Author Topic: Mountain Homes and Beyond...  (Read 13421 times)

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Offline Halflinger

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Re: Mountain Homes and Beyond...
« Reply #30 on: November 16, 2011, 02:25:20 PM »
That doesn't sound too neighborly. Disturbing to hear about the runaways stealing the firearm and vehicle, on a couple levels. A bad situation for all involved, including the locals.
What I'm wondering now is, how many properties do they use, and where are they? MHYR/AVW give a couple of different answers to that, Northwest Colorado, Southeast Colorado, and Utah, depending in part on seasonality. is the Adult program (which does take court diversions, I believe) operated on the same property used for minors?

I've seen similar situations arise in my own community, where zoning meetings become one of the few options for public commentary on complicated and unpopular issues. Unfortunately, they really aren't effective forums for the kind of underlying problems that get dragged into them... just the only forums.
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Offline Ursus

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Re: Mountain Homes and Beyond...
« Reply #31 on: November 18, 2011, 10:48:43 AM »
Quote from: "Halflinger"
What I'm wondering now is, how many properties do they use, and where are they? MHYR/AVW give a couple of different answers to that, Northwest Colorado, Southeast Colorado, and Utah, depending in part on seasonality.
I believe that MHYR/AVW uses their own property as well as leases land from a number of the local residents; how many, I do not have a clue.

Personally, I kinda suspect that the following comment (left for the above article) may have been made by MHYR/AVW folk. Someone who was truly local would probably know whether the Watts had children or not.

Whether made by MHYR/AVW or not, it certainly seems to illustrate their attitude towards resolving the controversial issues at hand. Those who cooperate will "profit from this venture," and those who don't are tagged as "whiners and complainers." Incidentally, these are pretty much the exact same descriptions the kids get tagged with vis a vis their response to being in a program:

    kp81625 (Anonymous) says... 8 June 2011 at 12:21 p.m.
      Nice attitude Mr. Watt. I certainly hope that if you and your wife had children, that wasn't your attitude while raising them.
      Who are we to say, you can't have these people on your land? You can't profit from this venture? You can't lease your land to this company?
      They have offered to pay for the damage to the roads, and also to adhere to a buffer zone. So what's the problem?
      The problem as these residents see it is the loss of harmony and who caused that? Whiners and complainers caused it. Unless you are willing to let someone tell you what to do with your property, when and for how much, then you need to stop complaining and whining and let the land owners do what they will with their own property.
    [/color][/list]
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    Offline Ursus

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    Re: Mountain Homes and Beyond...
    « Reply #32 on: November 18, 2011, 10:57:17 AM »
    Quote from: "Halflinger"
    is the Adult program (which does take court diversions, I believe) operated on the same property used for minors?
    Good question. This may well prove to be a contentious issue for the locals as time goes on. Or not.
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    Offline Ursus

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    Do you think MHYR should be permitted to operate...
    « Reply #33 on: November 29, 2011, 06:55:17 PM »
    Here are those afore promised "poll" results. This local newspaper seems to run quite a lot of these polls, usually concerning somewhat fluffier topics...

    One thing is for sure, however: they *do* know, at this point, that this is a "troubled teen program" and not just mere camping expeditions of some sort.

    -------------- • -------------- • --------------

    Craig Daily Press
    June 12, 2011

    Do you think Mountain Home Youth Ranch should be permitted to operate its troubled teen program in western Moffat County?

      Response · Percent · Votes
      ---------------------------
    Yes · 64% · 192
    No · 31% · 94
    Undecided · 4% · 12

    Total · 298[/list]


    © Copyright 2011 Craig Daily Press.
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    Offline Ursus

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    Comments: "Do you think Mountain Home Youth Ranch should be.
    « Reply #34 on: November 29, 2011, 08:48:16 PM »
    Comment left for the above poll, "Do you think Mountain Home Youth Ranch should be permitted to operate its troubled teen program in western Moffat County?" (June 12, 2011; Craig Daily Press):


    obamablows (Anonymous) says... 16 June 2011 at 3:31 p.m.
      I wish it would have been here a year ago maybe my daughter would'nt be in jail now. Lord knows every other door was slammed in our face


    © Copyright 2011 Craig Daily Press.
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    Offline Ursus

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    Moffat County Commission approves youth camp permit
    « Reply #35 on: December 16, 2011, 12:15:11 AM »
    And... here's the followup article, which summarizes and discusses the Moffat County Commission's final decision:

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    Craig Daily Press
    Moffat County Commission approves youth camp permit

    Approval for Browns Park camp comes with stipulations

    By Ben McCanna
    June 14, 2011, 3:40 p.m.
    Updated: June 15, 2011, 12:00 a.m.


