11th Annual Crested Butte Gathering in Dallas – RMBL
Every year during the middle of September I am super excited to host an event in Dallas for Crested Butte second homeowners and enthusiasts, and this year was the 11th Annual Crested Butte Gathering in Dallas – RMBL.
It is a fun get together, and I really enjoy the opportunity to visit with so many great friends and clients in the Dallas / Ft. Worth area.
Ian Billick, Executive Director for the Rocky Mountain Biological Lab (RMBL)
Each year I bring in an informative speaker, so this year Ian Billick, Executive Director for the Rocky Mountain Biological Lab (RMBL) was the speaker.
Ian did a great job of providing a background on the history of Science, Exploration and Surveyors of the Western US, including Gunnison, Crested Butte and the townsite of Gothic where RMBL is located.
Crested Butte – Gothic History Did You Know
Did you know the Gunnison Basin was first surveyed in 1873 by the Hayden Expedition (Ferdinand Vandeveer Hayden).
Gothic was a mining town supported by the region’s silver mines. And by 1879 the word was out and Silver was king, and this attracted prospectors, and business to Gothic Colorado. The boom peaked in about 1881 with about 400 buildings including eight saloons, a newspaper and a dance hall.
There were over 1,000 locals, and Gothic boasted it’s own U.S. Post Office between 1879 and 1896. In 1880 President Ulysses S. Grant even visited the town, but when the silver boom ended Gothic became a ghost town…
Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory
It wasn’t until 1928, the land was purchased by Dr. John Johnson and converted into the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory.
The diversity and depth of research at the lab make the area around Gothic, Colorado a well-understood ecosystem.
Today, an average of 160 scientists, professors and students live in Gothic during the summer. They come from all over the world and pay RMBL for the use of the facilities and housing. The road to Gothic is closed in the winter – but a few heartly souls live there all year long. RMBL’s Billy Barr has become a bit of a legend because he has been a year-long resident of Gothic for over 44 years!
Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory has had more than 1,500 scientific publications based on work conducted at the site. There are also summer programs for adults and kids. RMBL is working on putting together Science Programs Curriculum / Field Trips for High School Students as an extension of the STEM Program. Some of the key areas of study are Streams and groundwater, ponds, high altitude butterflies and bees, fauna, salamanders, ground squirrels, avalanches, climate, and marmots.
Billick talked about “Science that Matters” and “Tomorrows Challenges” of water scarcity, human health and disease, and food production. RMBL doing important key research studying fauna, insect life and pollination and how this affects our food supply of fruits and vegetables…
Gunnison Basin as a Model for the World “We can’t measure everything everywhere, so we ask the hard problems at RMBL” with a goal of continuing to be one of the World’s greatest scientific institutions by Transforming Field Science.
RMBL Mt. Crested Butte North Village Expansion
Billick also talked about the future of RMBL and the challenges of running a world class research facility that is buried in over 300 inches of snow in the winter… They have scientific sites throughout Gunnison county, and have plans to expand their Gothic footprint into the future Mt. Crested Butte North Village master plan. RMBL’s goals for this expansion are to:
- Create Year-Round Research and Education Facilities
- Provide Quality Public Experiences While Reducing Pressures on Gothic (Mass Transit, Visitor’s Center, Improved Trail Access)
- Seasonal and Long-Term Housing
There were a number of questions regarding timing, density, location… and Billick mentioned that
- The Goal is to Create Lots of Public Amenities with Reduced Densities
- Mt. CB and North Village being Master Planned Together
- Initiate Mt. CB Review Process in 12-15 Months
- Mt. CB Review Process Will Take Around 12 Months
People often ask me “what makes Crested Butte special?”
It is hard to put into words, but certainly the people who make up our community are special. And I am thankful for people like Ian Billick and organizations like the Rocky Mountain Biological Lab that have such a great history in our valley – and are doing important research to help protect our future. I also proud to be able to host 11th Annual Crested Butte Gathering in Dallas – RMBL. I am a Marmot – a RMBL donor to support all the great things that RMBL does.
To Learn More about RMBL:
For more information on The Rocky Mountain Biological Lab (RMBL), call them at (970) 349-7231, and click RMBL
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