In Brief: America’s Uphill; ski town film about community; subdivision gets OK in Missouri Heights |

In Brief: America’s Uphill; ski town film about community; subdivision gets OK in Missouri Heights

America’s Uphill race on Aspen Mountain

Ute Mountaineer and the City of Aspen will present the America’s Uphill race, taking place on Aspen Mountain at 7 a.m. on March 11.

America’s Uphill, in its 35th year, is a 2.5-mile and 3,000-foot vertical race up Aspen Mountain includes snowshoers, runners, Nordic skiers, telemark skiers, and alpine touring skiers. 

The 2023 event will be limited to 200 participants. The format has been changed to a mass start. Registration is open and will close March 9 at 9 a.m.. The entry fee is $60 per person and includes a race shirt, breakfast, prize giveaway, and pain. 

To register visit:

High Country,’ a film about community, at Paepcke

Aspen Journalism is partnering with filmmaker Conor Hagen and retired local journalist Paul Andersen, as well as other community partners, to present a free screening of Hagen’s film “High Country,” about Aspen’s closest neighboring ski town Crested Butte and its legacy of fostering community amid challenges. 

This event will take place on Saturday, March 11, at Paepcke Auditorium in Aspen, with doors opening at 5:30 p.m. and the film to begin at 6 p.m. Admission is free on a first-come, first-served basis, but seating is limited by the 400-person capacity of the auditorium located at 1000 N. Third St. on the Aspen Meadows campus. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion beginning at 7 p.m. that will explore themes of community values and character — how those are formed and what shapes them over time — as well as the struggle to maintain values in the face of change.  

“Thematically, this screening will inspire discussion on community in Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley with the idea of inclusion of the many social layers throughout the valley,” said Andersen, a former reporter and editor of The Aspen Times and a longtime columnist there. Before moving to Aspen, he lived in Crested Butte from 1970 to 1984 and served as editor of the Crested Butte Chronicle and as a reporter for the Gunnison Country Times. He is also the author of the book “The Town That Said Hell No: Crested Butte Fights a Mine to Save its Soul,” about the effort to stop a mine from opening on a peak overlooking the town.

According to the film’s executive producer Chris Fischer, “High Country is both a visual pleasure as well as a civics lesson, teaching its viewers the importance of a shared, positive, and creative vision for the future. You can’t help but walk away from the film inspired to make a difference in your own community. ”

A panel discussion following the film will feature Hagen and Andersen, along with former Colorado state Sen. Gail Schwartz — a Roaring Fork Valley resident who has also lived in Crested Butte — and former Aspen Mayor John Bennett. Aspen Journalism Editor and Executive Director Curtis Wackerle will moderate the panel.

For more information, contact Wackerle at or Andersen at

Garfield County approves subdivision application in Missouri Heights

Garfield County has approved a subdivision application for a 41.3-acre property off Harmony Lane in Missouri Heights that is designed for residential units. The FussnerMinor Subdivision (on behalf of SkyFooze1, LLC) is a proposal to subdivide the property into two parcels, on which two single-family homes and potentially accessory dwelling units would be built.

Lot 1 is proposed to encompass 36.2 acres of the property, while lot 2 covers 5.1 acres. The property, which was recently the proposed location of the unrealized Ascendigo Ranch, is zoned rural and has traditionally been home to agricultural use.

“The purpose of this application is to subdivide the subject property into two lots that offer terrific views of the Roaring Fork Valley, Mt. Sopris, and the Elk Mountain Range,” the application reads. “Each lot is well-suited for the construction of a single-family home and ADU or SDU (secondary dwelling unit) and offer several options for a building site.

The application was approved 2-1, with Commissioner John Martin opposing, citing his desire to see the lots remain as they were originally approved and noting concerns about the amount of available water on the property. 

Garfield commissioners reiterate opposition to wolf re-introduction

Garfield County has submitted a comment letter on the draft Colorado Wolf Restoration and Management Plan supporting “impact-based management goals, among other recommendations. The county advised that an Endangered Species Act 10(j) rule must be in place prior to any re-introduction efforts and supports changes to compensation ratios for all livestock if found to be attacked by wolves.”

