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Tour operators can shift people out of the park and onto the national forest, but people are disappointed that they can’t go to Yellowstone.

Some visitors are confused and angry about this year’s reductions and next year’s ban. Only snowcoaches will be allowed. Why are snowmobiles being banned when cars are allowed in summer, they ask?

A park ranger tried to explain to them that animals are more "yarded up" in the winter on smaller winter ranges, and groomed trails cut through those areas, giving wildlife no way to avoid contact.

Politician objects to ski area report card

TELLURIDE, Colo. — So, if a ski area screws up, how long should it have to pay for its sins?

That’s the fundamental issue in Telluride, and perhaps Vail and elsewhere, in the matter of an environmental report card for ski areas issued by the Ski Area Citizens’ Coalition. The coalition believes in "spare the rod and spoil the ski area," or at least a liberal application of D’s and F’s. Sure to earn bad scores are base-area real estate development or terrain expansions. The coalition argues there is no reason for expansions at destination resorts, where business has been essentially flat.

The cases of Telluride and Vail are similar. Both have done major expansions in the last several years, and both incurred significant fines from federal regulators for incursions into wetlands areas. Partly as a result Vail has received straight F’s in the report card, and Telluride this year got a D.

In the case of Telluride Ski & Golf Co., a local politician is objecting loudly. Art Goodtimes, a San Miguel County commissioner, argues that the report card unfairly judges the Telluride ski area for its past, not for its present actions. "No, they don’t deserve an A yet. Maybe a B- or a C+. But they have shown some real significant improvement," he writes in The Telluride Watch.

"So let’s give credit where credit’s due. Telski is trying harder," says Goodtimes, a Green Party member who is usually trying to build coalitions. "All told, a fair Environmental Report Card would take some note of the improved conditions – if the evaluators were truly measuring the dynamic nature of the industry, and not just damning ski areas for their past sins."

Cold weather isn’t what causes the common cold

THE WEST — People think of mountains, they think of snow. They think of snow, they think of winter. They think of winter, they think of getting colds.