Monday, November 20, 2017

It really is a small world, after all.

Model Railroad Magic:

Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 9, 10 and Dec. 16 and 17, 

10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

By Rob Carrigan,

It really is a small world after all. And there is no place that more starkly defines that, than Bob Bandy’s basement in Gleneagle. Nearly 6,000 feet of track, 1/87 the size of their real-world prototypes, operating on its own power grid, spanning the last century of railroad and engineering technology and history, at the same time. Also, nearly 20 years in the making. And it is not finished yet.

If you have wandered around the country, looking at architecture, and land forms, and transportation corridors, it might all seem oddly familiar. There is Vedauwoo, an area of rocky outcrops (Sherman Granite) located in southeastern Wyoming, north of Interstate 80, between Laramie and Cheyenne. Its name, according to some, is a romanized version of the Arapaho word "bito'o'wu" meaning "earth-born."

As you sneak through the canyons between tracks, you will recognize Pulpit Rock, locally. And mining operations on the Eagle River in Colorado, Mount Sneffels, down in the corner of the state, and the Sinclair refinery in southern Wyoming.

But complex bridges in Northeast are there too. Locations in Montana. And lumber operations in the Pacific Northwest, and places in California. The whole transportive world of the last century seems to be in that basement.

And the detail. Locomotives of every stripe. Trucks that no one remembers. Shipping containers with pioneers of shipping industry’s branding. Buildings that no longer exist in real life. People and scenes from long ago. Don’t waste your time trying to fact-check something Bob tells you about railroads in this lifetime, however. He can explain more about how this country’s economies function, and the tax structure works, in hour of railroad wisdom than the “Oracle of Omaha.”

As Bob says, “It is a time for traditions and celebrations. Let us be a part of your Christmas tradition and help us by celebrating the completion of another year of projects on the Grand Pacific Northwestern Railroad.”

Bob Bandy and Lou, will host an open house Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 9, 10 and Dec. 16 and 17, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the basement at 15455 Pompeii Square in Gleneagle (off of Jesse Drive). He asks that you RSVP at or call 719-481-0566.

“We thank you for your support. It is you who tell our story. Join us this Christmas season, and see the Magic,” he says.

Cycles of transport: Trying to get there from here

Going around in circles of history and transportation

By Rob Carrigan,
I recall thinking, at least 20 years ago, that the embrace of the Internet, and all things tech-related was a modern equivalent of the gold rush. You could see it in behavior of capital markets, in consumer activity, in additional development.

We truly are a slow-moving society that keeps doing things over and over again in cycles of history.

Railroads played a key role in the development of the United States — industry in the North East, settlement of the West. The system was largely built by 1910, but then trucks arrived to eat away the freight traffic, and automobiles (and later airplanes) to devour the passenger traffic. After 1940, the use of diesel electric locomotives made for much more efficient operations that needed fewer workers on the road and in repair shops.

“Most business historians have assumed that the transcontinental railroads would never have been built without government subsidies. The free market would have failed to provide the adequate capital, or so the theory asserts. The evidence for this theory is that the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads, which were completed in the years after the War Between the States, received per-mile subsidies from the federal government in the form of low-interest loans as well as massive land grants. But there need not be cause and effect here: the subsidies were not needed to cause the transcontinental railroads to be built. We know this because, just as many roads and canals were privately financed in the early nineteenth century, a market entrepreneur built his own transcontinental railroad,” writes Thomas J. DiLorenzo, in “How Capitalism Saved America: The Untold History of Our Country, From the Pilgrims to the Present.”

He cites for example, James J. Hill built the Great Northern Railroad "without any government aid, even the right of way, through hundreds of miles of public lands, being paid for in cash," as Hill himself said.

But "travel is never a matter of money, but of courage,” according to Paulo Coelho. And modern transportation is cycling up to front in this country, and particularly here in Colorado.

“Arrivo will first build a test site by the E-470 toll road, running past the main airport. The company could even take over a lane of traffic in either direction instead of building a whole new path. The company plans to add 200 employees to a nearby technology center by 2020, with the end goal of having a system running in the next five years,” wrote Mike Brown, a few days ago in “Inverse.” It is sort of like a hyperloop, proposed by Tesla leader Elon Musk in 2013.

“Well, not exactly a hyperloop. A hyperloop-inspired system,” notes Alex Davies of “Wired.”