    The Moffat County Commission approved, 2-0, a conditional use permit Tuesday for Mountain Homes Youth Ranch to operate in Browns Park.

    The vote comes a week after the commission hosted a public hearing on the matter. More than 20 community members attended the public hearing to speak in support and opposition of the Utah-based outdoor program for troubled teens.

    Commissioner Audrey Danner did not vote on the issue.

    "I was not here last week due to my attendance at another meeting, so I think it's appropriate that I recuse myself," she said.

    She participated in the discussion.

    The discussion began with commissioners Tom Gray and Tom Mathers determining that Mountain Home Youth Ranch is a licensed residential child care facility, and an acceptable business within an area zoned for agriculture.

    Next, the commissioners focused on nine criteria from the Moffat County Zoning Resolution and Subdivision Regulation Manual. To obtain a conditional use permit, a business must not adversely impact those criteria, or be willing to mitigate impacts by following commission-issued stipulations.

    At least week's hearing, community members weighed in on the ranch's impact. At Tuesday's meeting, the commission ruled on the criteria.

    First, the commission determined the ranch was compatible with Browns Park.

    "I really think it's compatible because the area is used for camping, hunting," Mathers said. "This is basically a wilderness survival class. I feel like it's a good place for this."

    Next, the commissioners decided the youth ranch would need to adhere to a buffer zone to comply with separation from dissimilar uses.

    Regarding traffic volume, the commission agreed the ranch does have an impact. That impact, they said, could be mitigated through fees paid to the county.

    Next, the commission said any impact on the area's established character could be mitigated by the buffer zone.

    Regarding offensive noise, vibration, smoke, dust, odors, heat, glare or unsightly aspects, the commission cited dust as an impact. In last week's meeting, several community members mentioned dust from the ranch's vehicles.

    The commission said money from fees could pay for the county to treat area roads with magnesium water, which reduces dust.

    The commission agreed some criteria was irrelevant to the ranch, such as utilities and sanitary facilities, conformance with property development standards, and scarring of the land.

    After evaluating the criteria, the commission offered nine stipulations for the ranch's conditional use permit:

    • No one older than age 18 shall attend the program.

    • The ranch shall not erect camps within three miles of a residence, and campers may not conduct activities more than one mile from their camp location.

    • The ranch will not have an enrollment of more than 40 youths per session.

    • The ranch will pay Moffat County a $200 surcharge for each youth to mitigate increased traffic on county roads.

    • The ranch will pay for any road damage.

    • The ranch will notify the Moffat County Sheriff's Office and area residents with locations of each campsite.

    • The ranch will notify the Moffat County Sheriff's Office and area residents of any runaway youths and provide updates when runaways are found.

    • The ranch will comply with all state regulations.

    • The ranch will maintain fire insurance of at least $1 million, and abide by all local fire restrictions.

    Then, the commissioners moved to approve the permit.

    Mathers acknowledged that not everyone would be pleased by the vote.

    "I'm going to vote for this," he said. "We tried through this whole process — because some people absolutely did not want this in their area and private property rights on both sides were being affected — so, we tried through this mitigation to try to make it to where everybody got maybe a little bit of what they wanted."

    After the vote, Greystone resident John Watt addressed the commission.

    "Gentlemen, I can't help but think you've brought a clear and present danger into our community by your decision today," he said.

    Watt cited an incident in November 2010 in which four juvenile males from the ranch allegedly broke into a home owned by Monty Sheridan.

    "Does the Monty Sheridan incident mean so little that we don't worry about this happening again in our community," Watt asked.

    Mathers responded.

    "In other words, the one bad apple syndrome should take effect here?" he said.

    Watt disagreed with the commissioner's logic.

    "You're allowing more bad apples to continually come through the county. That's my concern," he said.

    Gray said he and Mathers both recognized the added risk.

    "That's why we added the stipulations," he said.

    Watt said the commission's stipulations aren't enough.

    "I hope we don't come to a point someday in the future where we've regretted your decision today," he said.

    Gray said Greystone residents ultimately played a role in shaping the conditional use permit.

    "I just want to say to you guys, you had an impact," he said.


