By Lynn Burton
Sopris Sun Staff Writer
It’s the Code of the West:
• Never try on another man’s hat;
• Never pass anyone on the trail without saying “howdy;”
• Remove your guns before sitting down at the dinner table;
• Cuss all you want, but only around men, cows and horses.
There are other important provisions in the unwritten Code of the West, but they broadly encourage hospitality, fair play, loyalty and respect for the land.
Yep, ma’am, we all live in the west, including Redstoners, so we’re all subject to the Code of the West to one degree or the other. That’s one reason the issue of horse poop on the road (aka “road apples”) has surfaced in Redstone.
Word has it, someone recently put a flyer on everyone’s front door who lives on Redstone Boulevard, urging them to attend the Aug. 5 Redstone Community Association to discuss:
• “Banning horses without bun bags from The Redstone Blvd. because of the horse manure not being picked up by Riders;” and
• “Banning gun shots in or within hearing range of the Village of Redstone.”
Come to find out, the Redstone Community Association’s Aug. 5 meeting has been rescheduled to Aug. 12, “ … but it (horse poop) isn’t an issue we can do anything about,” said RCA vice-chair Cathy Montgomery.
The two-page flyer asks Redstone residents to “please bring ideas” on how to help with the issues and that “Cowboys & villagers can be friends.”
Redstone apparently isn’t a one-horse town, but it is pretty much a one-road village. Redstone Boulevard runs north and south through the village, lined by houses, shops and a restaurant or two before dead-ending at the Redstone Inn – where horse-drawn sleighs have been known to park in the winter.
Besides proposing a ban on undiapered horses and gun shots within hearing range, the flyer also includes helpful information about horse poop, including: it should age for about six months before being used on gardens; and, horse manure is unlikely to spread disease to people, with human dog waste far more likely to spread disease and parasites to humans.
Still, horse poop and gunfire is still a topic of conversation in Redstone these days, so The Sopris Sun called the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Department to inquire whether anything can be done about either alleged problem.
Redstone is in an unincorporated part of Pitkin County (ie: it’s not a town such as Aspen or Basalt) so its residents cannot pass ordinances that are specific to Redstone. Pitkin County Animal Safety Director Re Re Baker told The Sopris Sun that Pitkin County does not have an ordinance that requires diapers for horses or that horse owners clean up after their steeds. “We don’t even have an ordinance (like that) for dogs,” she said.
As for shooting guns in Pitkin County, deputy Levi Borst said the county does not have an ordinance that relates to when and where it’s OK to discharge a firearm, but does enforce state statutes. Those statutes mostly address safety.
Which brings us back to the Code of the West. The code does not say anything about cleaning up after your horse, but implies that consideration for others is a central component, such as “don’t stir up dust around the chuck wagon.”