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MOUNTAIN NEWS: Crested Butte plans to charge skinners

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He adds that biomass plants create a long-term demand for fuel that could create additional pressure for more harvesting. His group questions how much wood is available.

In Colorado, planning continues for two biomass plants, at Pagosa Springs and at Gypsum, the latter located 60 kilometres west of Vail. The Gypsum plant would be five times larger than the one in California, and necessary permits have been awarded. But the developer in an email to Mountain Town News several weeks ago said full financing has not been secured.

GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS FOR LAKE TAHOE CLARITY

LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — When still going about life as Samuel Clemens, the writer later known as Mark Twain visited Lake Tahoe and was struck by the remarkable clarity of the waters.

A report from the Tahoe Environmental Research Center finds that in 2011, lake clarity improved during winter and worsened during summer.

The improved clarity of winter was likely due to improved stormwater drainage control measures in communities bordering the lake, which has 115 kilometres of shoreline.

Researchers hypothesize that warmer water temperatures are allowing the exponential growth of an algae cell, particularly in the surface layers of the lake. This may be a result of the warming climate.

A report in the Sierra Sun notes further that the effects of the warming climate have not been uniform. The melting of snow at the lake level, just shy of 1,900 metres, has occurred about two weeks earlier since 1961. But 182 metres higher in elevation, no meaningful change has occurred in the timing of spring snowmelt since measurements began in 1956.

"It's important to remember that although scientists are quantifying climate change, the impacts vary depending on location," notes the Sierra Sun.

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