News in Brief
BasaltFryingpan River cleanup is SaturdayThe 13th annual Fryingpan River Cleanup will be held Saturday starting at 8:30 a.m. in Lions Park in Basalt.Volunteers of all ages are welcome in the cleanup organized by the Roaring Fork Conservancy. “Help clean up one of the most beautiful and most visited stretches of river in the country,” the conservancy said in a statement.A free breakfast will be offered in the park before groups tackle one-mile stretches of the river. Prizes will be awarded for Best of Trash, Most Toxic, Most Useful and Most Unusual.Participants are advised to dress in warm layers, gloves, pants and bring a hat and sunscreen. In case of rain or snow, the make-up date will be May 7. Call 927-1290 with questions.BasaltRuedi releases increase as bureau makes room for runoffWater releases from Ruedi Reservoir have been bumped up by 100 cubic feet per second over the last 48 hours as the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation clears room for runoff.The bureau bumped up the releases by 50 cfs Wednesday, then added another 50 cfs late Thursday afternoon. That boosted the flow of the Fryingpan River below the Ruedi dam to about 340 cfs. That includes a small contribution from Rocky Creek.Snowpack levels in the Upper Fryingpan River Valley were 150 percent of average as of Thursday. AspenRegister early for Ride for the PassReady or not, the annual Ride for the Pass is sneaking closer and the registration fee increases starting May 1.The registration fee in April is $40 for individuals and $70 for families up to five. The fees go up by $10 starting May 1. The ride is Saturday, May 21.The race is limited to 600 riders, so registration is advised to avoid the possibility of getting turned away on the day of the event. Register by going to the Independence Pass Foundation website at http://www.independencepass.org or by searching for Ride for the Pass at http://www.active.com.The ride gains 2,500 in elevation over 10 miles from the winter closure gate on Highway 82 east of Aspen to the ghost town of Independence. The ride is a fundraiser for the Independence Pass Foundation, a nonprofit organization that is restoring and preserving the scenic beauty and ecological integrity of the Independence Pass area.AspenForest Service releases Starwood project EAThe Forest Service released its Environmental Assessment on the proposed Starwood/Four Corners project to remove an estimated 3,000 dead or dying trees from part of the White River National Forest adjacent to the Starwood subdivision.The project will target trees hit in the bark beetle epidemic. The dead and dying trees present an increased risk of wildfire, according to the Aspen Ranger District. The removal of the trees will also enhance winter range habitat for wildlife.Starwood homeowners and the National Forest Foundation are providing funds for the project.To protect the area, the Forest Service has proposed to hand fall the trees and remove them using a helicopter. The contractor’s crew will walk into the area each day.Information about the project is online at http://www.fs.usda.gov.whiteriver. Navigate to Land & Resources Management/Projects and look for the Starwood/Four Corners Fuels Project. A 30-day objection period will start once a legal notice regarding the project is published in the Aspen Times. There has already been a period of public comment. Any individuals or organizations that want to file an objection must have already submitted a comment on the proposal.
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