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Mountain News: Brittle and artificial, like Whistler?



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Meth found in resort areas

ROARING FORK VALLEY, Colo. – Methamphetamines, if the scourge of many places, have remained largely absent from the ski towns. Cocaine? Yes. Marijuana? Absolutely. But not meth.

But drug agents in Aspen report an increase in meth-related crime. It is still small compared to that of down-valley locations, where many of Aspen’s workers live alongside people employed in the oil and gas fields of northwestern Colorado.

There has been some speculation of gang-related drug dealing among Latino immigrants. A drug agent, speaking anonymously, did not deny that connection, and suggested that drug cartels and gangs from Mexico are the new source for the methamphetamine. Cocaine and meth are now being sold together, he said.


Half-mile fire break needed

LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – Nothing short of a half-mile-wide clear cut would have stopped the Angora fire from torching the homes near Lake Tahoe in late June, according to a Forest Service study released last week.

The report says fire danger conditions were some of the most severe experienced in the last 20 years, with the air dry and trees parched. Winds gusted to an estimated 40 mph.

But the Forest Service report does not suggest clear cutting as a way to tame wildfires, reports the Sacramento Bee. Instead, the report found that most thinning projects worked as intended, reducing the intensity of the blaze.

But thinning alone is not enough, said Matt Mathews, a Forest Service spokesman, and neither is creating defensible space around homes. “Either one by itself is not enough.”


12,000 year old evidence

KREMMLING, Colo. – Reporter Will Bublitz parked himself this summer at an archaeological site along the Colorado River, volunteering to sift through the dirt for two days to see what it held.

In a way, he found very little — a few dozen flakes of rock, not even a full projectile point, which is what most people call an arrowhead.

Just the same, he was plenty awed. “Holding that first tiny stone flake up to the light, it struck me that I was probably the first human to have seen this object in more than 12,000 years,” he writes in the Sky-Hi News. Looking across the ages, he wondered about that prior person’s dreams, loves and hates, and more generally what his life was like.