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News in Brief

Realtor faces harassment chargeASPEN A prominent Aspen real estate broker was jailed Saturday and charged with harassing his ex-wife.Robert Bowden, former owner of the space the Belly Up nightclub now occupies and developer of properties in Montana, was out of jail on $3,000 bond after the arrest at his home around 4 p.m.I did nothing wrong, Bowden said from his home after the release of the police report Monday. Its over a child dispute.The police report said the complainant, the mother of Bowdens child, accused him of leaving a threatening message.Police officer Matt Burg listened to the message, according to the report, and included it in the arrest warrant application, which Judge Daniel Petre approved.Bowden, 54, is to appear in Pitkin County District Court on May 21.

Breck steps up beetle battleBRECKENRIDGE As a wave of mountain pine beetles sweeps south through Summit County, Breckenridge officials hope to reduce the loss of trees by taking the battle door-to-door.If I had known it was going to go this fast, I would have tried to do it sooner, said Dan Dahlberg, watching as Breckenridge beetle inspector Chip Buttrick marked trees on his lot with orange spray paint.Dahlberg was referring to the speed with which the bugs have chewed through lodgepole pine forests. When he first had his property surveyed for beetles last year, he found 10 infested trees. That number has climbed to 38.Nobody believes the beetles can be stopped completely. But Buttrick hopes a targeted, tactical approach combining aggressive removal and extensive spraying will help preserve some high-value trees as the wave sweeps through the town.Were doing what we can to preserve property values, Buttrick said, chipping away some bark on one of Dahlbergs lodgepoles to see if the female beetle laid eggs. Town officials want every property owner in Breckenridge to call the pine beetle hot line to schedule an inspection, with the goal of cutting and chipping infested trees by the end of June, before the mature bugs fly off to lay their eggs in new trees. A new ordinance declares infested trees a nuisance and says property owners must remove them, but the town will help with the cost of chipping the dead and dying trees. To speed up the labor-intensive process, homeowners need to stack the cut trees by the road neatly, butt ends out, with limbs in separate piles, Buttrick said.The date is critical, Buttrick said, explaining that its not just an arbitrary deadline, but related to the biological reality of the pine beetle life cycle. (Summit Daily News)

Compromise will make park a wilderness areaESTES PARK (AP) With 14,259-foot Longs Peak as a backdrop, members of Colorados congressional delegation said Monday they will introduce legislation designating nearly all Rocky Mountain National Park as wilderness.The announcement caps about three decades of wrangling with various interests, including farmers who use water that flows through irrigation ditches in the park and local communities concerned about maintaining public access to popular recreation areas.At the end of the day if you have a crown jewel like Rocky Mountain National Park, you want to make sure its preserved in its pristine state for generations to come, said Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Colo., who joined other lawmakers at an amphitheater that overlooks Moraine Park, a wide, flat glacier-carved valley and a popular gathering spot for elk herds.Under the bill, 249,339 acres would be classified as wilderness about 95 percent of the park and 1,000 acres would be also added to the existing Indian Peaks Wilderness south of the park, keeping the land free of logging, mining and vehicles.Land in the park thats already developed, including Trail Ridge Road, the nations highest continuous paved road would be exempt, along with the path of a proposed bike path along Grand Lake.A compromise Colorado Democrats and Republicans worked out in Congress cleared the way for the wilderness legislation and settled a months-long dispute over what happens if a privately owned irrigation ditch on the parks western edge overflows again.


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