Compromise at Windy Gap prelude to Moffat Tunnel?

Battle moves to Winter Park area as Front Range cities enlarge straws by Allen Best (From the Dec. 12 issue of Mountain Town News. For a sample copy, please write to the author. For contact information, see About: MTN). An agreement has been reached at the headwaters of the Colorado River that may provide a …

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An interview with Water Wranglers author George Sibley

“It is hard to make people who believe they have been doing God’s work feel guilty, just because the cultural definition of God’s work has shifted,” says George Sibley,author of the new book Water Wranglers. The book looks at the politics and policies governing development of water in the :Colorado River headwaters during the last 75 years.

Reflections upon the Passing of George McGovern

George McGovern, who got my first presidential vote, died recently, and that got me to thinking about Hunter Thompson. Hunter Thompson never met me and probably never knew my name. But he influenced me greatly, and in in a perverse twist, I have always felt that I did something that influenced his decision about when to commit suicide.

Vail expansion really was about bigger = better

Blue Sky Basin was to be Vail’s insurance policy, north-facing terrain in case drought left the Back Bowls in rocks and grass. Well, the winter of 2011-2012 was exactly such a winter. And guess what? It wasn’t until Jan. 19 that the terrain was opened. So much for an insurance policy. Maybe it was all about selling detergent: bigger = better.

The upside down logic of gun-rights advocates

Because anybody can be on the dark side, say gun-rights advocates, those on the side of goodness must be prepared, guns handy – because, well, you just never know. But does that also extend to concrete- and steel-reinforced bulldozers?

Does Colorado need a better safety net for rivers, creeks?

In June, while bordering hay fields turned emerald green, the drought-hammered Yampa River turned anemic, flowing no more than 40 cubic feet per second during a time of year when it averages nearly 1,000. Some say this is exactly what’s wrong with Colorado’s first-in-right-, first-in-time prior appropriation doctrine.

Reflections upon passing of a good friend

Ed Quillen was brilliant, funny, and a nonconformist. He was a merry prankster. Some people called him a liberal, but they completely misunderstood him. “Mountain libertarian,” somebody said on The Denver Post website. That’s better. He distrusted the authoritarian nature of most institutions, but demagoguery of every tilt. If he ridiculed conservatives without mercy in recent years, it’s because their hypocrisies were such inviting targets.

The difficult equation of a biomass plant

But even with so many stars aligning, Eagle Valley Clean Energy’s biomass plant at Gypsum remains an uphill effort. It needs full financing and must secure contracts for fuel from the Forest Service and others. Bottom line: Biomass for production of electricity in Colorado is still a difficult endeavor. Developers need to sell heat as well as power, they need a long time horizon, and they still will probably need subsidies.

Dancing on the edge of winter

  by Allen Best Dancing out on the edge of winter some years ago, I returned to solid ground with a good story. Others have not been so lucky. My lark was near Colorado’s Beaver Creek ski area. A buddy and I had taken the lifts in late afternoon, then left the ski area through …

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Breakthrough time for I-70?

by Allen Best The following appeared in the April 1, 2012 issue of Mountain Town News. For a complementary copy, which includes the full story, please write to me at [email protected] For years, the incessant planning meetings for Colorado’s Interstate 70 seemed like the movie in which Bill Murray plays the role of a weatherman assigned …

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Inside MTN, March 16, 2012

This issue of Mountain Town News has stories about lynx in Colorado, wolverine in Banff National Park, the debate in Aspen about membership int he U.S. Chamber of Commerce, energy use in Jackson Hole and emissions of methane from coal mines in Colorado. Among many other stories. Write for a free trial issue.

Housing regs go under the microscope

Affordable Housing Goes under Microscope: Sharply reduced free-market real-estate prices have elected officials and affordable housing administrators in resort-based mountain valleys of the West focusing on what has worked—and what needs fixing.