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Mountain News: Ski town indicators show economic recovery

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In the Crested Butte area, the story was the same. There, a snow formation called the Old Maid that commonly persists through summer has only disappeared twice before in recent memory: 1977 and 2002. This will certainly be a third, say local observers.

Wildfires in the mountain forests of Colorado began in March and accelerated over the weekend with a major new blaze in the foothills west of the university town of Fort Collins.

In the San Juan Mountains, new restrictions on outdoor fires were instituted. "We see the federal government and agencies like the BLM and the Forest Service expressing a degree of concern that I haven't heard before," San Miguel County Sheriff Bill Masters told the Telluride Daily Planet. "I think it's really dry."

In the Vail-Beaver Creek area, several fires were reported along Interstate 70. Recently, town officials in Vail held a simulated exercise, probing the problems should a house fire spread into the adjacent forest. Town officials are also refining how to reach out to visitors, to communicate the possible danger of fire in coming months.

Idaho town reports shrinking footprint

HAILEY, Idaho — With the aid of several grants, most substantially $472,000 from the Environmental Protection Agency, Hailey is well on the way toward reducing its community carbon footprint 15 per cent by 2015.

That goal was articulated after the mayor of Hailey, located near Sun Valley, signed the U.S. Mayor's Climate Protection Agreement in 2007. Part of the effort to shrink the carbon footprint is a new building code, now voluntary, which may become mandatory at some point, reports the Idaho Mountain Express.