“It’s a meaningful distinction,” says Brogan BamBrogan (yup, his legal name), founder and CEO of Arrivo, which today announced a deal with the Colorado Department of Transportation to develop such a network throughout the Denver metropolitan region that looks an awful lot like the maglev train systems now running in Japan and China. When Elon Musk first publicized this idea for high-speed tube travel in a 2013 white paper, he described people- or cargo-filled pods levitating above a track inside near-vacuum tubes. This elimination of nearly all friction and drag would mean that the pods could hit near-supersonic speeds with relatively little energy expenditure. Since then, hundreds of people and a handful of companies have been trying to realize hyperloop. They have mixed and matched Musk's ingredients, trying to find a recipe that delivers the right blend of cost, speed, and infrastructural feasibility,” says “Wired” Alex Davies.

“Colorado drivers may be the first to escape traffic thanks to a new partnership between state officials and a Los Angeles-based hyperloop tech company. Arrivo founder Brogan BamBrogan joined Colorado transportation officials in Denver Tuesday to announce a partnership to create a network of roadside tubes at the congested heart of the city that promises to whisk drivers and their cars to their destinations at speeds of up to 200 mph. The public-private players include Arrivo, the Colorado Department of Transportation and E-470 Public Highway Authority, which operates a 75-mile, user-financed toll road running along the eastern perimeter of the city. The Arrivo test site will be near E-470 and groundbreaking is slated for early 2018. BamBrogan says Arrivo's first commercial system could be ready in 2021 depending on funding, regulatory and public-perception hurdles,” says Marco della Cava, of USA TODAY.

In the meantime, the Colorado Department of Transportation is still working with Hyperloop One as announced in September.

“Hyperloop One, the only company in the world that has built a full-scale Hyperloop system, today announced Colorado as one of the 10 winners of its Hyperloop One Global Challenge to identify the strongest new Hyperloop routes in the world. Following a close assessment of the proposals by a panel of experts in infrastructure, technology and transportation, ten teams from five countries were chosen from among hundreds of applicants. Hyperloop One will commit meaningful business and engineering resources and work closely with each of the winning teams/routes to determine their commercial viability. Additionally, as a direct result of the Global Challenge, Hyperloop One and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), with support from AECOM, will enter a public private partnership to begin a feasibility study in Colorado that considers a Front Range route from Cheyenne to Pueblo,” said release at the time.

"We are excited​ to partner with Hyperloop One in exploring the next step of feasibility of this innovative technology, potentially transforming how Colorado moves," said Shailen Bhatt, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Transportation. "The Hyperloop technology could directly align with our goals of improving mobility and safety in Colorado, and we have been encouraged by the continued progress the technology is taking," said the Sept. CDOT release.

Also, interestingly enough, CDOT Executive Director Shailen Bhatt, who touts among his top accomplishments for the state system as being selected and launching as one of 10 global finalists and moving forward with a first-of-its-kind feasibility study to build Hyperloop, a new rapid speed travel infrastructure. Bhatt also focused on deploying transportation technology, creating the RoadX program and making Colorado a national innovation leader and by teaming with the private sector to shape our transportation future.

Bhatt will leave his position in December to become President & Chief Executive Officer at the Intelligent Transportation Society of America.

Illustrations: Renderings of hyperloop system.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

More efficient means for going backwards?

Completely lost in technology, but making good time

Photo: Gijsbert van der Wal

By Rob Carrigan,

Election night, I was with a group of people, with skin in the game in a local elections, as they waited for results. Big screens surrounded the group overhead but about 70 percent of the heads were down everywhere, watching the feed on their phone. Several of them even commented on how bad they thought that was, considering how hard they tried to get their teen-age kids to look up from the phones, on a daily basis.

“It seems every generation of parents has a collective freak-out when it comes to kids and new technologies; television and video games each inspired widespread hand-wringing among grownups. But the inescapability of today’s mobile devices — combined with allure of social media — seems to separate smartphones from older screen-based media. Parents, teenagers and researchers agree that smartphones are having a profound impact on the way adolescents today communicate with one another and spend their free time,” notes Time magazine in a Nov. 6 story.

“And while some experts say it is too soon to ring alarm bells about smart phones, others argue that we understand enough about young people’s emotional and developmental vulnerabilities to recommend restricting kids’ escalating phone habits.”

