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News in Brief

SILT Town trustees have upheld the approval of two special districts for the Slitter Ranch development, which were originally approved by voters in 1999.But Mayor Dave Moore, for one, is not happy about it.The board voted 4-3 in favor of the districts, which were formed to help the developers of the project pay for infrastructure and services that will be provided to Slitter residents as well as the town.”We just approved $23 million to go into the developer’s pockets,” Moore said. “That’s $23 million less that the developer has to come up with. As far as I’m concerned, it’s been converted into a profit. It’s a sad day in Silt.”Moore, who stressed that he was speaking for himself and not the rest of the board, pointed out that the future residents of the Slitter Ranch subdivision will be paying for the districts for a long time.The next step is for the town to approve the structure of the service plan and the intergovernmental agreement between Stillwater Ranch LLC and the town of Silt. A special meeting is scheduled Wednesday, May 9, at Silt Town Hall. (Glenwood Springs Post Independent)

GLENWOOD SPRINGS Sopris Elementary School third-grade students are hosting a car wash and barbecue this weekend to help a hospitalized classmate.The fundraiser takes place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at the Roaring Fork School District office parking lot (formerly the Glenwood Springs High School parking lot). The event will raise money for SES third-grader Will Osier, who has been hospitalized since April 8 at The Children’s Hospital in Denver with a rare and debilitating medical condition. Students will wash cars and serve hot dogs to help offset medical and related expenses for the Osier family.In addition to Sunday’s car wash and barbecue, support for the Osier family can be made through donations to the William Osier Benefit Account established at Alpine Bank. (Glenwood Springs Post Independent)

SUMMIT COUNTY Touting unified community support for active forest management, Dillon District Ranger Rick Newton announced final approval Friday for the Dillon Reservoir forest health project. The first phase targets about 1,400 acres in areas hardest hit by mountain pine beetles. The overall project calls for forest health and fuel reduction projects on 3,300 acres through 2018, including 290 acres of defensible space treatments along the wildland-urban interface.The Forest Service will begin preparations for tree-cutting and will put out bids for the project this summer, but no trees will likely be cut in 2007, said timber management specialist Cary Green. He doesn’t expect the contracting to be completed until September, so the logging will actually start next spring. (Glenwood Springs Post Independent)

VAIL Trail experts with the Forest Service are warning those eager to hit woods to take it easy for a while. Many trails are closed and will be until June and July. As for the open trails, well, it’s not such a good idea to try some of them out in mud season.”Mountain bikes are the main culprits, and you’ll see those folks going through a wet area, and you’ll end up with a trench on the path that will get deeper and deeper,” said trail crew leader Mike Bartholow.Thus starts a long chain reaction that can damage the forest. Water channels down those trenches instead of moving off the trail. Water pools, erodes the path and creates gullies. The damage can be difficult and expensive to repair. The water can also wash sediment into streams and rivers.Mountain bikes can be really damaging, but many people don’t realize that hiking and running can hurt the trails too, Bartholow said.”Footprints in the mud can cause deep holes where water can pool,” Bartholow said.Another big reason for the trail closures is the elk calving and migration season.The elk need space to nurse and raise calves, and humans have a natural way of ruining that, Bartholow said. (Vail Daily)


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