It is not something that happens very often, when industry pushes aside deadlines and budgets and pursues the greater good of the community. But just slightly more than a year ago, the Snowmass Water and Sanitation District did just that. When a bulldozer operator uncovered the first bones of the Columbian mammoth inside Zeigler Reservoir in the fall of 2010, managers and owners of Gould Construction and Snowmass Water and Sanitation District were faced with the difficult decision to push forward in the project, despite what may lie in the mud of Ziegler Reservoir, or to stop the bulldozers, reign in the heavy equipment and take the time necessary to reveal all the secrets the reservoir.
Fortunately, the executives Snowmass Water and Sanitation and Gould Construction chose to weigh in on the side of history and allowed scientists from the Denver Museum of Nature and Science the necessary time to explore the fossils uncovered. Today more than 5,000 bones from 41 animals have been taken from the site and are currently being studied at the DMNS in Denver, Colorado.
In recognition of this difficult decision and the subsequent and sometimes challenging accommodations that followed, the 2012 Presidentâ€™s Award through History Coloradoâ€™s 2012 Preservation Awards was bestowed upon Snowmass Water and Sanitation, Gould Construction and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science early in February.
The Presidentâ€™s Award through History Coloradoâ€™s 2012 Preservation Award is bestowed upon any individual, company or organization that makes significant strides in restoring, uncovering and preserving Colorado history. In a ceremony with the governor of Colorado, the Presidentâ€™s Award through History is a great honor for any city, organization or institution. On February 1st Kit Hamby and Joe Enzer, the owner representatives for the Ziegler Reservoir project, received the reward right before rushing off to view the new NOVA documentary, â€œIce Age Death Trap.â€
Despite the great honor of this award, both Kit Hamby and Joe Enzer are more grateful for the opportunity to be part of this history-altering event. The real reward has been watching the dig unfold and the treasures of the past come to light. The Snowmass Sun quoted Enzer saying, â€œIt was such an exciting thing to be part of, Iâ€™ll remember this as a highlight for the rest of my life.â€
The men presented the award to the company as a whole on February 17th at the Water and Sanitation board meeting.
Even more remarkable is the fact that despite Snowmass Village Water and Sanitation and Gould Constructionâ€™s willingness to put the reservoir project on the back burner and allow the DMNS the time necessary to complete the dig, the reservoir dig still finished on time according to the companiesâ€™ original timeline. This indicates that the individuals working on the dig were dedicated enough to put in the time and extra effort to get the job done, while also preserving part of Snowmass Villageâ€™s history. A great deal of the work at the dig was also done by local volunteers willing to help dig out and dust bones and help in a variety of supportive roles to ensure every bone, fossil and historical piece of evidence in Zeigler Reservoir was preserved.
In truth this award belongs to the entire community of Snowmass Villagers. Since day one of the find, Snowmass Village has worked with the DMNS and all scientists in the community to properly preserve and extract these fossils. The support and enthusiasm of the community has been a cornerstone in helping the town and business executives to make the right decisions for the town, the fossils and the reservoir as a whole.
The decisions by Snowmass Village Water and Sanitation and Gould Construction are indicative of the choices made everyday in Snowmass Village â€“ to choose the right thing over the easy thing, to think about the long-term effect of a decision and to preserve the history and story of their community over making money. Snowmass Village is truly a community of presidential caliber.
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