According to Time, the latest statistics on teenage mental health reinforce the concern.

“Between 2010 and 2016, the number of adolescents who experienced at least one major depressive episode leaped by 60%,” citing a nationwide survey conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services.

“The 2016 HHS survey of 17,000 kids found that about 13% of them had at least one major depressive episode per year, compared with 8% of the kids surveyed in 2010. Suicide deaths among people ages 10 to 19 have also risen sharply; among teenage girls, suicide has reached 40-year highs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. All this follows a period during the late 1990s and early 2000s when rates of adolescent depression and suicide mostly held steady or declined.”

I personally have always tried to treat technology like an unfamiliar dog, that might easily become a new friend, but always carries with it the potential to bite you and others around you if not approached correctly.

And it appears local educators have a similar approach.

Lewis Palmer District 38 Superintendent Karen Brofft, and the Parent Community Technology Advisory Committee earlier this week presented SCREENAGERS: Growing Up in the Digital Age, a documentary about one of the biggest parenting issues of our time.

“Are you watching kids scroll through life, with their rapid-fire thumbs and a six-second attention span? Physician and award-winning documentary filmmaker Delaney Ruston saw that happening with her own kids and began a quest to uncover how it might impact their development. Ruston takes a deeply personal approach as she probes into the vulnerable corners of family life, including her own, to explore struggles over social media, video games, academics and internet addiction,” said a release about the Nov. 13 presentation.

A recent article by Louisville, Ky., writer and teacher Paul Barnwell in The Atlantic explores the issue.

“The phone could be a great equalizer, in terms of giving children from all sorts of socioeconomic backgrounds the same device, with the same advantages. But using phones for learning requires students to synthesize information and stay focused on a lesson or a discussion. For students with low literacy skills and the frequent urge to multitask on social media or entertainment, incorporating purposeful smartphone use into classroom activity can be especially challenging. The potential advantage of the tool often goes to waste,” he says

“It’s like giving kids equal access to cigarettes and candy ... teens are not as adept at understanding risk and cause and effect,” he says.

“And I know smartphones do have wonderful learning potential, having had occasional success with them in my own classroom. I’ve had students engage in peer-editing using cloud-based word processing on their phones, for example. I’ve also heard and read about other educators using phones for exciting applications: connecting students to content experts via social media, recording practice presentations, and creating ‘how-to’ videos for science experiments.

We also know that other school districts across the country are in the midst of trying to incorporate technology to enhance learning, and to close the so-called digital divide—to ensure all students have access to an Internet-enabled device. One way to solve the access issue is to allow students to use smartphones in class,” Barnwell says.

I suppose it is appropriate that we consider smartphones and other technology like renowned science fiction writer Arthur C. Clark. “Before you become too entranced with gorgeous gadgets and mesmerizing video displays, let me remind you that information is not knowledge, knowledge is not wisdom, and wisdom is not foresight. Each grows out of the other, and we need them all.” Or like another such writer, Aldous Huxley said. “Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards.”

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Leader from a very young age

Dickson Memorial effort brings veterans’ sacrifices home

By Rob Carrigan,

Eric V. Dickson – by all accounts, was a leader from a very young age – and Woodland Park student who joined the Marine Corp after graduation in 1967.

“The cold and harsh fact that an undeclared war in progress thousands of miles from Teller County has struck. And with a terrific impact, one which will perhaps never be fully understood,” said the Courier at the time.

“Although the confusing Viet Nam conflict has been under way for more than 10 years, it had, until last weekend, received little attention in this area. Many residents have extended sorrow to relatives and friends affected by the war, But Teller County had not given up one of its own,” the Courier said.

The U.S. Defense Department telegram read: “Lance Corporal Eric V. Dickson, a member of B. Company, First Battalion, First Marines, was killed in action near Quang Tri, Republic of Viet Nam, when he received fragmentation wounds to the body from a hostile explosion device while on patrol May 31, 1968.”

“Eric is Woodland Park’s hometown hero to many of us that are still around and remember him with love. His death was incredibly hard on all residents of the area at the time. He was very well known and respected by everyone, young and old,” said longtime area resident Steve Plutt several months ago.

“Back then, Woodland Park was a very small town compared to today. A beautiful memorial fountain was erected in his honor right on Midland Avenue where everyone could see it all the time. It was right across the street from the Ute Inn. The Marine Corp even sent an Honor Guard up here when that fountain was dedicated,” Plutt said.

