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Learn about dust on snow

Dear Editor:

Aspen’s fresh powder is dirty. Some of this brownish hue is due to red dust that comes from wilderness areas in Utah. Dust can cause our snowpack to melt up to four weeks earlier than it should, adversely affecting water supplies later in the summer. The dust also gets into our surface water supply, thus requiring more expensive treatment by the city of Aspen to provide our crystal-clear drinking water.

Many valley residents recreate in both the Utah desert and in the Aspen mountains. I encourage the public to come to a presentation by the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Pitkin County Library to learn about the science behind these dust storms and what they can do to protect both Utah’s red-rock wilderness and Aspen’s snow. A short video describing the “dust on snow” issue can be found at suwa.org.

Kim Peterson

Canary Initiative director, city of Aspen


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