Top 5 most-read stories last week: 2 moose walk near sleeping man, Bergman Bowl constructions halted by U.S. Forest Service, local rescue group responds to slew of emergencies
Stories in this list received the most page views on SummitDaily.com in the past week.
At around 4 p.m. July 25, witnesses saw a man taking a nap on the lawn near the Riverwalk Center just behind Blue River Plaza. It was around that same time when the two moose began walking up from the parking lot toward the Blue River right where the man was sprawled out.
Sara Cox, owner of The Crown, was sitting on the shop’s back patio when she noticed the moose first, then the man. The Blue River native lives near Hoosier Pass, and she said she’s familiar with seeing the animals often. She said she understands how risky human-animal encounters can be. For that reason, she said she was hesitant to make a lot of noise.
— Jenna deJong
2. The West’s most important water supply is drying up. Soon, life for 40 million people who depend on the Colorado River will change.
White sandstone cliffs create a ring around Lake Powell in contrast to the honey- and red-colored desert rock nearby. Evidence that water once, not all that long ago, filled America’s second-largest reservoir.
The last time entire sections of Lake Powell were this dry, the place was actually called Glen Canyon. That was before the completion of the Glen Canyon Dam in 1963, which flooded the canyon and created the reservoir.
That likely means less water for major cities like Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix and San Diego. Higher electricity and grocery bills, too. Less swimming in reservoirs like Powell. Less boating, white water rafting, swimming. Fewer tourists.
— The Denver Post
3. US Forest Service halts Vail Resorts’ new lift at Keystone’s Bergman Bowl due to unauthorized road construction
Construction of a new chairlift at Keystone Resort was ordered to cease this week after the U.S. Forest Service learned that an unauthorized road had been bulldozed through sensitive areas where minimal impacts were authorized.
Keystone Resort, which operates by permit on U.S. Forest Service land, was granted permission by the White River National Forest to construct a new chairlift this summer in the area known as Bergman Bowl, creating a 555-acre expansion of Keystone’s lift-served terrain. But that approval came with plenty of comments from the Environmental Protection Agency, which recommended minimal road construction associated with the project due to Bergman Bowl’s environmentally sensitive location.
“To ensure that wetlands are protected, it may be necessary to consider exclusion of road, trail or infrastructure construction and mechanized vegetation and tree removal treatments in areas where wetlands or riparian areas would be adversely impacted either directly or indirectly from adjacent construction activities,” the EPA commented during the project’s scoping period.
— Vail Daily
A drowning, an injured paraglider, two skiers stranded overnight and a serious head injury kept Summit County Rescue Group busy over the past week.
Spokesperson Anna DeBattiste said the rescue team has responded to 15 calls since July 9. Lost, distressed, sick and “cliffed out” hikers accounted for nine of those calls.
The remaining calls included an all-terrain vehicle traffic jam on Webster Pass, a fatal drowning, an injured paraglider, a climbing accident, one accidental call and one call for “lights on Royal” that, as often happens, was nothing more than some after-hours hikers.
— Luke Vidic
The town of Dillon was home to a divided exchange regarding regulations on short-term rentals during Summit County government’s last public forum held July 27.
The county implemented the open houses to collect public input on short-term rentals’ impact on the community so that officials could use the input to create legislation they hope to enact. They hope to take action on the issue before the end of the moratorium on issuing rental licenses for neighborhood zones, which expires in February.
Officials from the county’s planning department attended the open house. They provided posters with short-term rental maps of each basin in Summit County, along with graphics that explained proposed short-term rental rules.
— Eili Wright
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