    © Copyright 2011 Craig Daily Press.
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    Offline Halflinger

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    Re: Mountain Homes and Beyond...
    « Reply #36 on: December 16, 2011, 07:04:50 PM »
    What agency in Colorado has licensing authority over these places, dept. of health, education? the place sort-of-isn't a school, apparently, and where does that leave it?
    Here's hoping the local gov't, at least, is on guard about this place. Even if everything is above board and by the book, I'm afraid I agree with Mr. Watt.
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    Offline xii.anon

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    Re: Mountain Homes and Beyond...
    « Reply #37 on: January 22, 2012, 01:42:26 AM »
    Former employee at Mountain Home/Ashley Valley happy to answer any questions you may have. prefer to remain anonymous.
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    Offline Ursus

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    Re: Mountain Homes and Beyond...
    « Reply #38 on: January 22, 2012, 02:09:57 AM »
    Quote from: "xii.anon"
    Former employee at Mountain Home/Ashley Valley happy to answer any questions you may have. prefer to remain anonymous.
    Okay, I'll bite... For starters:

    • Do you know what program backgrounds the founders of MHYR/Ashley Valley Wilderness have?
    • What other programs do they seem to have a professional relationship with?
    • How similar, from both a philosophical and operational standpoint, are Mountain Home Youth Ranch and Ashley Valley Wilderness?
    • Do MHYR and AVW make use of the same terrain/property acreage, or is the use assigned accordingly ... as per stipulations of the conditional use permits?
    • Are the local folk aware of the fact that these people have an age-over-18 program, namely, Ashley Valley Wilderness?
    • Why are you a former employee, as opposed to a current employee, of MHYR/AVW?

    Thanks in advance ... for your input and insight!
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    Offline minions of elan

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    « Reply #39 on: January 22, 2012, 02:22:05 AM »
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    « Last Edit: February 21, 2012, 01:46:45 AM by minions of elan »

    Offline xii.anon

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    Re: Mountain Homes and Beyond...
    « Reply #40 on: January 22, 2012, 02:40:19 AM »
    Quote from: "Ursus"
    Quote from: "xii.anon"
    Former employee at Mountain Home/Ashley Valley happy to answer any questions you may have. prefer to remain anonymous.
    Okay, I'll bite... For starters:

    • Do you know what program backgrounds the founders of MHYR/Ashley Valley Wilderness have?
    • What other programs do they seem to have a professional relationship with?
    • How similar, from both a philosophical and operational standpoint, are Mountain Home Youth Ranch and Ashley Valley Wilderness?
    • Do MHYR and AVW make use of the same terrain/property acreage, or is the use assigned accordingly ... as per stipulations of the conditional use permits?
    • Are the local folk aware of the fact that these people have an age-over-18 program, namely, Ashley Valley Wilderness?
    • Why are you a former employee, as opposed to a current employee, of MHYR/AVW?

    Thanks in advance ... for your input and insight!

    Marty Bingham Started the program after working briefly at a wilderness program in the area that was on its way out (as in closing). Rob Cauldwell also worked there, Rob originally didn't take an offer to partner up but later did after Marty did the leg work.  Marty owned a lumber company before Ashley Valley

    Just the two programs they work with a few "Educational Advisers" who arrange transitional programs for those whose needs aren't met at Ashley Valley but there is no preference to any particular one

    As to your third question, near identical with more privileges on the adult side eg: headlamps, fishing trip

    Property is complicated they have many resources for property not just those in Craig that is a very small percentage of the property used

    The local folk aren't your normal type, if you mean where the camps are most are there to be alone, so its hard to say those in town certainly are aware of both programs.  About 90% of the time the youth and adult camps are at least 60 miles apart so your talking about two different communities
    « Last Edit: January 22, 2012, 05:24:27 PM by xii.anon »

    Offline Ursus

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    Re: Mountain Homes and Beyond...
    « Reply #41 on: January 22, 2012, 02:58:49 PM »
    Quote from: "xii.anon"
    Marty Bingham Started the program after working briefly at a wilderness program in the area that was on its way out (as in closing). Rob Cauldwell also worked there, Rob originally didn't take an offer to partner up but later did after Marty did the leg work.  Marty owned a lumber company before Ashley Valley
    Do you remember what the name of this program was?

    Quote from: "xii.anon"
    Property is complicated they have many resources for property not just those in Craig that is a very small percentage of the property used
    Do they have differing agreements re. the usage of all these properties?

