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GYPSUM, Colorado – The owner of a wilderness guest lodge in the Flat Tops area has been arrested on animal neglect charges after several of his horses were discovered to be underfed, according to the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office.

Larry Gene Parks, 63, owner of Budge’s Flattops Wilderness Lodge in remote eastern Garfield County north of Dotsero, was arrested Nov. 14 on three counts of misdemeanor According to a sheriff’s office press release, Garfield County animal control responded to a report on Nov. 1 by U.S. Forest Service officials of several underfed, possibly sick horses at the ranch, located on Forest Road 600.

Photos provided to law enforcement supported the claims, according to the release.



In addition, on Nov. 8, Eagle County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a similar report of neglected horses at a ranch on Highway 6 outside of Gypsum. Those horses were also owned by Parks, according to the information from Garfield County.

A search warrant was obtained on Nov. 10, and two horses were seized for treatment from the Gypsum Ranch. The rest of the horses were removed from the guest lodge, but remain in Parks’ care, according to the release.



Participants in a team energy-conservation project commuted 14,000 miles – or more than halfway around the world – without ever using a car.

The project – “COREmuter Challenge” launched by Aaron Taylor of Carbondale – was part of the 2011 Sustainable Communities Team Challenge (SCTC), an effort to engage the public in energy-conservation efforts.

In Taylor’s two-month team competition, 60 people abstained from driving cars for a group total of 1,550 days. More impressively, even as cold weather set in, they commuted via bike, skateboard, unicycle, roller-blades and good old-fashioned walking for a total of 14,037 miles. In doing so, they saved a total of 657 gallons of gasoline and an estimated $2,628.

Regarding the results, Taylor says, “The COREmuter Challenge reinforced my idea that bicycles are an increasingly important part of our world. This challenge was a strong example of individuals making personal behavior changes that produced positive ripples at the local and global levels.”

In addition to the financial benefits, participants enjoyed the health and environmental rewards. Together, they burned an impressive 533,423 calories, while successfully averting 12,913 pounds of CO2 emissions. That is the equivalent emissions savings of not burning 14 barrels of oil, using 244 propane cylinders, or the amount of carbon that 150 tree seedlings sequester in their first 10 years of growth.


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