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Mountain News: Old lodges to be razed in Banff

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Mama moose and calf killed after incident

GRAND LAKE, Colo. — Recently, The Denver Post published a story about the surge in numbers of moose in Colorado, a species that has prospered since the first of several reintroductions in 1978. One concern is that the moose might become more of a danger to people.

And sure enough, almost as in a stage play, a cow moose injured a 60-year-old woman as she walked her dog in Grand Lake, a town located at the west entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park.

This is the same town where a moose killed a former mayor several years ago.

The woman's injuries did not seem to be life-threatening, according to the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife press release quoting a wildlife manager hoping for her quick recovery.

But as is so often the case, the circumstances seem to suggest that the dog-walker showed poor judgment. Citing an unnamed witness, the press release says the woman and her dog were reportedly as close as three metres to the cow and its calf before the moose charged her and knocked her down.

Citing an "abundance of caution," wildlife officials euthanized the cow and calf.

Moose do not differentiate dogs from wolves — their natural predator — and will instinctually attempt to stomp them in self-defense, said the agency's press release. If the dog runs back to its owner for safety, it can bring an angry, thousand-pound moose with it, putting people at risk as well.

Grand Lake made headlines recently after several national news organizations reported on a local bull moose's seemingly amorous attention to a large statue of a bull moose located within city limits. Wildlife officials say the cow moose attack is not related to the bull's unusual behavior, but remind onlookers to keep their distance from the bull, and all other moose they may encounter.

Open space won't go to local food growing

TELLURIDE, Colo. — It seems everyone wants a piece of a 6.65-acre parcel of land on Telluride's western edge. It's flat, sunny and easily accessible. With that in mind, hang gliders and others of an organization called the Telluride Air Force like to use it for a landing zone. Youth sports advocates see athletic fields.

And now comes a pair of activists, full of fire in the belly after conversations at Mountainfilm at Telluride, with the idea of using aquaponics to grow pesticide-free vegetables and mercury-free fish for "Telluride residents and guests."

"This can be a statement to other communities and will set an example that will be emulated," said Steve Cieciuch, co-founder of a group called Telluride Grown. Locally produced food will smother the carbon footprint of delivering food from California, he said.

But while the Telluride Town Council is sympathetic, the proposal got lackluster support. An "amazing concept," said Mayor Stu Fraser, but this isn't the parcel for it.

June event fills out summer in Vail

VAIL, Colo. — It was a splish-splash weekend in Vail, which hosted what used to be called the Teva Mountain Games.

Teva left, and GoPro picked the prime sponsorship for the festival, which bills itself as the "country's largest celebration of adventure sports, art and music."

The festival this year included competition in steep, freestyle, sprint and full-contact kayaking, rafting, mountain, road and slopestyle biking, plus World Cup bouldering, flyfishing and...well, you get the idea. There was $100,000 in prize money posted.

Now in its 13th year, it was designed to kick-start summer during a time when not much was happening. It is also something of a response to Aspen's snowy X Games.

The numbers do seem to be strong enough that the Vail Valley Foundation, the primary organizers, makes the case for keeping on. A survey by Intercept Insight found that 63 per cent of Mountain Games' spectators returned year after year, and 20 per cent have attended for five or more years.

Just as bars like repeat customers, so do ski towns — especially if the visitors rent rooms. And in 2012, according to that same survey, those visitors spent more than $2.1 million.

FRASER APPROVES HOUSES WHERE IKE ONCE FISHED

FRASER, Colo. — Over the protests of some residents, one of the prettiest meadows in the Colorado high country is to be carved into a dense subdivision.

The 295-acres Byers Peak Ranch has been annexed into Fraser with entitlements to build 530 detached and 905 attached residential units, 550 lodging units and RV sites and commercial and industrial units.

In the 1950s, President Dwight Eisenhower sometimes vacationed in Fraser and fished for trout in St. Louis Creek.

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