News in Brief
City slated to pass Canary Action PlanASPEN The city of Aspen will likely approve the Canary Action Plan on Tuesday. The plan sets goals of reducing Aspen’s greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent of 2004 levels by 2020, and 80 percent by 2050. The city is addressing climate change through its Canary Initiative, which it launched in 2005. Until now, the Canary Initiative has focused mostly on studying the problem and educating the public. The action plan is supposed to set goals and provide means to reduce emissions that are primary contributors to global warming.City Council has agreed on major parts of the Canary Initiative Action Plan, which outlines goals and objectives for reducing the city’s greenhouse gas emissions – Aspen’s are nearly double the national average. The goal the city set – reducing 80 percent of emissions by 2050 – is aggressive.The city made changes to the action plan during the latest city council work session. One such change involves a controversial outdoor fire hearth fueled by natural gas. The city had originally planned to turn off the hearth and heaters until it achieves a 30 percent reduction of emissions but decided instead to explore the feasibility of turning the hearth into an “alternative fuel demonstration project.”The city also changed a requirement in the draft plan that all food the city government purchases travel 500 miles or less; the new goal is to “educate City staff and the community on the global warming impacts of the industrialized food supply chain and encourage the cultivation and purchase of locally produced foods.”The city recently hired a new global warming manager to facilitate the action side of the Canary Initiative. The manager, Kimberly Peterson, starts in June at a salary of $75,500. (Joel Stonington)
Keystone land trade back on trackSUMMIT COUNTY Summit County’s next big land swap is moving through a hush-hush phase, as the Forest Service and private interests try to assemble a puzzle of public and private lands near the same value.In a move it dubbed the “Snake River land exchange” the U.S. Forest Service could receive the the private 36-acre Chihuahua parcel along Peru Creek in exchange for a 20-acre tract at the base of Keystone Resort that has preliminary zoning approval (contingent on completion of the trade) for 24 single-family homes. The Forest Service will not release the formal appraised value of the Keystone parcel, but based on the price of other slopeside single-family homes at the resort, the value of any future development there could easily exceed $12 million by conservative estimates, according to a Keystone-area real estate broker.The trade has been in the works for about eight years, and Chihuahua owner Gary Miller feels certain he is nearing his goal of swapping his parcel for the Keystone base area land. (Summit Daily News)
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