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Mountain News

Stars aligning for record winter in Colorado

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The city joined the Chicago Climate Exchange. In doing so, it committed to a 4 per cent reduction in gas emissions in 2006 as compared to the 1998-2001 baseline. Those who exceed 4 per cent reductions can sell their credits to those who have not. And those who have not can purchase credits from those who do.

Fossil poacher fined

FIELD, B.C. — A man caught stealing fossils from Yoho National Park has been fined an unprecedented $2,000.

Previously, fines of $50 to $500 had been assessed, noted Ed Abbott, chief park warden for Lake Louise, Yoho and Kootenay. He told the Rocky Mountain Outlook that the increased fine sent a strong message to fossil poachers.

The fossils came from Burgess shale. The shale formation in the Canadian Rockies is considered the world’s finest repository of trilobites and other Cambrian-era fossils. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981.

New sport ‘caching’ on

BANFF, Alberta — Administrators of Banff National Park are trying to decide whether to allow geocaching.

In geocaching, organizers leave a cache – typically a small box or canister containing items such as coins, hockey cards, or other small souvenirs – for others to find. Geocachers then log onto websites such as www.geocaching.com , where they can find coordinators for where caches are hidden. They then do a physical search with hand-held global positioning system devices.

One geocacher, Matte Hoffart, a high school student in Canmore, told the Rocky Mountain Outlook that it’s all, good, clean fun. "It’s a good hike, or a good walk, depending on what you want to do."

Added Hoffart: "It has no impact on the environment except for the walking in and out."

Claire McNeil, ecosystem management specialist for Parks Canada, said that geocaching goes against the agency’s "pack-it-in-pack-it-out and leave-no-trace" policy. Specific concerns include whether geocachers venture off trails, creating new trails and displacing wildlife.

On the other hand, she said, the agency sees benefits to geocaching. "It’s a very family-friendly activity. It seems to be something where people of all ages can, in fact, participate in," she said. "It also does seem to draw people to places they maybe didn’t even necessarily know about and they wouldn’t necessarily have gone to."

Rich expect to spend more

ASPEN, Colo. — A magazine that caters to the über-rich predicts that they will spend more money on their Christmas vacations this year.