“As the years past however, times changed and suddenly, not many if any, city leaders knew or had heard of Eric. Our war memorial for Eric fell in disrepair by lack of maintenance from the city and then was vandalized. Soon, it seems that it was in the way of progress and was finally torn down and a public toilet was erected in its place,” he said.

Cause for corrective action.

The group hopes to raise the money to pay for, build and dedicate a new tribute to Dickson on National Vietnam War Veterans Day, March 29, 2018. That will also mark the 50th anniversary of Eric’s death. They are trying to raise a modest $75,000.

“We are a newly formed organization committed to erecting a memorial to a Woodland Park man killed in action in Vietnam in 1968. He was Woodland Park and Teller County’s only death in that war. We are raising money to have a life sized bronze of Mr. Dickson commissioned and placed in Woodland Park,” Steve Storrs, also of group, said this summer.

“We are officially endorsed by the City of Woodland Park, Woodland Park VFW Post 6051, the American Legion Eric V. Dickson Post 1980, Woodland Park Arts Alliance, Aspen Valley Ranch/ Pikes Peak Community Foundation and the Lake George-Florissant VFW Post 11411. “Our Committee (The Eric Dickson Memorial Project) consists of the following members: Denise DeNomme, Elizabeth Agan, Kim Plutt, Mark Agan, Timothy Michael McMillin Sr., Elijah Murphy, Steve Storrs, Steve Plutt.”

The project has been endorsed by State Sen. Kevin Grantham, Congressman Doug Lamborn; Woodland Park officials Mayor Neil Levy and David Buttery; the Board of Teller County Commissioners; Sen. Michael Bennet; Sen. Cory Gardner and State. Rep. Polly Lawrence.

Donations for the commissioned statue of the late Eric Dickson can be sent to Ent Credit Union, Eric Dickson Project, c/o American Legion Ladies Auxiliary, Post 1980, 920 Paradise Lodge Ln., Woodland Park CO 80863.

“Eric Dickson volunteered to serve his country. And he did so without fear, in order that each of us might have a better life in the trying days ahead. We must not let his efforts be in vain,” said the Courier, back in 1968.

Can't think of a better thing to do

The perfect opportunity to say thank you to veterans

By Rob Carrigan,

Originating as “Armistice Day” on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and Nov. 11 became a national holiday beginning in 1938. Veterans Day pays tribute to all American veterans — living or dead — but especially gives thanks to living veterans who served their country honorably during war or peacetime.

Locally, and individually, we all have our own heroes. Bill Crawford, Jim Newbrough, and a host of other local guys that served in the various branches. Today, it is estimated that nearly 100,000 veterans live here in El Paso County and about 40,000 active duty.

We have roads named, William Crawford Highway (105) through Monument. We have the recent memorial built (mostly by local vets) on the edge of town in Palmer Lake that will be dedicated this next weekend.

Crawford was born in 1918, and from Pueblo, Colorado, and later joined the U.S. Army from that city in July 1942. By September 13, 1943, he was serving as a private with the 142nd Infantry Regiment 36th Infantry Division in southern Italy. On that day, he was acting as a squad scout when his company attacked Hill 424 near Altavilla Silentina. During the battle, Crawford twice moved forward through continuous fire and, using hand grenades and his rifle, destroyed machine gun nests which were holding back his platoon's advance.

After the battle, Crawford was captured by the Germans and presumed dead. So in 1944 the Medal of Honor was presented posthumously to his father. Later in the year, Crawford was among a group of soldiers rescued from German captivity.

On January 13, 1946, he married Eileen Bruce. He re-enlisted in the Army in 1947, retired in 1967 with the rank of master sergeant. He later worked as a janitor at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs and as director of the Lucretia Vaille Museum in Palmer Lake.

While working at the Air Force Academy, he mentioned to friends that he had never received the Medal from the president. In 1984, during that year's graduation ceremony, President Ronald Reagan formally presented him with the Medal.

Crawford died at age 81 on March 15, 2000, in his residence at Palmer Lake. Upon his death Governor Bill Owens authorized all Colorado flags to be lowered to half staff in his honor. He is buried at the United States Air Force Academy Cemetery in Colorado Springs, the only non-USAF, US Army enlisted person buried there. He is one of four Medal of Honor recipients from Pueblo, Colorado, the others being Drew Dennis Dix, Raymond G. Murphy, and Carl L. Sitter.

