Around the Mountains: World Cup races show missing Olympic piece |

Around the Mountains: World Cup races show missing Olympic piece

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WHISTLER, B.C. ” Whistler hosted its first World Cup ski races in 13 years, and Pique News magazine says the ski races were close to flawless and the skiers uncommonly clear for Whistler.

Still, the publication saw something to be desired in the event, in that many people couild have spent the weekend in Whistler unaware that there were World Cup races taking place.

“If the goal is to build some interest and enthusiasm in these events among Whistler residents and visitors ” perhaps even some national price ” the energy at the race courses ahs to be carried over to the village,” said Pique, casting a sideways glance at the big shadow, the 2010 Winter Olympics that it will co-host with Vancouver.

BANFF, Alberta ” Three wildfires near the Banff townsite in the past three years, one of them unnervingly close, have caused local fire managers to start plotting deliberate fires, to prevent out-of-control fire.

Parks Canada, which administers Banff National Park, is planning to burn 1,330 hectares (2,226 acres) during the coming decades, most lasting or just a few hours over in spring months. Still, the idea of smoking up the Bow River Valley has some tourism officials sounding alarm bells, reports the Rocky Mountain Outlook. Smoke in the valley would be “disastrous for the tourism industry,” said Julie Canning, president and chief executive officer of Banff Lake Louise Tourism.

LASSEN, Calif. ” Would-be developers of a real-estate, golf, and ski resort northwest of Truckee have until April 8 to come up with the $16 million that would preclude foreclosure. The Sierra Sun reports that financial troubles led the lender, California Mortgage and Realty, to issue a foreclosure sale notice originally slated for Feb. 4 to recoup nearly $16 million in debt.

Opponents of the project, who say it would sully a large undeveloped area, have been fighting the project for seven years.

CRESTED BUTTE ” Cloud-seeding operations were suspended in late February because of the snowpack, which is consistently above 150 percent of average in the Gunnison River Basin, and in places is 160 percent of average.

The basin has been seeded every year since 2002 by a consortium of agriculture, water, and resort organizations, explains the Crested Butte News.

SILVERTON ” Snowmobilers are mad, and they’re just not going to take it anymore.

A proposal being considered by U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management administers for land between Silverton and Ouray calls for a prohibition of snowmobiles from a section of public lands southeast of Red Mountain Pass.

Observers say there has been a geometric increase in use of the pass by snowmobilers in the last several years. In the last century, there were virtually snowmobilers, and now there are many.

Advances in snowmobile technology ” including lighter chassis, more powerful engines, and deeper paddles ” are allowing them to go where they previously could not go.

The Ouray Watch says that one question from snowmobilers is that with motorized use exploding, land managers are reducing the areas where motors are allowed?

Another question ” and one for which the land managers have no real answer ” is how the snowmobile ban will be enforced?

Skiers want “historic” use as the template for management. “”Historic use? This used to be Indian country. We ran them all out,” said one snowmobiler, with the royal “we” meaning all those who had followed, skiers and snowmobilers.

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