History: The start of Krabloonik
“Commissioners say ‘mush’ to sled-dog” read The Aspen Times on Nov. 14, 1974. “Cautious approval was granted by Pitkin County Commissioners Monday for the Krabloonik Dog-Sledding Kennels, near the Snowmass Divide parking lot. The operator of the kennels, Dan MacEachen, has 54 adult dogs and about 15 puppies. He plans to take tourists on sled rides down the country road into the Snowmass Wilderness and into the Wildcat area along an irrigation ditch. MacEachen moved a cabin to the site for his residence, and received approval for his sewer and water system. The problem for commissioners Monday was a question about the influence of the kennel on elk and deer migration. … Stuart Mace of Ashcroft, who spoke from 27 years of experience as operator of the sled dogs said that tethered dogs do not affect migration routes. Looking like ‘the last of the mountain men’ at one point, raised his right arm — encased in a cast to the elbow — and said, ‘This kennel will not destroy the elk herd that you want to shoot.’ … The commissioners compromised and granted MacEachen the right to run his kennel through July at least with the condition that [Alan] Whitaker carefully monitor the activities of elk and deer herds. There will be a hearing in July to reassess the situation. MacEachen had plenty of support in the audience Monday. Representatives of West Village and Snowmass spoke of the importance of keeping the sled dog operation in the area as a tourist attraction and asset.” Photograph by Chris Cassatt of Dan MacEachen, of Krabloonik Kennels, with one of the sled dogs, circa 1980. MacEachen died at the age of 67 on Feb. 20.