Trees harvested from the 172,000-acre Trinchera Blanca Ranch are cut into 8-to-12-foot lengths before processing into lumber at the Trinchera Blanca Ranch's Blanca Forestry Products sawmill, which was built by the ranch's owner, conversationist Louis Bacon, to help improve forest health on the ranch. (John McEvoy, Special to The Colorado Sun)Blanca Forestry Products, (John McEvoy, Special to The Colorado Sun)

Compiled by Eric Lubbers,

CTO/Newsletter Wrangler, @brofax

Good morning! You made it through all five days of this post-holiday week and let me just say I’m proud of you.

I received some great recommendations for short-drive, dog-friendly trails and parks, with Jeffco’s Mount Falcon Park, Lakewood’s Forsberg Park and the Cherry Creek Reservoir’s massive off-leash park leading the recommendations. My inbox is still open if your favorite wasn’t listed here!

As usual we’ve got a ton of news to share today, so let’s toss this Frisbee already, shall we?




The Latest from The Sun


This Colorado ranch-made-lab is turning beetle-kill trees into lumber in the name of forest health

At the 172,000-acre Trinchera Blanca Ranch, forest managers pile unusable wood around aspen groves to prevent elk from eating young sprouts. (John McEvoy, Special to The Colorado Sun)

Trinchera Blanca Ranch has three 14ers, large elk herds and thousands of acres of dying trees. Jason Blevins got a firsthand look at the operations on one of the biggest untouched stretches of forest in the state, preserved by financier and conservationist Louis Bacon as a laboratory for forest health management — and good-paying jobs at the sawmill. Read the whole story — 20 years in the making for Jason — here and don’t miss the video of the sawmill in action.

>> A SECRET FREESKI RACE CONTINUES TRADITION: Jason also has an oh-so-secret scoop on what might be the longest-lived freeski race in Colorado, with Coors Light-fueled roots stretching back to the mid-’60s on a nondescript hill overlooking the Fraser Valley.


Gay rodeo is branching out to women, straight competitors while staying true to its inclusive roots

Briggs Maycock tapes his glove on as he prepares to ride a bull during the Rocky Mountain Regional Rodeo at Jefferson County Fairgrounds. Briggs, who competes with his girlfriend, is among the straight contestants. (Seth McConnell, Special to The Colorado Sun)

“When you fight for acceptance, and now that you have it, what do you do with it?”

— Robert Thurtell, rodeo director for the Inter

Things are changing in the world of the gay rodeo. What was once a safe haven for cowboys that couldn’t compete on the main circuit has become a full-fledged circuit of its own that now includes women riding bulls and even straight competitors  — but hasn’t lost a bit of its spirit. Take some time to read Jennifer Brown’s visit to the rodeo and don’t miss Seth McConnell’s photos of the action (and the fun).


What DIA’s record-breaking cargo operations say about Denver’s economic health

Cargo jets emblazoned with the logos of DHL and UPS sit on Denver International Airport’s cargo ramp on July 3, 2019. (Eric Lubbers, The Colorado Sun)

It seems like DIA breaks passenger records every week. But south of the Great Hall, just past Blucifer, the airport’s cargo ramp is seeing a massive uptick in freight from FedEx, UPS, DHL and — of course — Amazon. Jesse Paul takes a look at the recent jump in cargo loads, what it means for the health of Denver’s economy and how it could lead to major expansion at the airport.


More from The Sun

  • Work on another I-70 mountain toll lane, this time heading westbound from Idaho Springs to Empire, starts Monday and will last into 2021. Here’s what you need to know.
  • Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser stepped into one of the state’s most divisive political debates by backing a Philadelphia nonprofit in its quest to open a supervised-drug-use site. But it’s worth noting that the controversial effort to bring what’s sometimes called a “safe-injection site” to Colorado appears to be indefinitely stalled.
  • Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Mike Johnston is criticizing Republican U.S. Sen Cory Gardner for sharing the stage with a member of the Trump family at this weekend’s Western Conservative Summit in Denver. Johnston wrote an opinion piece in The Colorado Sun to voice his views.
  • The ever-heated debated about what to do with the nation’s wild horses has a significant update: The Trump administration is taking euthanasia off the table as a solution. 
  • Colorado has settled a lawsuit with a transgender prison inmate who alleges she was raped while being held in a men’s facility. 




