Around the Mountains: Feds spend millions on Tahoe trees |

Around the Mountains: Feds spend millions on Tahoe trees

ALLEN BESTspecial to the daily

LAKE TAHOE, Calif. The U.S. Forest Service plans to spend $10 million a year while thinning or burning 3,800 acres of forest per year in the Lake Tahoe Basin.A local government, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, estimates that 76 percent of forest fires started in the basin could balloon into unpredictable and dangerous crown fires.The areas around communities we are trying to treat 100 percent, said Dan Young, an assistant fire fuels and vegetation specialist.Altogether, the Forest Service plans to thin 38,000 of its 165,000 acres in the basin during the next decade, reports the Tahoe Daily News.New school emphasizes real-world experiencesHAILEY, Idaho A new private school affiliated with Waldorf will open late this summer, offering a curriculum to pre-schoolers that educates the whole child the heart and the hands, as well as the head, reports the Idaho Mountain Express. After-school programs will also be offered for youngsters aged to 12 in the Ketchum-Hailey area.On campus will be chickens, a milk cow, and goats, as well as a greenhouse. The schoolhouse will be fitted with solar-heated, circulating water floors and wood-chip and concrete composite block walls.Katherine Woods, the school superintendent, said the school offers hands-on learning experiences. Everything theyre learning about they see in real life, whether its on the farm, in the garden, or wilderness, or in the kitchen.No vacancy sign put out in Banff for chain retailerBANFF, Alberta Responding to public sentiment, Banff town officials are planning to deny a business-license to Indigo Books, the largest book retailer in Canada.For years, notes the Rocky Mountain Outlook, residents and owners of small businesses have raised concerns about the demise of mom-and-pop shops and the arrival of multi-national franchise operations such as those operated by Gap and Starbucks.There is no place on earth like Banff. It is our responsibility to keep the Banff experience unique, said Gabin Wedin, whose family has owned the Banff Book & Art Den for 42 years. Another long-term resident, Kate Tooke, concurred. I dont want (Banff) to become some sort of experience you can have in Calgary, she said.The legal basis for denying the business license is in doubt, however. A former mayor, Ted Hart, said the municipality may be vulnerable to a lawsuit. TP rolls cheaper but have an unusual lookBANFF, Alberta Some people using bathrooms in Banff have been startled to find a grayish brown paper coming from toilet paper dispensers. Its the latest effort in a recycling program that is saving the municipality $13,000 a year.The toilet paper and hand towels are grayish brown because the paper is not bleached, which means less use of water. Moreover, the paper comes from recycled newspapers and cardboard including some from Banff. Normally, recycled paper and cardboard is shipped to East Asia for processing, but in this case is recycled in Canada.Some, but not all bears, at Whistler have adaptedWHISTLER, B.C. Michael Allen is a self-taught bear expert who has spent every summer for the last 10 years watching the bears eat and sleep, mate and fight, play and run. For the last seven years he has led tours at the Whistler-Blackcomb ski area for people interested in bears. The cost is $189.Allen told Pique newsmagazine that the black bears at Whistler Mountain have learned to adapt to a changed environment, including a smorgasbord of enhanced natural food, as well as new open spaces created by ski trails.But not all bears have gotten As. Pique reports that the first bear of the season was killed after it broke into a van that contained garbage awaiting transit to a trash compactor. The 5-year-old male had never bothered people before, but this year had bluff-charged people and also broken into houses. His ultimate no-no was breaking into houses while people were inside.Upscaling continues in downvalley townBASALT With rent rising in Aspen, two long-time architects are decamping down-valley 18 miles to Basalt, which is increasingly becoming upscale itself.All but one of the 14 employees in the two firms, Harry Teague Architects and Ernemann Group Architects, live in the mid-valley area around Basalt. Plus, technological advances make the Aspen location less necessary. Also, the firms are doing more out-of-town work.But if no ski lifts are planned, Basalt itself is getting steadily more like Aspen in other ways. Construction has begun of a 54-unit condo-hotel, the towns first luxury tourist accommodation.Carbondale limits size of the familyCARBONDALE Carbondale town trustees have adopted a law that will give police and building officials authority to crack down on the so-called man camps.The law specifies that no more than four unrelated people can live together, and that there should be at least 200 square feet of habitable space for the first person, and 150 square feet for each additional person. Closets, garages, attics and so forth are not considered habitable.The town board for several years has struggled with the issue, which was brought to national attention at Christmas with a Tom Brokaw television special about immigration. In that show, cameras were taken into a house that contained 18 people.Still, the issue is a tricky one, says the Valley Journal, because the family unit is protected by federal law. In the case of Latino immigrants, large extended families often live together.

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