In Brief: Lumberyard housing presentation, Aspen makes Green 100 listing, prescribed fires |

In Brief: Lumberyard housing presentation, Aspen makes Green 100 listing, prescribed fires

Staff report

Lumberyard housing presentation next week

The city of Aspen invites the community to offer input and hear from the project team on the current status and timeline of the Aspen Lumberyard Affordable Housing Project at one of two open houses Thursday, Nov. 3. The sessions will take place from noon to 2 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. at the Inn at Aspen, 38750 Highway 82, base of Buttermilk Mountain.

The Aspen Lumberyard Affordable Housing Project would provide 195 new affordable rental units and 82 new affordable ownership units on the former Lumberyard property, an 11.3-acreacre site adjacent to the Aspen Airport Business Center.

In September, the Lumberyard team met with the Aspen City Council and received further direction on the project’s development application to be submitted in late October based on the 100% schematic design of 277 units and 467 bedrooms. 

“The project team is excited to share how Aspen City Council incorporated the community’s feedback,” said Chris Everson, affordable housing development senior project manager. “The public’s continuing input around this project will contribute to a legacy the community can be proud of and go a long way toward fulfilling an urgent need for affordable housing in Aspen and Pitkin County.”

For those who cannot attend the in-person community meetings, content presented at the open houses and an online survey will be available on Aspen Community Voice. Part of the afternoon meeting will be livestreamed on Facebook at 12:30 p.m. at

For more information:

CMC vet tech farm throws doors open

Colorado Mountain College Spring Valley is inviting community members to visit the program’s 220-acre farm and teaching hospital from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Oct. 29 to learn about the college’s veterinary-technology program. This is a free, family-friendly open house. Kids are encouraged to wear costumes, and some of the animals will be wearing costumes, too. An area will be set up to take photos with the animals. 

There will also be a scavenger hunt, a silent auction, a jack-o-lantern smashing extravaganza (Pumpkin pieces will then be fed to the farm’s animals), as well as Halloween treats for humans. Some of the farm’s animals will be available to pet and feed, too.

In addition to the vet-tech lab, small-animal hospital, and equine teaching barn, the college’s veterinary-technology program houses a variety of large animals, including: horses, cattle, pigs, goats, sheep, chickens, and ducks. Small animals include rodents, snakes, birds, ferrets, and chinchillas.

The CMC Veterinary Technology Center and Teaching Hospital is located at 3000 County Road 114, Glenwood Springs, (across from the main Spring Valley campus, past Colorado Animal Rescue). For more information, call 970-945-7481.

Aspen makes Green 100 listing

Aspen recently won a place among the 2022 Green Destinations Top 100 Stories, an annual list. The designation recognizes destinations making progress toward a more sustainable tourism industry, while creating a more attractive experience for local communities and travelers, according to Green Destinations, a non-profit foundation for sustainable destination development and recognition, accredited by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council/GSTC

“This is an exciting first step towards our goal of becoming GSTC-certified as a certified sustainable destination and a great achievement within six months of launching our Aspen Destination Management Plan,” said Eliza Voss, vice president of destination marketing for Aspen Chamber Resort Association. “We know sustainability is important to the Aspen community and our visitors, and we are eager to learn more as we move through this process.”

Aspen was recognized for the “How To: Aspen” campaign, launched by the association in 2018 as an educational initiative on how to visit and recreate in Aspen in a sustainable way.

Eagle County outreach goes virtual

In an effort to grow constituent outreach and receive feedback in an informal setting, the Eagle County Board of Commissioners is launching two new recurring engagement opportunities for the public. 

A virtual “Ask Me Anything” style, live Facebook event series will focus on county programs and services. A county commissioner will be joined by a staff person involved in a program, and they will explain what it is, who is eligible to participate, and how viewers can learn more. They will then make themselves available to answer incoming questions fielded from the live chat. The sessions will be broadcast live and then archived for future viewing at Topics, dates, and times will be announced prior to each AMA event along with a form for early submittal questions.  

County commissioners will also hold open office hours every other week at county facilities and possibly other public venues. On select Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to noon, a county commissioner will be available to discuss any topics of interest with members of the public. No reservations are required, but the county asks that participants respect time constraints if other individuals are waiting. Office hours and locations will be posted to the county website and social-media channels. November’s sessions will take place on Nov. 2 and 16.

