News in Brief |

News in Brief

No more online registrationASPEN Reading the online version of The Aspen Times just got easier.The experiment with online registration is over. Readers told us repeatedly how much they hated having to register, and plenty of them had difficulty with the system. It has been removed from the website.”We did get some useful information from it, but it’s not worth the hassle its caused our readers,” said Publisher Jenna Weatherred.Anyone logging on to read the Times at should not be prompted to register or log in. If you are, please let web editor Janet Urquhart know immediately, at may still be asked to register in order to post an online comment to an article.To the many readers who did make the effort to register, thank you.Forest Service visitor center closesGLENWOOD SPRINGS The White River National Forest announced Thursday that it has closed the visitors’ center in its administrative office in downtown Glenwood Springs and is stationing a ranger at the chamber of commerce instead.The change was contemplated for some time by forest Supervisor Maribeth Gustafson. She claimed it would enhance the visitors’ service role of the agency. A forest information specialist will be available “between five and seven days a week” at the office of the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association.”At other times during the business week, chamber officials will be on hand to sell maps, provide general information and direct visitors to Forest district offices for more detailed information,” the agency said in an announcement.The supervisor’s office in Glenwood Springs is now closed for visitor information. The chamber’s office is located at 1102 Grand Ave. in Glenwood.Private land stays open to huntersRIFLE Under an agreement with state wildlife officials, two major energy companies have agreed to keep several large private parcels in western Colorado open to hunters.Shell Frontier Oil & Gas Co. and EnCana Oil & Gas (USA) have separate agreements with the state to allow hunting on land each company owns.EnCana will keep about 17,000 acres of private land on the Roan Plateau near Rifle open during this year’s big game hunting seasons. The area is home to some of Colorado’s largest deer and elk herds and large reserves of natural gas and oil shale.Shell leases more than 19,000 acres of land to the Division of Wildlife for $1 a year to provide access to hunters under a 10-year agreement signed last year.The agreements with the companies identify specific areas where hunting is allowed to ensure the safety of their workers.The land was originally overseen by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. A 1980 agreement allowing energy companies to acquire the land included a section requiring the area to remain open to the public for 25 years.The agreement expired in August 2005 and signs declaring it private property started appearing.”It was frustrating for some of our hunters when they arrived in these areas where they may have hunted for years, or in some cases generations, only to find that they were no longer welcome,” said Bill DeVergie, the Division of Wildlife’s area manager. “It’s great that these two companies have agreed to keep these lands open to hunters.” (The Associated Press)

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