Around the Mountains: Melt-off reveals unwanted brown trout |

Around the Mountains: Melt-off reveals unwanted brown trout

ALLEN BESTspecial to the daily

JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. Somebody in Winter Park long ago described spring as the afterbirth of winter. That metaphor is now fully in your face in many ski towns as melting snowbanks reveal the excesses and excrement of winter.In Crested Butte, that excrement has provoked an annual event called Poofest. It was scheduled for what the Crested Butte News called SaTURDay. Organizers of the event suggested that it was a civic doodie to seek out the dog-doos lying in alleys, streets, and parks everywhere dogs have roamed through the winter.In Jackson Hole, Noah Brenner of the Jackson Hole News& Guide reported in April that discovery of a razor peeking out of a snowbank while walking one day prompted him to behave like his dog on walks through Jackson, his nose and eyes to the ground. Among his finds: lots of gloves, and all of them for right hands.Mining company will stay the course at C.B.CRESTED BUTTE Amid the lingering snow piled to the eaves of some houses in Crested Butte, the red flags continue to flap in the breezes, continued prayerful vigilance regarding what most people consider to be a major threat to the communitys existing lifestyle and tourism-based economy.The prayer flags were strung this winter as part of the opposition to potential molybdenum mining on Mount Emmons, called the Red Lady in Crested Butte, which is located at the foot of the mountain.The mountain contains a substantial body of molybdenum ore described as world class by the owners, U.S. Energy Corp. The company, which is based in Riverton, Wyo., obtained claims to the ore body under the General Mining Act of 1872, and several years ago further obtained title to the Forest Service land above it at a cost of $5 per acre.U.S. Energy last year enlisted Vancouver-based Kobex Resources Ltd. into an option agreement. The company invested $10 million into the proposed mine, now called Lucky Jack, before abruptly pulling out in April. An analyst had predicted the pullout, explaining that Kobex had not realized the amount of community opposition.That opposition, through well-connected local residents, has grown to include one of the worlds largest legal firms, DLA Piper, which is said to be a heavy-hitter in Washington D.C.(Residents) are concerned about the economy we have built up here, which is tourism, Mayor Alan Bernholtz told the Christian Science Monitor. I dont think mining and tourism mix too well.But a press release issued by U.S. Energy says it stands undeterred in its resolve to advance, permit and develop Lucky Jack into a premier primary molybdenum mine that the United States can be proud of. The company has allocated $5 million to refine estimates of costs for mining and milling. That information will be used in filing plans to the U.S. Forest Service late this year or early next.The company remains confident in its ability to identify and bring on board a highly qualified partner in the future, according to the press release. An opposition leader, Bill Ronai, president of the Red Lady Coalition, told the Crested Butte News that the circumstances that caused Kobex to withdraw havent changed, which makes him skeptical that U.S. Energy will find a suitable partner.Another key opposition group is the High Country Citizens Alliance. Bob Salter, the groups director of mineral resources, says the proposal is one very real example of the residual desire to perpetuate the consumptive culture that he says is consuming vast amounts of currently healthy land, water and air resources.The Gunnison Country Times, meanwhile, wonders what will become of the spring corn harvest on the mountains southeast-facing bowl, a favorite of backcountry skiers.On a sunny day, when youve got favorable conditions, youve probably got a couple dozen people going up there, said John Norton, an opponent of the mine.Perry Anderson, spokesman for the mining company, said no policy on public access to the bowl has been set.Condi Rice to play Dvorak in AspenASPEN Condoleezza Rice, the U.S. secretary of state, has agreed to perform a Dvorak piece along with four other piano players who are current students at the Aspen Music Festival. She is also scheduled to speak during her summer visit on a yet-unspecified topic.Rice, who once aspired to be a concert pianist, was a piano student at Aspens summer music camp in the early 1970s, when her family was living in Denver. Her first name is derived from the Italian musical expression, con dolcezza, which means with sweetness.A sweet, warm welcome will not be extended her by all Roaring Fork Valley residents.No member of the Bush-Cheney war-crime family should be welcome here, says James Breasted, in a letter published in The Aspen Times. Because our lawmakers have refused to hold these criminals accountable for their crimes, we the people should simply refuse to welcome them among us. It is our moral, ethical and patriotic duty.

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