Robotics helps Valley View with back operations

Valley View health system in Glenwood Springs is using a robotic guidance platform to add precision and accuracy during complex spinal procedures, such as lumbar fusions. 

“The Mazor X Stealth Edition Robotic Guidance Platform is an extraordinary tool we can use to help patients get their life back,” said Dr. Wade M. Ceola, neurosurgeon at the hospital’s spine center. “For people with chronic back pain due to common degenerative conditions like arthritis, successful spinal surgery can bring a return to normal life and activity. The Mazor X Stealth Edition Robotic Guidance Platform will provide additional accuracy and precision, as well as decreased risk of infection and shorter recovery times.”

The platform provides surgeons with pre-operative implant 3D planning and intra-operative trajectory precision when treating that patient. Officials said that, as a result, patients will experience less pain after surgery, decreased risk of infection, little or no need for narcotic pain medicine, shortened procedure wait times from months to weeks, and improved in-hospital recovery time from days to hours.

For more information, visit

Prescribed fires planned on White River Forest

Fire managers from the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit are hoping conditions will be ideal in the upcoming weeks to possibly ignite two prescribed fires on White River National Forest lands in Eagle and Rio Blanco counties, as well as begin burning thousands of slash piles in Eagle and Summit counties.

Prescribed fires are carefully planned burns to reduce dense vegetation and other fuels, which helps lower the risk of large wildfires and stimulates new vegetation growth that benefits wildlife.

“Prescribed fires are an important tool land managers use to reduce risk to nearby communities and give firefighters areas to more safely and effectively engage potential future wildfires,” said Dan Nielsen, White River National Forest fuels specialist.

Firefighters are monitoring two areas for potential prescribed fires this fall:

  • Lime Park Prescribed Burn, Aspen-Sopris Ranger District (Eagle County): Five miles northeast of Ruedi Reservoir.
  • Aldrich Lakes Prescribed Burn, Blanco Ranger District (Rio Blanco County): 14 miles northeast of Meeker, up to 1,800 acres.

The White River National Forest will resume with prescribed fire projects such as pile burning with the national direction from Chief Moore. The Forest Service recently completed a 90-day nationwide operational pause and program review of protocols, decision support tools and practices related to the implementation of prescribed fire.

“We closely monitor weather and fuels prior to burning, and we will only ignite these prescribed fires if conditions are good for a safe, effective burn,” said Jim Genung, White River National Forest fire management officer. “We are also watching weather conditions for optimal smoke dispersal to minimize impacts to nearby communities.”

For more information, call Genung at 970-404-5411.

Day of the Dead at Carbondale Library

The Carbondale Branch Library will celebrate the Day of the Dead at 4 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 4, and the Carbondale Day of the Dead Parade will pass by the library at 6 p.m. The building will remain open for the evening’s celebration. Free and open to all. For more information call the library at 970-963-2889.

Small businesses support income tax cut

The result of a one-question poll asking NFIB-member, Colorado small-business owners whether they support Proposition 121 on the November revealed support for the measure, according the the NFIB.

When asked, “Should Colorado reduce the state income tax rate from 4.55% to 4.4%,” 90% of small-business owners said, ‘Yes,’ 10% said ‘No,’ and 1% were undecided.

“The result was not a surprise,” said Tony Gagliardi, Colorado state director for NFIB Colorado, “but our association is one of the few — if not the only one — which polls its members before taking an official stand on a major issue. It’s the way we’ve operated for the nearly 80 years of our existence.”

What does surprise, according to Gagliardi, is the number of people who get caught up in the debate over whom the initiative would benefit and by how much money.

“Discussions about who benefits and by how much miss the point entirely,” he said. “Proposition 121 is a small step toward achieving the goal of having no state income tax at all, which is something we ought to move on faster now that Arizona has instituted a 2.5% flat-tax rate that will take effect at the beginning of 2023. Even Gov. Jared Polis has expressed support for the concept. Having no state income tax would give small-business owners something they have always desired: the predictability needed to hire more employees and expand their enterprises — both of which would produce a sustainably healthier economy.”