In the spring of 1903, a doctor from Plateau Valley and a loyal Republican named A.R. Craig was appointed supervisor of the Battlement Mesa Forest Reserve. He soon became nemesis to William Kreutzer, the nation’s first forest ranger, who in 1903 served on the Battlement Mesa Reserve.
Also, Craig appointed a large, hot-tempered young ranger as Kreutzer’s assistant, hoping to spark a conflict and force Kreutzer to resign or be fired. “Bill often had to stand by indignant and helpless, while the supervisor or one of his henchmen permitted abuses in the use of lands and resources, secure in the political pull of their sponsors,” Shoemaker wrote.