By Caitlin Switzer
REGIONAL-(April 14, 2014) Officially, he is retired. However, the second career that Jeff Burch, a 30-year U.S. Forest Service veteran, has launched as an author has taken on a life of its own. After creating and releasing a poster, View Looking South from Montrose, in 2001, Burch went on to publish two picture books of local mountains. He co-wrote the popular Peaks of the Uncompahgre with Ouray County historian Don Paulson several years ago, and issued his newest book, The Peaks of Telluride, in late 2013. Burch was also successful in his effort to see the name of Telluride’s Bridal Peak officially restored this year after it had been abandoned over time, though the peak had been clearly labeled as Bridal Peak in the1962 U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin. In the wake of a nine-month campaign by Burch, The U.S. Board on Geographic Names voted in February to restore the name of the 13,510 foot peak that sits north of Columbine Pass, at the head of Bridal Veil Basin.
And now, Burch has been nominated for a very prestigious award. On May 8, Burch will take part in the Colorado Book Award Finalist reading at Denver’s Oxford Hotel. The Peaks of Telluride has been selected as a finalist for the 2014 Colorado Book Awards pictorial category, according to a letter from the Colorado Humanities & Center for the Book.
The letter notes that the award finalists will then be recognized and winners will be announced at the Colorado Book Awards on Friday, June 13, 2014, at the Hotel Jerome in Aspen, Colorado. The celebration is part of the Aspen Summer Words 2014 Literary Festival.
Burch, who never expected the recognition, said that he is simply honored to be a finalist.
“It’s such an honor to be nominated,” he said. “To win would be a very great honor—both for me, and for Telluride.”
The full list of 2014 Colorado Book Award Finalists is posted at coloradohumanities.org.