Friday, February 17, 2012

Another Beginning...

The Hardrock Revision blog now contains all the elements of the vision that we came up with during our month-long residency. The Colorado Art Ranch, and the team of artists and scientists have returned to our homes - leaving us with memories of a beautiful place, interesting people, fun, and hard work.

The Mill in February

But the influence of this project does not end here. I (Becky) am back here in Lake City; having got some funding from MIRIAD, I am in the process of developing a masterplan for the Ute Ulay. This project is the next step towards making development at the Ute Ulay a reality, and would never have been conceived without the Hardrock Revision. So many, many thanks to Colorado Art Ranch, all the other residents and participants, organisations, community members here in Lake City, and everyone who supported the Hardrock Revision in so many ways.

Details of the next project are on the new blog, so take a look and see what is happening next...

Monday, February 6, 2012

Our Vision #25: Pika Research

Research being done in the Great Basin of California and Nevada indicates that mine tailings are an ideal environment for pikas, sustaining these small creatures when other habitats at similar altitudes and climates cannot.  The opportunity to study this phenomenon in a controlled environment could be a valuable function for the piles of waste rock at the Ute Ulay and an opportunity to better understand an indicator species.  
The World's Largest Pika

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Our Vision #24: Workshops

The blacksmith’s shop and three attached sheds on the mill site will be designated as multi-functional workshop spaces. These workshops could support artist residencies or local artist commissions, and could serve as breakout educational spaces for school groups, youth groups, summer camps, and temporary research facilities for visiting university programs. Refitted to include workshop benches, lighting, and metal-working equipment, the workshop would be spacious and adaptable to a variety of uses.
blacksmith and other sheds - then and now

Friday, February 3, 2012

Our Vision #23: Micro-hydro

About a hundred years ago, the Ute Ulay mining operations began to generate electricity by hydropower. Given the Hardrock Revision’s focus on sustainability, the team recommends installing a modern hydropower system. 
old dam and new micro-hydropower
Used on many farms,  ranches, and homes in remote locations, micro-hydropower systems can generate up to 100 kilowatts of electricity. Current systems respond to varying water flow rates and seasonal changes to ensure reliable power. For the Ute Ulay, a sensitive eye for history and innovation will be needed to implement a micro-hydropower system that compliments the historical precedent.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Our Vision #22: Ice Rink and Expanded Ice Climbing

n - ice!
There are several opportunities for winter recreation on the site of the Ute Ulay.  Capitalizing on the ice climb that is already in use just below the dam on Henson Creek could make it a site of particular interest to experienced climbers.  Another possibility is the installation of a low maintenance ice-skating rink in the tailings pond after remediation.  Winter sports could help to expand the season of the hostel, drawing both locals and non-locals alike.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Our Vision #21: Old Mill Ruins / Gathering Space

The site of the original mill (no longer present) could become an outdoor gathering space, with the foundation creating natural walls around the concrete platform.  A screen could be hung from the hydropower structure, facilitating films, talks, and other events.  
I think they're watching 'Lucky Texan'

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Our Vision #20: Tailings Pile

The largest mine tailings pile at the Ute-Ulay mill site has been estimated at 4,000 cubic yards in volume. Nearly a century ago, the pile was considerably larger. The pile may contain metals and other poisons that are lifting into the air, creating dust, and entering storm-water runoff. Sealing the tailings is the only practical way to reduce leaching and the threat of respiratory illness in visitors. We suggest using a powerful polymer emulsion that will retain the form of the pile. The sealant will bond the surface dust and aggregate together and "cement" it to the base to create a hard, dust-free, water-resistant, and resilient surface. This remediation technique will essentially freeze the tailings pile in time, establishing a memorial-like feature, a tribute to the work that took place at the site.
A monument to hard work

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Our Vision #19: Underground Passage

a slide into the river through the unknown underground?
Though the mountains appear to be solid, miners have carved out veins of metals, leaving voids deep in the earth. Because the mines, and the creek—far below the level of the mine site—are inaccessible, a new route to reach the creek could be carved through the hillside in the spirit of the mine.