Jim Newbrough, the great grandson of David McShane, a Monument pioneer who built a fort on the edge of town in the 1860s. Newbrough was awarded the Silver Star with Oak Leaf Cluster for his heroics in the Mundi Air Strip Battle during World War II. He single-handedly manned a machine gun nest at that Pacific outpost and is credited with saving the battalion that day.

“As the fight progressed, Newbrough, alone on the gun, kept it going constantly,” said Yank Magazine in December of 1943. “Nobody, not even he, knows how many belts of ammunition he expended. As the gun continued to fire, it attracted more and more attention until it seemed that Newbrough was the only target. Bullets spattered onto everything, cutting down the shelter, half on top of him and clearing the underbrush from around him.”

Next week, a number of celebrations, tributes and events thank Veterans for their service. I can’t think of a better thing to do.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Battling an unseen monster

Nothing is more dangerous than a monster that you can't see to fight.
Our grandfathers and grandmothers remember.

Influenza Pandemic of 1918-1919 in Colorado

By the numbers:

When: 99 years ago.

First reported case in Colorado, September, 1918:
"Spanish Flu” was first reported in Colorado on September 21, 1918, among the Student Army Training Corp stationed at the University of Colorado in Boulder. Hundreds of soldiers were sickened and 19 later died, according to Katie Randolph, of the Denver Public Library On September 27, 1918, a young Denver University student named Blanche Kennedy, died of pneumonia a few days after returning from a trip to Chicago, according to University of Michigan Center for the History of Medicine. It was Denver’s first influenza-related death.

Number of Coloradans who perished:
Between September 1918 and June 1919, nearly 8,000 Coloradans died from influenza and its complications. Colorado had one of the highest mortality rates in the country, possibly because it was home to a large population with compromised lung function (miners and tubercular patients) — folks at a severe disadvantage for fighting pneumonia.
“The flu in 1918 was a pandemic (rather than an epidemic) as it spread quickly and affected a large number of people across several continents. In Denver, Colorado Springs, and towns throughout the state, officials tried to control the spread of the virus by encouraging the use of face masks and placing restrictions on public gatherings, Randolph wrote.

Number worldwide killed by 1918-19 Influenza pandemic:
According to medical researchers, Flu infected 500 million people around the world, including remote Pacific islands and the Arctic, and resulted in the deaths of 50 to 100 million (three to five percent of the world's population), making it one of the deadliest natural disasters in human history.

Life expectancy at that time:
Disease had already greatly limited life expectancy in the early 20th century. A considerable spike occurred at the time of the pandemic, specifically the year 1918. Life expectancy in the United States alone dropped by about 12 years.

Local response:
City Manager of Health and Charity and former Denver mayor Dr. William H. Sharpley took quick action, according to reports from University of Michigan Center for the History of Medicine. “Having heard reports of influenza across the state and assuming that the epidemic would soon reach Denver, he had proactively formed an influenza advisory board on September 26.
Sharpley urged the public to be on guard. He recommended that residents avoid needless crowding, cover all coughs and sneezes, keep their homes and offices well ventilated, and seek a physician at once if cold-like symptoms developed. He also offered the less-than-helpful recommendation to keep a clean mouth, a clean heart, and clean clothes, and advised those affected to make nature your ally, not your prisoner” by avoiding tight clothes and shoes,” reports said.
“Neither Sharpley nor the influenza advisory committee were convinced that the first eight cases near Denver were due to the same virulent “Spanish influenza” strain that was making its way across the nation.It was not until several days later, on October 4, when the number of cases and deaths had climbed rapidly, that Sharpley and the advisory board realized they were facing the deadly epidemic. Sharpley quickly ordered hospitals to isolate influenza patients in separate rooms and not in the general wards, or to use screen dividers between beds in institutions where such separation was not possible,” University of Michigan Center for the History of Medicine reported. Colorado Springs restricted some public gathering and canceled meetings. Other towns and governments followed suit.

