Roses and Thorns |

Roses and Thorns

A ton of roses for Martha Moran of the Aspen-Sopris Ranger District of the U.S. Forest Service. Moran has the title of recreation program manager, but that doesn’t hint at everything she does. For 16 years she’s helped protect the White River National Forest surrounding Aspen, Snowmass Village, Basalt and Carbondale in numerous ways. She’s done it all, from figuring out how to accommodate the beavers at Weller Lake to directing trail crews to specific trails to remove trees after blow downs. Her biggest accomplishment was helping create and maintain a smooth-sailing operation at the Maroon Bells Scenic Area that is the envy of the National Park Service. Martha is retiring at the end of the month after 30 years with the Forest Service and 16 years in Aspen.

Thorns to Related Cos. for a remarkably unspectacular tenure of ownership of Snowmass Base Village. Yes, there were trying times because of the Great Recession, but the company seemed to stumble out of the starting gate and never was able to recover. Its greatest accomplishment has been getting the half-baked project into the hands of East West Partners and Aspen Skiing Co.

Roses go the generous balloon pilots at the Snowmass Balloon Festival who spent their time and propane to let the little ones on-board the balloon for a taste of the experience.

The pilots’ charitable act happened after they took up the regular crew as part of the festival. Snowmass Tourism marketing coordinator Liz Winn said these pilots were by no means obligated to do this.

Thorns to the Meadwoods resident who shot and killed a bear from his backyard in the residential neighborhood. The man did everything by the book: He had the proper hunting license to shoot the bear, he took its hide to the Parks and Wildlife Office and he purportedly will use the bear meat for human consumption. Even so, this whole episode just doesn’t smell right — shooting a nonthreatening bear with no tags under the guise of hunting. That hardly constitutes sport, regardless if it was kosher in the eyes of the law.

Thorns to Lee Mulcahy for making a scene with the director of the Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority at a restaurant in Basalt. Mulcahy’s gripe about the housing authority’s efforts to evict him might very well have merit, especially when abuse runs rampant among users of the employee-housing program, while Mulcahy, who is highly critical of local government, is in the housing office’s crosshairs. There is a time and place for him, however, to air his grievances, but not at a restaurant in Basalt on a Friday night.

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