The Fun Stuff



// This week’s “What’d I Miss?” steers headfirst into the recent spate of hateful incidents at bookstores in Denver as Ossie tries to wrangle with the irony of going viral in the wrong corners of the internet just for denouncing racism.

// It’s been a rough week for both fans of MAD Magazine and for the Hickenlooper campaign. Cartoonist Jim Morrissey used both to create an unforgettable portrait of this political moment in time.

// And while all but a few Rockies took a few days off for the All-Star break, our Drew Litton reflected on the trail they’ve left behind them during the first half of the season.



The best part about fantasy fiction is the way it allows the author to take an absurd premise and juxtapose it with elements of ordinary life to create something horrifying, poignant or even hilarious. That’s exactly what author Ramona Ausubel has done with this short story excerpt from her collection “Awayland.” I don’t want to give too much away, but imagine a mythological figure filling out an online dating profile. And in Ausubel’s author Q&A, she notes sympathetically that her character “is not the worst guy on the internet.”



The IPA gets all the love in the beer world. It’s the superstar. But more recently, I am drawn more and more to pale ales. The modern version is big-flavored and easy-drinking. It’s the beer for the day in the park or the summit hike. Two favorites from Denver breweries to try: Epic Brewing’s Rino APA, a juicy pale ale, and Renegade’s Free to Roam, a more traditional American pale ale. Both still manage to pack a punch with a citrus aroma and flavor and malt body that balances nicely and finishes smooth.




Top five ways you can support The Sun:

Every dollar you give goes right back into supporting journalism.




// I’m just going to paraphrase this tweet from columnist Tim Morris: “Beginning Sept. 1, Starbucks will no longer sell newspapers at its more than 8,600 shops nationwide. The company says too many people read without paying, a metaphor for the news industry.” // Twitter, NY Post

// This is a good time to remind you that the journalism we produce at The Sun isn’t free, even if we don’t have a paywall. If you haven’t yet, step up and become a member of The Colorado Sun for just $5 per month. It feels great, I promise.

// Victims of the funeral home accused of selling body parts and defrauding families are now asking for $3 million in damages. // Montrose Press

// The headline is “Why Safeways Keep Closing in Colorado” and the lede — unsurprisingly — begins “When private equity firm…” // The Colorado Trust

// The culling of Denver’s park geese is over, but Westword writer Michael Roberts has had it with Denver’s obsession with the birds — especially with all the other problems the city is facing. // Westword

// Longmont’s mayor is not happy: In an interview with 9News he laid it out clearly for the RTD board — “Give Us Our Train Or Stop Taking Our Money.” // 9News, Longmont Observer

// The Brazilian meat processing giant JBS — the owner of the massive processing plant in Greeley — has undercut its competition to win massive federal contracts designed to offset the Trump administration’s trade war, according to a new investigation. // Harvest Public Media

// The Tribune has more on the Colorado Peaches senior softball team we mentioned last week, and it is inspiring. // Greeley Tribune

// Nearly every home listed on the Denver market experiences a quick price reduction, which may mean that the red-hot market is “normalizing” — which is still cold comfort for those of us kicking ourselves for not buying a Congress Park penthouse for $250,000 back in 2009. // Denver Business Journal ?




Today’s Thing


The Thing: A cool collection of public LEGO art (More info)

Why You Might Like It: World-famous LEGO artist Nathan Sawaya (and yes, there is such a thing as a world-famous LEGO artist) has taken his talent for creating haunting human shapes out of the little rectangular bricks to downtown Denver. If you happen to be passing through the 16th Street Mall through August 27, make sure to swing by the Republic Plaza building to see “Park People” for yourself. It’s likely going to be the selfie spot of the summer, so get yours posted before all your friends do.

Share your thing! If you have something in your life that you just can’t stop raving about send us an email at and you could be published in a future Sunriser! 



That’s it for today — and this week. As you’re cooling down from the heat this weekend, head over to to catch up on all of our in-depth stories over the past five days. Lately we’ve had a string of great stories about the environment, including water issues, that I’m sure you’re going to want to read.

These are articles you won’t want to miss, and which are made possible only by the support of readers like you.

It’s going to be a gorgeous weekend all over the state, so if you get a good photo while you’re out and about, share it with us for a chance to be featured in Monday’s Sunriser! Send it over to!

Have a great one!

— Eric

Eric Lubbers is one of the co-founders of The Colorado Sun, focused on making technology work hand-in-hand with journalism. He was born and raised in Yuma, Colorado, and since starting his career with the Rocky Mountain News/YourHub in 2005...