Sunday, January 9, 2011


   What a privilege it is to serve the great 59th District of the Colorado House of Representatives! When I explain to folks in Denver the area that I represent, they always say "I've heard that Southwest Colorado is the most beautiful part of all of Colorado". I always respond that they are not wrong and I invite them to come down and see for themselves.

    The 59th District truly is the most beautiful District in the whole State of Colorado stretching from the edge of Archuleta County east of Pagosa Springs west to include the city of Cortez in Montezuma County, south to the New Mexico border, north to include the town of Silverton in San Juan County and everything in between including LaPlata County and the towns of  Durango, Mancos, Bayfield, and Ignacio, many other wonderful communities and of course the Sovereign Nations of the Southern Ute and  Ute Mountain Native American Tribes.

    In describing our great district I have to start with the magnificence of the San Juan Mountains. Much of my life has been spent in the high country of the Wiminuche Wilderness Area managing sheep and sheep herders, enjoying the spectacular views, the beautiful wild flowers, and the abundant wildlife encompassing the resilient tundra to the massive evergreen trees of the forest.

     Just as important are the rolling fields at lower elevations cared for by farmers and ranchers, watered from manmade reservoirs, providing beauty for all to behold. Farmers also export from our District thousands of bales of the best quality hay in the world, wheat, oats, corn, and a variety of other crops and livestock. Farmers also provide local grown meat and vegetables for our own nourishment and sustainability. Yes, agriculture is a huge part of the beauty and the economy of the 59th District.

     We can't forget Fort Lewis College and the oil and gas industry.

    What other District in the State has a Durango- Silverton train and a Mesa Verde? Add the natural beauty, our beautiful lakes like Vallecito, Lemon Dam and now Lake Nighthorse, skiing at Durango Mountain Resort and other places, our friendly towns and people, abundant wildlife for watching and for hunting, and an occasional sheep drive and we have an environment for tourism like no other place in the world.

    One of my goals as a legislator is to tell folks about our wonderful area. Since the election I have attended several orientation sessions. At a dinner I sat between two new legislators, Representative Pete Lee from the Colorado Springs area Senator Angela Giron from the Denver area. In our conversation, I told them about our ranching operation. They were amazed that such an outfit might exist in Colorado. I invited them to come down next summer. That got me to thinking and I am going to try to plan a tour for the entire Colorado legislature to come down and see this great district.

     I wish you all a prosperous year! Rep. J.Paul Brown

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