Statewide, the effects of the pandemic varied:
Some of Colorado's mountain towns were crippled. Silverton, then a bustling mining town, lost 10 percent of its inhabitants. The flu was transmitted at a public gathering in Silverton. But Gunnison County, where Crested Butte is located, only lost two people. At the first precautionary warning in 1918, schools were closed across Gunnison County, and remained so for at least two weeks. County officials also required certain places to remain closed for four weeks. Anybody wanting to enter the county was required to be quarantined for two days. The school and business closures were finally lifted after four months, say officials in Telluride, who have studied the past in Gunnison while trying to prepare for a potential pandemic flu transmitted by avian species, in 2007.

Photo information:

1. Healthcare workers in Denver, 1918.

2. An emergency hospital at Camp Funston, Kansas, 1918. “Of the 12 men who slept in my squad room, 7 were ill at one time,” a soldier recalled. (New Contributed Photographs Collection / otis historical Archives / National Museum of Health and Medicine)

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Going back to the root of a word

Time to put the ‘conserve’ back into conservative

By Rob Carrigan,

If you look up the root word of conservative in the dictionary, “conserve,” chances are, you would see a definition like “protect something, especially an environmentally or culturally important place or thing, from harm or destruction.”
Conservative forces, and even Republicans, did not always have the reputation of being adverse to environmentalism. Lets just take a look backwards.
Examples of environmentalism in politicians tabbed as “conservative” are as follows.
One of my favorites characters in the political arena was Teddy Roosevelt. Growing up as kid in small town Colorado, in which one claim to fame was at least three Rough Riders charging San Juan Hill with Roosevelt, maybe I was predisposed. But the idea that big-game hunter, lifelong Republican, bully-pulpit president like Teddy Roosevelt could appear like an environmentalist, was once not so farfetched.
During his presidency, T.R. preserved more than 230 million acres of wilderness, created the U.S Forest Service, aggressively pursued soil and water conservation, and established more than 200 national forests, national monuments, national parks and wildlife refuges.
"The conservation of natural resources is the fundamental problem," he once said, according to the Theodore Roosevelt Association. "Unless we solve that problem, it will avail us little to solve all others."
Even Ronald Reagan was greener than you think.
“Reagan pushed for and signed the Montreal Protocol to phase out ozone-layer-depleting, climate change-promoting chlorofluorocarbons. His administration did the initial work on a “cap and trade” system to control acid rain that ultimately was implemented during the George H. W. Bush administration,” notes the conservative Weekly Standard.
“A classic example of Reagan’s approach can be found in the Coastal Barrier Resources Act, which the president signed in 1982. The law established the Coastal Barrier Resources System (CBRS), a zone that today encompasses 273 million acres of land (an area larger than all but one national park in the lower 48 states) in which federal subsidies to new development​ —​ notably, subsidies for roads, housing, and flood insurance​ — ​are forbidden. Private interests may still develop the land but must do so without a penny of federal money. It is estimated the law has saved taxpayers $1 billion since its enactment.
Let’s look at conservatives on the international front. Margaret Thatcher, who was trained as a chemist at Oxford University, the late British Prime Minister Thatcher may have understood the scientific basis of climate change and other environmental issues better than many other politicians. "It is mankind and his activities that are changing the environment of our planet in damaging and dangerous ways," she once said, according to the Guardian. "The result is that change in future is likely to be more fundamental and more widespread than anything we have known hitherto. Change to the sea around us, change to the atmosphere above, leading in turn to change in the world's climate, which could alter the way we live in the most fundamental way of all."
Even unpopular conservatives like Richard Nixon, had positives in the Green World.
Nixon signed into law a long list of environmental legislation. Among those measures: “The National Environmental Policy Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Environmental Pesticide Control Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Endangered Species Act were all signed by or supported by Nixon, according to Mother Nature Network (
He also established the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a cabinet-level federal department.
Take for another example, Barry Goldwater — five-term Republican senator from Arizona and a presidential candidate in 1964 — but also a committed outdoor enthusiast.
"While I am a great believer in the free enterprise system and all that it entails," he wrote, "I am an even stronger believer in the right of our people to live in a clean and pollution-free environment."
Goldwater initially supported the construction of Glen Canyon Dam, which some say destroyed the colorful gorges of Glen Canyon beneath the water of Lake Powell, he later regretted his position. Shortly before he died in 1998, Goldwater joined the Republicans for Environmental Protection (now known as ConservAmerica).
In the current political environment of climate denial, I know some see environmentalism and conservation as “dirty words.” But I still see room to put the “conserve,” back in conservative.