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Green Briefs

Staff report

Forest Service reviewing events

The U.S. Forest Service is considering issuing permits for up to five years for some popular, existing events that currently must be reviewed every year.

The events included in the proposed action are Ride for the Pass, Ski for the Pass, Gold Leaf Half Marathon, Aspen Invitational, Jeep Jamboree, Power of Four Trail Run, Power of Four Mountain Bike race, Power of Four ski mountaineering race, Red Bull Rise, Big Mountain Enduro and Aspen Allergy Conference Annual Bike Ride and Picnic.

The events are regularly permitted by the Aspen-Sopris Ranger District and are in full compliance with terms and conditions of the existing or expired special use permits. None of the events are proposing changes in scope, scale or intensity.

The White River National Forest must review the events because they use national forest lands. The Aspen-Sopris Ranger District wants to make the approval process more efficient. The Forest Service is seeking public comments through March 8. To submit comments online, go to https://cara.ecosystem-management.org/Public//CommentInput?Project=48649.

A description of the events can be found at http://www.fs.fed.us/nepa/nepa_project_exp.php?project=48649.

Planning a Power Potluck

The backcountry access advocacy group Powder to the People is holding a powder potluck and gathering Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the Common House in Aspen.

“It’s mid ski season and the backcountry is just starting to ramp up — time to gather the troops, go over the maps, share the beta and watch a little ski porn,” the invitation says. The event is open to members and friends.

The potluck will feature a look at maps of the Richmond Ridge area and discussion about access, good lines and proper backcountry etiquette for skinners and snowmobilers. Chili and salad will be provided. Attendees are asked to bring an appetizer, dessert or something to drink. The evening will wrap up with a screening of the extreme skiing documentary, “Swift. Silent. Deep.”

For more information write to info@powdertothepeople.org or call 970-372-2754.

Applications sought for Randy Udall grants

The Community Office for Resource Efficiency is accepting applications for the Randy Udall Energy Pioneer program, also known as TRUE Pioneer grants.

They provide funding for public agencies, schools, nonprofits and businesses for projects that will reduce carbon emissions through energy efficiency, renewable energy or water conservation. Priority will be given to projects that address affordable housing, education benefit, environmental benefit, new technologies and green design, public visibility, cost-effectiveness and demonstration of leveraged funds.

To review application criteria, visit http://aspencore.org/apply-for-grants/truegrant.

Exploring snowpack on McClure Pass

Roaring Fork Conservancy will present a workshop on how snowpack is measured and used to determine water supply on Saturday, Feb. 20 from 9 a.m. to noon.

“Snow to Flow: Exploring Snowpack on McClure Pass” will start at the Redstone Inn for coffee and an introduction to snow science and its critical importance in western water management. The group will carpool to McClure Pass summit for hands-on exploration with Derrick Wyle, snow surveyor with the Natural Resources Conservation Service and Liza Mitchell, education and outreach coordinator with the conservancy. They will lead a tour of an automated snow measuring station called a Snotel site, conduct a snow course survey and dig a snow pit.

The cost is $20 for Roaring Fork Conservancy members and $30 per person for non-members. Registration is required by February 18, 2016 at http://www.roaringfork.org/events.

Nitrogen affecting the high country

The weekly Naturalist Nights program presented by Wilderness Workshop and Aspen Center for Environmental Studies will focus on a threat to the high country that isn’t climate change.

The program is entitled, “The Biggest Global Change You’ve Never Heard Of: How Nitrogen is Affecting Colorado’s High County.” Jill Baron, a research ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey and senior research scientist with the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory at Colorado State University, will summarize more than 30 years of research on nitrogen in the environment. The information will include an update about conditions in lakes around Aspen.

“Wilderness Workshop supplied some of the original data from high altitude lakes that informed Dr. Baron’s studies,” the invitation says.

Two presentations will be held. The first will be at Carbondale’s Third Street Center on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. The second is Thursday at 7 p.m. at ACES’ Hallam Lake headquarters.


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