Keystone Policy Center informs Congress on mine clean-up reforms |

Keystone Policy Center informs Congress on mine clean-up reforms

Colorado State Forest Service Granby District forester Ron Cousineau was recently recognized for his work by the Society of American Foresters with a 2015 Presidential Field Forester Award.
Courtesy Colorado State Forest Service |

Keystone Policy Center informs Congress on mine clean-up reforms

Keystone Policy Center senior policy director Doug Young testified before the U.S. House Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee on Wednesday, Oct. 21, to inform lawmakers on possible solutions to address the national problem of abandoned mines leaking toxic runoff into Western waterways.

Young, a former congressional staffer and adviser to multiple Colorado governors, specifically focused on “Good Samaritan” reforms.

He spoke about past efforts to pass those reforms — legislation that would allow third parties, including states and tribes, to remediate abandoned mine sites without incurring legal liability — and described Keystone’s ongoing work to find collaborative solutions.

Christine Scanlan, Keystone Policy Center president and CEO, said, “The fact that Congress asked Doug to testify about possible ways forward only underscores how Keystone is at the forefront of confronting this national problem. We look forward to working with lawmakers and other key stakeholders to reach common higher ground.”

For more than 40 years, the Keystone Policy Center has brought together teams of stakeholders with diverse perspectives that recognize a need to collaborate on urgent issues and create lasting action-oriented approaches to problem-solving.

Western ski towns discuss climate change resilience

Elected officials from Western ski towns joined members of the Mountain Pact on Thursday, Oct. 22, for a walking tour in Estes Park highlighting recovery that has taken place since the town was devastated by flooding in 2013 as well as the climate change threats mountain communities face.

As a recent report by the Mountain Pact outlined, by 2030 a projected 15 percent decrease in snowpack is estimated to result in $120 million annually in lost economic output just for Summit County, Utah (home to two international ski resorts), which would result in 1,137 lost jobs and $20.4 million in the form of lost earnings.

The officials present included Telluride councilwoman Jenny Patterson, Estes Park town administrator Frank Lancaster, Crested Butte councilman Jim Schmidt, Jackson councilman Bob Lenz, Avon councilwoman Sarah Smith Hymes, Durango mayor Dean Brookie and Nederland mayor Joe Geirlack.

Follow the walking tour, attendees discussed natural disasters, how mountain towns are grappling with the climate change impacts at the start of ski season, and the steps they’re taking to build resilience and safeguard their local economies.

The Mountain Pact promotes public awareness and new policies that protect these communities whose financial survival depends on winter sports and recreation. For more info, visit

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