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News in Brief

Mock disaster strikes at ButtermilkASPEN Disaster strikes at Buttermilk Tuesday, but don’t worry – it’s only practice. So, don’t stop and gawk.A simulated “mass casualty exercise” will take place at the ski area, involving various emergency response agencies and about 30 “victims” suffering various injuries from a mock lift accident. The drill runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the ski area, which has now closed for the season.Some four months in the planning, the exercise will test responders from various agencies, including Aspen Valley Hospital, the Aspen Skiing Co., local law enforcement, ambulance personnel, Emergency Management, the Red Cross and other participants.”Drivers on Highway 82 will surely notice the activity, and we would like to alert everyone to the fact that this is a drill,” Marie Munday, public information officer for the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office, said in the press release Monday. “We ask that the public be aware of the drill and avoid congregating in the area.”Today’s simulated disaster is one in a series of such drills designed to improve Pitkin County’s ability to respond to whatever naturally occurring or human-caused hazards it may face. The last exercise was in October and simulated an airplane crash at the Aspen/Pitkin County Airport.

Skico hopes to move Snowmass terrain parkSNOWMASS The Aspen Skiing Co. is seeking approval from the U.S. Forest Service to relocate its terrain park at Snowmass to better use the Coney Glade chairlift.The Skico wants to move the terrain park downhill to a new location on the Banzai Ridge and Cabin trails, according to a notice of the review by the Forest Service.”The movement would help to separate terrain park users from other skiers and snowboarders and would alleviate existing traffic concerns at the current location,” the notice said.The White River National Forest supervisor’s office is seeking public comment on the project, as well as a proposal to expand the storage capacity of Rayburn’s Pond and construct a new pump house on national forest land.The water project would improve the efficiency in the pumping and storage of water for the resort’s snowmaking operations. The activities would occur within the existing boundaries of the ski area and the previously approved levels of snowmaking.Forest Supervisor Maribeth Gustafson will make decisions on the projects this spring, and the agency invites public comment for the next 30 days.Address written comments to Justin Anderson, c/o the White River National Forest, P.O. Box 948, Glenwood Springs, CO 81602. Fax comments to (970) 945-3266, or e-mail comments-rocky-mountain-white-river-so@fs.fed.us.For more information, contact Justin Anderson, White River National Forest hydrologist, at (970) 945-3265.


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