.6       23.7     7.1        31.7    99    90-130   330
                                   Great Sand Dunes     8,120    35.0 56.3 80.7 60.4 57.4      9.7 28.0 50.6 31.7       29.7    11.2        39.1    124    days    days
                                  Conejos County
                                   Conejos              7,901    36.7 58.5 81.4 65.0 59.9      4.7 24.7 46.7 27.1       25.5     8.1        22.3             "      "
                                   Manassa              7,683    36.4 60.0 81.2 63.6 60.0      2.4 25.4 46.6 26.5       25.3     7.6        26.3    91
                                  Costilla County
                                   Blanca               8,403    35.2 58.3 82.1 62.3 59.2      1.5 25.2 47.9 26.3       25.5     8.6        25.3    108      "      "
A-22




                                   San Luis             7,965    36.4 58.1 80.8 60.8 58.7      3.7 26.0 46.0 26.6       26.0     9.6        20.0
                                  Mineral County
                                   Creede               8,838    37.9 55.2 78.4 61.2 57.9      6.3 23.7 43.2 25.1       23.9    13.7        46.9
                                   Wolf Creek Pass     10,850    30.3 40.9 65.8 48.1 45.9      4.4 17.5 40.6 24.3       21.5    45.4        435.6
                                  Rio Grande County
                                   Del Norte            7,868    35.2 58.3 78.5 61.9 58.1      6.5 26.9 48.1 30.0       27.8     9.9        41.9    115      "      "
                                   Monte Vista          7,663    34.8 58.6 80.3 62.6 58.8      0.8 24.2 46.3 25.9       24.4     7.7        23.3    73
                                  Saguache County
                                   Center               7,645    33.5 58.7 80.3 62.5 58.5     -0.7 25.1 45.8 26.4       24.3     7.0        24.6    97       "      "
                                   Crestone             7,871    36.9 59.6 83.5 62.0 60.1     10.1 28.4 49.5 31.1       29.8    13.9        62.0
                                   Saguache             7,694    35.8 58.9 80.9 62.6 59.1      4.5 24.3 47.6 28.2       26.4     8.3        25.7    107
2007 CEDS




                                  Source: Elevation - U.S. Geological Survey, September 2001.
                                          Climate - Western Regional Climate Center, December 2007
                                          Crop growing season - San Luis Valley Water Resources poster, SLV Water Quality Demonstration Project.
                                                    Table A-4

                                          Land Ownership, 2007

                                 Alamosa          Conejos          Costilla          Mineral
                             Number      %     Number     %     Number      %     Number      %
Total acres                   462,554    100.0 823,821    100.0 785,344     100.0 560,461    100.0

Federal                        125,238      27.1    484,961      58.9         433      *      525,301     93.7
 U.S. Forest Service            26,593       5.7    297,969      36.2         433      *      525,301     93.7
 Bureau of Land Mgmt            38,665       8.4    186,901      22.7           0      0.0          0      0.0
 National Park Service          47,519      10.4          0       0.0           0      0.0          0      0.0
 U.S. Fish & Wildlife Serv      11,781       2.5         91      *              0      0.0          0      0.0
 Bureau of Reclamation             680       0.1          0       0.0           0      0.0          0      0.0

State/Colorado                  55,692      12.0     62,961          7.6        0      0.0        647      0.1
 State Land Board               55,692      12.0     52,776          6.4        0      0.0         58      *
 Colorado Div of Wildlife            0       0.0     10,185          1.2        0      0.0        589      *

Private                        281,624      60.9    275,899      33.5      784,911    99.9     34,513      6.2




                                Rio Grande         Saguache       San Luis Valley
                             Number      %     Number      %     Number      %
Total acres                   583,424    100.0 2,027,802   100.0 5,243,405   100.0

Federal                        341,398      58.5 1,510,506       74.5 2,987,837       55.7
 U.S. Forest Service           272,761      46.8 965,641         47.6 2,088,698       39.8
 Bureau of Land Mgmt            55,161       9.5 351,479         17.3 632,206         12.1
 National Park Service               0       0.0 101,995          5.0 149,514          2.9
 U.S. Fish & Wildlife Serv      13,476       2.3    91,391        4.6 116,739          2.2
 Bureau of Reclamation               0       0.0         0        0.0       680        *

State/Colorado                  10,601       1.8     81,873        4.0     211,774     4.0
 School Trust Fund               9,500       1.6     80,616        4.0     198,642     3.8
 Colorado Div of Wildlife        1,101       0.2      1,257       *         13,132     0.3

Private                        231,425      39.7    435,423      21.5 2,043,794       39.0


Source: Total acres - Calculated by taking the total number of square miles from the Census 2000 Geographic
        Comparison Tables multiplied by 640, the number of acres in a square mile.
        Federal - San Luis Valley GIS/GPS Authority, 5/16/02. NPS & FWS updated 2007
        State - State Land Board - Colorado Department of Natural Resources, Colorado State Land Board, 2001.
              - Colorado Division of Wildlife - San Luis Valley GIS/GPS Authority, 5/16/02.
              - State and BLM Land Exchange Scheduled August, 2008
        Private - Calculated by subtracting the Federal and State acres from the total acres. Also includes some
        County and Municipal-owned land.
        * Less than 0.1%.




