A huge chunk of the Ute Council Tree broke off early Tuesday morning, raising questions about the future of the historic landmark in North Delta. When he heard a loud crash at about 7 a.m., neighboring homeowner Ken Kothe said there was no doubt in his mind what had occurred. A young locust tree proved to be the only thing standing between the falling limb and the Kothes' home near the intersection of G-96 Lane and 1550 Road. City crews arrived on scene quickly and with the help of Delta Correctional Center inmates, began cleaning up the debris. According to a plaque still standing at the site, Chief Ouray and his wife Chipeta met with white settlers under this cottonwood tree, which is believed to date to about 1802. Parks manager Tony Bohling said the Ute Indians and the Delta County Historical Society will be part of any discussion about the tree's future.
On Dec. 4 Delta County Commissioners Doug Atchley, Mark Roeber and Don Suppes denied the application of Paonia Holdings, LLC for a change of land use for the property at 41322 Highway 133, with an adjacent residence at 41402 Highway 133 and an ancillary property at 16180 Stevens Gulch Road.
The property is owned by Bowie Resources, LLC, and was formerly used as a coal load-out site.