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Governor Bill Owen's Speech

"Thanks for that introduction 

Bill [Coors], thanks for all you do, not only for the Museum of Natural History, but also for all of Colorado. 

Speaking of Colorado, we live in a land that is famous worldwide because of our mountains.  Wherever I go in the world literally when somebody hears that I am from Colorado, their eyes light up and they start to tell me about their most recent visit to this great state.  As much as we are proud of our eastern plains, it is our mountains that have made us world famous.  Fifty-three mountains higher than fourteen thousand feet, we are literally on the rooftop of the continental United States and so it is a real honor for me to be here. One of the great things about these mountains is that it reminds us of our epic history of mining and the great variety of minerals that can be found here.  Among them is a rose colored crystal bright and distinctive called rhodochrosite, something that my friends the miners behind me would know very well. 

We can thank Bill Coors and his family for their generous support of the exhibits here at the museum. I would also like to thank Raylene Decatur, president and CEO of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and Jack Murphy, the museum's curator of geology.

There are few places around the entire world where you can find rhodochrosite, but Colorado has clearly the world's best examples of this beautiful mineral.  The large, deep red specimens found at Alma near Platte Canyon High School are widely considered the best ever found in the world.  That's what tipped off these Platte Canyon student's from Mr. Ghist's Earth Science Class that since Colorado is internationally known for this mineral, rhodochrosite needed to be our State Mineral.  I often hear people say that government is non-responsive; that in fact that we don't listen to the people we represent.  I think that the history of what you are about to see here today shows you that when it comes to these two legislators as well as what I am about to do, that these student's concerns and wishes have been honored and so it is a real pleasure for me to be here. 

I am really proud of the two people I am about to introduce.  The first is Representative Carl Miller, a coal miner, a molybdenum miner from Leadville, Colorado, a gentleman who has spent his life in the mines, now he is one of Colorado's best state representatives, Carl Miller."