This week in Colorado history: Plants, animals, and people

One hundred years ago, the Colorado legislature was busy. A public meeting was held to discuss a bill pertaining to mine employee safety. According to “The Colorado Transcript” of March 9, 1911, “The bill provides for the maintenance of a chief inspector and seven deputies, each deputy assigned to a district composed of 21 coal mines.” Another bill outlining an eight-hour work day for coal miners faced heavy opposition from Colorado coal mining companies and was also discussed at this meeting.

Hunters and fishermen were delighted by the bill created at a meeting of the state fish and game commission. The bill offered bounties for hunters who killed “predatory animals.” The bill did not include conditions for repealing an 1893 law on the same topic. “The Colorado Transcript” noted that the new bill would enable hunters to collect two bounties, one under each law. The commission also discussed making fishing season from May 1 to December 31 instead of May 25 to November 30, but decreasing the spring shooting season by fifteen days.

In Aspen, the Elks sought elk. According to “The Colorado Transcript” of March 9, 1911, “The exalted ruler of the Aspen lodge of Elks” sent a telegram to government officials asking for a shipment of elk from Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The Elks did promise to pay for the elk, though they did not disclose for what they wanted their furry namesakes.

Those interested in cutting-edge agriculture a century ago should have spent time in eastern Colorado. Professor HM Cottrell of the Colorado Agricultural College (known today as Colorado State University) arranged with Rock Island railroad officials to conduct the International Dry Farming Congress special. The train was to generate interest in the upcoming International Dry Farming Congress in Colorado Springs and to educate farmers of eastern Colorado in dry farming. It set out from Colorado Springs on March 13.

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