A Classic Western Quarrel:
A History of the Road Controversy at Colorado National Monument
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Since 1 began the research for this project in the Spring of 1992, numerous people have provided varying degrees of academic advice, research assistance, and emotional support. Because this was originally my Master's thesis, I extend thanks to those who struggled with me during my graduate school years and those who assisted me in revising it for publication. My greatest appreciation is extended to the members of my thesis committee from the Colorado State University history department who took time from their busy schedules to work with me. I would first like to thank Dr. Dan Tyler, who was my academic advisor for the duration. His guidance, support, patience and the personal time he invested throughout my years as a graduate student and through the rough spots of the thesis are much appreciated. Mr. John Albright also deserves my deepest thanks for his encouragement, guidance, and firsthand knowledge of the National Park Service. His insights were very valuable to me during the writing and editing of the thesis. Mr. Albright has also provided sound advice and motivation since its completion.

During the course of the original research, I was assisted by numerous people. Mary Shivers Culpin enthusiastically embraced this project from the moment of its inception, and guided me through the revision and publication process. For her research advice, encouragement and personal time I am grateful. The staff at Colorado National Monument accommodated my needs and took a genuine interest in the project. I thank former Superintendent Jimmy Taylor, former administrative clerk Paul Menard (for his computer skills), Secretary Barbara Harger, Supervisory Park Ranger Ron Young, Park Ranger Bill Row, Fee Collectors Michelle Berry and Joel Barnett, Interpreter Georgia Heinz, and all the members of the summer of 1992 maintenance crew who dropped by frequently to swap stories and see how the research was going. Thanks as well to those who read the manuscript and provided critical remarks for publication: Park Service Bureau Historian Barry Mackintosh, Dick Young, Jimmy Taylor and of course, Mary Shivers Culpin.

Others aided in the original research during the summer of 1992. Judy Prosser Armstrong and Dave Fishell of the Museum of Western Colorado were helpful in providing a local context for the history of the Monument. Shirley Howard and Jean Hawk of the Mesa County Courthouse were very helpful as well. To those people whom I interviewed I am especially grateful. Loyd Files worked on the original construction of Serpents Trail. His excellent memory of that experience, and of John Otto were both fascinating and invaluable to me. I would also like to thank former Mesa County Commissioner Maxine Albers, John R. Wilkenson, former Superintendents Robert Benton and Dennis Huffman, and local historian Dave Fishell for granting interviews. Their insights were helpful in providing a well-rounded account to the road controversy.

Most importantly, I would like to thank my family and friends for their support and love during some of the most challenging moments of the original thesis writing process. I especially want to thank my friend and fellow graduate student Greg Silkensen for his support, empathy and tolerance throughout graduate school. My brothers Dave and Doug Schoch and my sister-in-law Mary Schoch were there through thick and thin as well. Even my grandparents, James and Alice Benvie, enquired about the thesis on the phone from Cincinnati!! I extend heartfelt thanks to my husband John Roberts. His love and support carried me through the roughest times. He did all of the computer formatting for the original thesis, spent long hours in the computer lab printing with me, and was a good sport throughout.

I dedicate this document to my parents, Hank and Judy Schoch. I thank dad for everything he has done in the past three years. Not only did he encourage me to take on the project, but his seventeen years as Chief Ranger of Colorado National Monument was invaluable to me in the research and writing of the thesis. He made it possible for me to access the park's records and eventually transport them to Fort Collins. His firsthand knowledge of the Monument's history as well as his involvement in the road controversy were very helpful in shaping my perspective of that event. Dad also read and edited the entire thesis manuscript, writing important comments on nearly every page!! My mom's emotional involvement during the thesis writing kept me on my toes. She, more than anyone, anxiously awaited the day I would finally call to tell her "I'm done.' Actually, when I did finish, I think she was more relieved than I was! I thank both my parents for convincing me to continue when I had already quit.

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Last Updated: 09-Feb-2005