    Quote from: "xii.anon"
    The local folk aren't your normal type, if you mean where the camps are most are there to be alone, so its hard to say those in town certainly are aware of both programs.  About 90% of the time the youth and adult camps are at least 60 miles apart so your talking about two different communities
    If those in town are aware of both programs, and presumably also that Ashley Wilderness is a young adult program, can you tell me why above reportage of a particular and apparently controversial conditional use permit ... expressly noted the Moffat County Commission's stipulation that "No one older than age 18 shall attend the program?"
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    Offline xii.anon

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    Re: Mountain Homes and Beyond...
    « Reply #42 on: January 22, 2012, 05:10:14 PM »
    I don't remember the name of the other program it was about a decade ago.  Moffat county is only used for the youth camps no adults at the time when we started using Moffat county we had to evacuate another area I that may have been the only time we had the adults near those camps and it was only for a few days.   Ashley Valley has many different arrangements for property use and arrangements differ from site to site depend on what licenses and permits are needed, who owns the property ect.  As to the "No one older than age 18 shall attend the program" that was particular to Moffat only I don't understand why since, in general, adult programs run much less risk of incident.
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    Offline Halflinger

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    Re: Mountain Homes and Beyond...
    « Reply #43 on: January 22, 2012, 11:32:09 PM »
    Hi xii. I'd like to ask about your experience, I suppose, but feel free not to answer anything too specific to yourself. What was the philosophy of the place? What would a typical day for a student, or an employee, entail? How did you become employed there, and why are you no longer?  Do you have experience in other programs, or other social service providers, that you could contrast it with?  Thanks.
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    Offline xii.anon

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    Re: Mountain Homes and Beyond...
    « Reply #44 on: January 23, 2012, 03:05:02 AM »
    Sorry I will have to be vague I don't care to have myself identified by my former employer as I was well known and stile have contact with the owners, so I will skip over the first part of your question and give you a staffs perspective, in particular a head staff.  Before the beginning of your 8 day shift you arrive at the office as a head staff you first meet with the directors alone and two directors.  In this meeting they let you know who your support staff are and address all issues that have arose during your off shift you also go over any issues they have with your performance that have come up during this time being with the students there is always something since there always a way to improve there is always something to talk about.  It feels like reprimand at first but after a while you come to understand you can always improve.  They address you in the same manner you are expected to problem solve with students, "What is wrong with this situation?" "How are you supposed to handle this?" also use same therapeutic model that is expected to be used in camp "I can see where your coming from with that but can you see how that is not in line with what we are trying to accomplish here?"

    After that you go to a general meeting with the entire shift, the directors, therapist, teachers and treatment team where we address any company wide issues, improvements, policy changes, and so on.  Then you meet with your team and each therapist individually and go over the treatment plan for each individual student.  This includes addressing points of concern such as run threats or conspiracy.  If you have good status and report with the company you will aid in any modifications to treatment plan to suit your staffs capabilities and strengths to meet the student goals.  After that the therapist will sometimes pull you aside to address any issues to be wary of concerning staff usually a sign that staff may not be with the company much longer.

    After that you gather supplies and head to the mountain (your assign camp).  Upon arriving support staff unload supplies and head to camp and there is an exchange with the opposite head staff to fill in any additional details of the goings on and most recent developments.  Then you exchange keys go into camp and address students and staff as a group you assign students to their individual staff and gather supplies, distribute food and educational materials.

    Day to Day

    A staff is assigned to go out before wake up start a fire put a pot on for breakfast and then call 8 minutes, the students then have 8 minutes to roll up there gear and stuff their packs.  When everyone arrives at the fire circle hygiene is done  (wet wipe bath around fire: feet, hands, neck and face) Then we retrieve bear bags and make breakfast we then brush teeth.  After that the rest of the day is spent maintaining camp, and working with individually.  Student are responsible to finish all required work to complete week on their own.  Staff keeps track of points (students must earn a certain amount of points throughout day to pass a day), works on individual treatment plans (expectations are different for every student), and keeps schedule.  Staff will meet once during the day to make sure everything is on track most often, this is done after a phone call is made via Sat-phone to the office and updates are given,  if possible the head staff will wait until this moment to reprimand support staff and make adjustments.  After dinner there is group this is the only time  which starts with questions, comments or concerns, this is a safe time where students and staff alike talk about changes they want or things the like.  After that there is a group exercise this is the only time, other than individual therapy, that students may talk about drugs or drug related behaviors. Then to bed.

    What else...students have therapy once a week the therapist comes up and head staff will meet with the therapist to give an update the therapist has also received the updates throughout the week, after individual therapy head staff again meets with therapist to update treatment plans.

    When the week is over we go down to the office and debrief, again head staff meets with the director and we go over week at this meeting we focus on staff performance then head staff is told how their performance could be better and how to address support staff.  Head staff is given a stack of check meets with team again and, if necessary individual staff, hands out checks and we go home for 6 days.

    Couple notes this is how I ran my group and not all groups are the same but due to my lengthy experience this is pretty close to how they should be also I was head staff in an adult group but again others should be the same
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