Colorado College: The next State of the Rockies Project speaker series topic is ‘The law and the Colorado River’


Colorado Supreme Court Justice Gregory Hobbs and Colorado River legal scholar Larry MacDonnell will discuss the Colorado River Compact on October 17. The presentation is the next for the State of the Rockies Project speakers series.

Since it’s been a while since I published one of Justice Hobbs’ poems I thought this would be a good occasion. Here you go:


On wheels born Western man
he warned of that mobility
from which he sparng
unbridled optimism and the roar

Of the Reclamation Bureau he swore
as a blooming desert Mormon might
swear to God of locusts,
cranky cast iron stove he smoked
more we stoked his heat

Matter of lenses, I think,
his were not fit for preaching–
more for teaching in
a living room

Themes that marked him most

One-armed Major’s headlong
river plunge, careless harvest
of the wilderness, natural law
of limits, the good of settling in

Died in Santa Fe
not by hanging rope or pistol shot–
myths he fought cantankerous about–
but by Ford or GM truck
like many a Western man struck down

He in the line of duty,
a peace officer,
posting speed control signs
on the borders of our frontier minds:

A True Civilization
Not A Ruthless Occupation
Disguised As Romantic Myth

Reprinted, with permission, from Colorado Mother of Rivers: Water Poems by Justice Greg Hobbs. Click here to order the book from the Colorado Foundation for Water Education.

A little of Wallace Stegner’s unbridled western optimism has rubbed off on two Colorado College grads, Will Stauffer-Norris and Zak Podmore, who will be traversing the length of the Green and Colorado rivers, Source to Sea down the Colorado River, starting this week. As soon as they hit Green River, Wyoming, they’ll be seeing a lot of the same stuff that John Wesley Powell did on his first trip down the river.

More Colorado River basin coverage here.

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