News in Brief | AspenTimes.com

News in Brief

ASPEN ” A skier was safely rescued from the Walsh’s drainage area east of Aspen Mountain on Monday afternoon.

Aspen Mountain Ski Patrol reported the lost skier, with whom they had intermittent contact via cell phone, to the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office around 3 p.m. Mountain Rescue Aspen responded with snowmobiles and the skier was brought to saftey within an hour.

CARBONDALE ” Sustainable Settings, a Crystal River Valley nonprofit focused on environmental learning, is suffering growing pains.

There are not enough toilets and hand-washing facilities for its growing number of visitors, its founder told Pitkin County commissioners Wednesday.

“We are victims of our own success,” said Brook LeVan, founder of the organization that welcomes kids’ groups on field trips, sponsors regular lectures and events, and sells farm produce from a retail outlet.

Since moving to a 244-acre ranch from Woody Creek to land near Carbondale, the nonprofit has more than doubled its number of visitors ” from 3,700 visitors in 2005 to more than 8,000 people in 2007.

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The ranch site, zoned as a public facility, does not have ade­quate toilets for guests, and lacks hand-washing stations for kids who pet farm animals.

LeVan brought a master plan update before the county commissioners, and asked for a master plan amendment to make the needed upgrades ” including a solar-composting pit toilet.

Commissioners continued the matter until LeVan could get together with environmental health officials, as well as com­munity development, and the Colorado Department of Trans­portation (about traffic). LeVan must bring a timeline for the upgrades to the county board by Feb. 1.

PITKIN COUNTY ” Pitkin County officials are tightening the safety net around the 2008 Winter X Games.

Event planners recently scrapped plans for the traditional concert event and there is no alcohol allowed at the games venues.

And on Wednesday, Pitkin County Undersheriff Joe DiSal­vo asked county commissioners to pass an emergency ordi­nance banning booze at the intercept lot on Highway 82 dur­ing the event, scheduled in late January.

DiSalvo said over the seven years the event has been held at Buttermilk, there have been “very few bumps in the road.”

The only problems have been alcohol-related incidents on Saturday nights, DiSalvo said, adding that banning booze at the parking lot where attendees grab a bus to the Buttermilk venue would put the kibosh on pre-event tailgating.

The proposed ban comes with a handful of improvements in 2008, including work lights lighting pedestrian crosswalks, as well as increased security.

Officials again will sponsor a triage detox center set up by the Right Door, a drug and alcohol case management agency.

SNOWMASS ” The White River National Forest is accepting public com­ment on two projects proposed at Snowmass Ski Area by the Aspen Skiing Co.

One proposal is to raise an earth dam to increase the water storage capacity of the existing Rayburn’s pond from 5.5 acre feet to 11 acre feet. The extra water would allow increase snowmaking closer to Snowmass’ opening date.

An added benefit, according to the U.S. Forest Service, is a higher volume of water will be captured at run- off time to improve stream health of the East Fork of Brush Creek.

The Skico’s second proposal is to realign approximately 1,400 feet of the existing Big Burn road on the Sneaky’s trail. This realignment is needed to bypass a steep section of the road and allow for better summer maintenance access to the Big Burn and Sheer Bliss lifts as well as the Up 4 Pizza Restau­rant. It would also reduce soil erosion taking place on the existing road, according to a statement from the Forest Ser­vice.

The old section of road would be appropriately recon­toured and reclaimed. Public comments will be accepted by the Forest Service through Jan. 21. They should be sent to Maribeth Gustafson, Forest Supervisor; c/o Roger Poirier, Winter Sports Program Manager; White River National Forest; PO BOX 948; Glenwood Springs, CO 81602- 0948; FAX ( 970) 945-3266; or by e-mail to wrnf_scoping_comments@fs.fed.us.

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