Around the Mountains: Aspen water untainted by any upstream drugs |

Around the Mountains: Aspen water untainted by any upstream drugs

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ASPEN ” In the wake of national news about drugs in municipal water supplies, people wanted to know whether antibiotics, hormones or other drugs are found in Aspen’s drinking water.

There are not many people living upstream of Aspen, but just the same, city officials decided to find out for sure, testing for more than 870 drugs, including DEET, penicillin and prednisone. The tests did reveal chlorine and fluoride, both of which are put into domestic water supplies.

Fluoride also occurs naturally in local waters. The lab tests cost between $1,500 and $2,000, reports The Aspen Times.

MAMMOTH LAKES, Calif. ” It was, reports The Sheet, the day that the Internet stood still in Mammoth. A construction crew cut a fiber-optic cable somewhere outside of town, but nobody knew that ” because, of course, we now communicate and get our information from the Internet.

“For around six hours, no one could order anything on, students could not access Wikipedia or MySpace, and local government officials couldn’t replay the latest Obama Girl video on YouTube,” says the reporter, William Wiggins.

Phones had limited use, lines at the bank were slow, and ATM and credit cards were practically worthless.

“Many in our cashless society had to resort to using paper and coin money. Weird, huh?

LAKE TAHOE, Calif. ” Instead of becoming more sullied, Lake Tahoe may be regaining the clarity that Mark Twain 136 years ago described as “a noble sheet of blue … not merely transparent, but dazzlingly, brilliantly so.”

Scientists say the lake’s clarity has actually improved since 2001 ” possibly because land-use restrictions and erosion controls legislated several decades ago have been having an impact, reports the Sacramento Bee.

The findings mark the most encouraging development in 40 years of monitoring the clouding of Lake Tahoe, according to Charles Goldman, a professor at the University of California, Davis, who in the 1960s was the first to foresee Tahoe’s troubles, and then take action its behalf.

“There’s promise in these data that we’ve crossed the line,” Goldman told the Bee.

Tahoe still dazzles as when Mark Twain visited it, notes the Bee, but erosion, construction runoff and air pollution have caused clarity to decline by nearly one-third since 1968, or an average loss of a foot a year. The $500 million in federal, state and lake funds designated for cleanup in recent years has paid for roadside basins to capture runoff from lakeside highways, a major source of lake pollution.

Scientists were unwilling to say absolutely that the pollution had been reversed.

But the seven-year trend is enough to raise hopes of a bluer Tahoe.

DURANGO ” Thinning of the ponderosa pine forest has begun in an area near Durango called Log Chutes. The area is frequented by mountain bikers, who have appropriated the old logging roads from more than a century ago into single-track trails. But the U.S. Forest Service, which administers the area, says the forest is unnaturally thick, and to make it less susceptible to major fires, has begun to thin it.

Still vivid in local minds is the 71,000-acre Missionary Ridge Fire of 2002. That fire in the same area burned 57 homes in the wildland-urban interface.

Trails 2000, a local mountain bike trails advocacy group, tells the Durango Telegraph that the logging will interfere with mountain biking for years to come, but concedes it is necessary to mitigate risk of fire to nearby homes.

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