SLV Development Resources Group                               A-23                                      2007 CEDS
                                                  Table A-5

                                           Land Use, 2002
                         Alamosa County                Conejos County                  Costilla County
Classification      acreage sq/mi       %          acreage   sq/mi    %           acreage      sq/mi     %
Unclassified          20,537    32.1      4.4         25,265    39.5   3.1               110       0.2    0.0
Urban                   2,938    4.6      0.6          2,861     4.5   0.3             1,162       1.8    0.1
Agricultural Land    112,173 175.3       24.3        131,859   206.0  16.0            71,279     111.4    9.1
Rangeland            279,237 436.3       60.4        425,702   665.2  51.7          372,897      582.7   47.5
Forest Land           33,891    53.0      7.3        220,443   344.4  26.8          301,491      471.1   38.4
Water                   1,361    2.1      0.3          2,113     3.3   0.3             1,988       3.1    0.3
Wetland                 1,876    2.9      0.4          1,630     2.5   0.2               133       0.2    0.0
Barren Land             4,521    7.1      1.0          5,197     8.1   0.6             5,820       9.1    0.7
Tundra                  6,018    9.4      1.3          8,751    13.7   1.1            30,465      47.6    3.9
   Total             462,554     722.7    100.0     823,821     1,287.2   100.0     785,344 1,227.1      100.0



                         Mineral County               Rio Grande County              Saguache County
Classification      acreage sq/mi       %          acreage    sq/mi     %         acreage    sq/mi   %
Unclassified                0     0.0     0.0              2      0.0    0.0               2    0.0   0.0
Urban                      70     0.1     0.0          3,676      5.7    0.6           1,329    2.1   0.1
Agricultural Land       6,314     9.9     1.1        147,256   230.1    25.2        147,686   230.8   7.3
Rangeland            110,918 173.3       19.8        195,004   304.7    33.4        903,631 1,411.9  44.6
Forest Land          399,135 623.6       71.2        218,885   342.0    37.5        884,680 1,382.3  43.6
Water                     457     0.7     0.1            114      0.2    0.0             739    1.2   0.0
Wetland                     0     0.0     0.0          1,399      2.2    0.2           3,154    4.9   0.2
Barren Land             3,108     4.9     0.6          8,941     14.0    1.5          21,120   33.0   1.0
Tundra                40,459     63.2     7.2          8,147     12.7    1.4          65,460  102.3   3.2
   Total             560,461     875.7    100.0     583,424      911.6    100.0   2,027,802 3,168.4      100.0



                                                        San Luis Valley
                               Classification      acreage    sq/mi       %
                               Unclassified           45,916     71.7      0.9
                               Urban                  12,037     18.8      0.2
                               Agricultural Land     616,567    963.4     11.8
                               Rangeland           2,287,389 3,574.0      43.6
                               Forest Land         2,058,525 3,216.4      39.3
                               Water                   6,771     10.6      0.1
                               Wetland                 8,192     12.8      0.2
                               Barren Land            48,707     76.1      0.9
                               Tundra                159,300    248.9      3.0
                                  Total            5,243,405    8,192.8   100.0


Source: San Luis Valley GIS/GPS Authority, June 2002.




SLV Development Resources Group                          A-24                                   2007 CEDS
                                                Table A-6

                             Valley Floor Land Use Acreage, 1998

                                                               2)
  Land Cover             Alamosa Conejos Costilla Mineral           Rio Grande Saguache     Total      %
                1)
  Total Acres             438,392 340,628 441,631                      195,349   656,478 2,072,478     100.0
  Alfalfa                  24,784    39,738   21,679                    25,434    27,847    139,482         6.7
  Bare ground              18,213     3,200     2,412                     808     21,642     46,275         2.2
  Coniferous trees          9,269    16,072   37,522                       75     16,606     79,544         3.8
  Deciduous trees          23,503     4,013   13,953                     7,853    98,599    147,921         7.1
  Grain                    27,633    22,169     8,280                   28,960    27,179    114,221         5.5
  Heavy vegetation        152,559    41,459 114,866                     20,517   165,828    495,229        23.9
  Hydrophytes               1,447       592      334                      295        576      3,244         0.2
  Irrigated meadow         64,508    74,838   17,092                    48,829    65,925    271,192        13.1
  Medium vegetation        16,537    27,530 132,260                      7,657    67,743    251,727        12.1
  Non-irrigated meadow     32,837    30,177   13,161                     8,156    35,494    119,825         5.8
  Potatoes                 28,323     2,187     4,860                   25,853    19,215     80,438         3.9
  Sparse vegetation        25,005    62,080   69,343                    16,790    67,266    240,484        11.6
  Vegetables                1,378       135      486                     2,236     3,351      7,586         0.4
  Water                       425         8     2,072                      91        239      2,835         0.1
  Unaccounted for          11,970    16,431     3,310                    1,795    38,968     72,474         3.5


Source: GIS/GPS Authority. Based on data collected by the Colorado Decision Support System (specifically
        the Rio Grande CDSS, generated by AGRO Engineering), 1998.
        1) The portion of acres in the county classified as part of the Valley floor.
        2) Mineral County not considered part of the Valley floor.




SLV Development Resources Group                         A-25                                   2007 CEDS

				
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