“I think it’s imperative that people know that the three commissioners of Garfield County are very much against this wolf restoration and management plan,” said Commissioner Mike Samson. “Speaking for myself, I believe that this is very foolish and not a good move for the state of Colorado. It should not be done and is a waste of time, energy, and money. It will cause great destruction to livestock and big game. I wish it never passed, but it did and we’re now looking forward.”

The letter, which is addressed to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission, also notes that the county supports the stakeholder advisory group’s recommendation that ranchers be compensated for yearling cattle at the same ratio as calves, if evidence proves that the animals were attacked by wolves. It was recommended that the term “livestock” include cattle, horses, mules, burros, sheep, lambs, swine, llamas, alpacas, and goats regarding the base compensation plan (100% market value), and that losses of animals cover state and federal lands, as well as private.

The county urged the wildlife commission to consider a wolf-hunting season as a population management tool once the numbers reach 150-200 animals. 

The letter was approved unanimously by the board, 3-0. The full letter is available online at

Former assistant attorney general named CMC general counsel

Lucia Padilla recently joined Colorado Mountain College as general counsel, taking over from Richard Gonzales, who retired in January 2023 after eight years in the role. 

She comes to CMC after seven years serving as a senior assistant attorney general within the State Attorney General’s Office, where she handled employment and civil-rights matters and represented Colorado in both state and federal cases.

Lucia Padilla

“I was impressed by CMC’s mission and dedication to provide higher education to all individuals and especially those who reside in our rural mountain communities,” Padilla says. “That really spoke to me, especially as a Colorado native who spends a lot of time recreating in the mountains and whose grandparents were from rural, southern Colorado.” 

Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser said Padilla is a committed public servant who will be missed in his office.  

Her background also includes in-house counsel roles with Denver Health and Hospital Authority and telecommunications company Century Link, as well as a wide range of board memberships and public service for the Colorado legal community. 

A fourth-generation Coloradoan and graduate of the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law, Padilla says she looks forward to the diverse range of responsibilities facing her at Colorado Mountain College.  

Park City electeds fight for local control of housing

There’s a housing crisis in Utah. State legislators and the governor have indicated they see increasing supply as part of the solution and implied Summit County doesn’t play well with developers. 

But the County Courthouse, arguing for local control, says those on Capitol Hill don’t understand what it’s like to live in the Park City area.

“It’s hard to really believe this idea of fixing Utah’s housing crisis, this notion that they had to pass this legislation, S.B. 84, to fix a housing problem is simply pretext,” Summit County Council Chair Roger Armstrong said in an interview after Wednesday’s work session with Dakota Pacific Real Estate developers. 

Craig lurches toward riverside rec project

The Yampa River Corridor Project has pushed back its timeline to break ground, but the delay is giving city officials more time to seek additional grant funding for the project, which aims to boost outdoor recreation in Craig and improve the city’s river infrastructure. 

The river project, which has been in the works for several years, was anticipated to break ground in fall 2022 after the city received a $3.3 million Economic Development Administration Assistance to Coal Communities Grant for the project. However, as a part of the EDA funding, additional approvals and permits were required, which delayed the project’s start. 

Melanie Kilpatrick, the city’s executive assistant who has been managing the project, said the delay has given the city more time to secure additional grant funding, as well as resources for grant administration. 

Spotted owl proposed for threatened list in Sierra Nevada

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to list the California spotted-owl population in the Sierra Nevada as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

The agency has determined that the California spotted owl is comprised of two geographically- and genetically-distinct population segments, the Coastal-Southern California population and the Sierra Nevada population. The agency is proposing to list the Coastal-Southern California population as endangered and the Sierra Nevada population as threatened.

As part of this proposed listing, the Fish and Wildlife Service is including a rule for the Sierra Nevada owls that exempts the prohibition of take under the Endangered Species Act for forest-fuels management activities that reduce the risk of large-scale, high-severity wildfire.

“Our goal is to help the California spotted owl recover across its range,” said Michael Fris, field supervisor of the agency’s Sacramento Fish and Wildlife office. “Ongoing collaboration with a number of partners will result in positive conservation gains and put this species on the road to recovery.”