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Mountain News: Jackson’s real estate boom is over

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Later, Brown was instrumental in Vail’s securing the 1989 World Alpine Ski Championships.

 

Microhydro potential studied

GUNNISON COUNTY, Colo. – Water officials in Gunnison County are looking into the possibility of small hydroelectric projects, also called microhydro. Unlike the big dams that block streams, the microhydro technology allows the power of moving water to be harnessed to produce electricity, but often with no evidence of the turbine within the stream or creek.

“You can actually drop these turbines into the river and anchor them, and you can still raft over them and they don’t impact fish,” said Steve Schechter, a director of the Upper Gunnison River Water Conservancy District.

Drawing the district’s attention is new funding from a Colorado state agency for feasibility studies, plus loans of up to $2 million at low cost.

One potential sticking point, reports the Crested Butte News, is transmission. Power lines are frowned upon in the Gunnison Valley, a place of soothing hay meadows.

The thinking is that if Gunnison County can get a few kilowatts here and there from microhydro production, that will diminish the amount of electricity that must be imported from distant sources. Ironically, most of that electricity is produced by burning coal — some of it excavated in the northwest corner of Gunnison County, near Somerset, and shipped by rail to distant power plants.

 

Forest Service offers carrots

DURANGO, Colo. – Instead of wielding sticks, the U.S. Forest Service is offering carrots to motorized users who use the San Juan National Forest. The proof of this carrot pudding will be whether motorized users self-police themselves. If not, says the Durango Telegraph, the federal agency may get out the stick.

A study several years ago revealed more than 60,000 miles of renegade trails throughout the nation — which spurred Dale Bosworth, then chief of the Forest Service, to order motorized travel be confined to only those roads and trails specifically designated for use.

In the Durango area, however, the Forest Service chose to include 52 miles of previously undesignated roads — mostly old mining and logging roads — in the new road network. As well, for motorcycle riders, there will be a sanctioned singletrack that probably started as a pirate trail.