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Mountain biking drops in popularity

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The Telluride Watch reports the plan focuses on the town government’s direct role. For example, the plan proposes that the town encourage buildings facing "the sunny side of town" to install solar panels. Because generating wind power may not be feasible, the plan suggests the town buy wind power from elsewhere.

The plan also recommends that, in addition to monetary costs, the town include carbon emissions as a cost in its financial impact statements. It also advocates quantifying the effect of open space land and trees in town on water and air quality – as plants and trees remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere – and including that number in decisions about open space.

Much of the rest of the plan falls under the heading of education: Working with the hardware store to stock energy-saving devices, schooling local students in climate chemistry, and educating businesses in the virtues of "green."

Just how the town will reduce its carbon footprint while more and more workers commute longer and longer distances apparently was not addressed in the document.

Frisco joins pact on climate change

FRISCO, Colo. — Frisco has put energy and climate on centre stage with its latest move. It is joining a variety of other ski towns – Park City, Aspen, Telluride, Gunnison, and Ruidoso, N.M. – and joined the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement.

It pledges a goal of reducing carbon dioxide pollution emitted by the town to 7 per cent below 1990 levels. This is to be done by 2012. But to do so, it must document what those 1990 emissions were.

Frisco is already applying some of its focus to reducing emissions from buildings. Mark Gage, the town’s director of community development, notes that while much has been written about energy use of cars, in fact more than 50 per cent of energy consumed in the United States goes to the heating and lighting of buildings, both commercial and residential.

Vail raising bar for WiFi access

VAIL, Colo. — Vail claims to be raising the bar for wireless Internet service. A new deal worked out with a telecommunications company, CenturyTel, will provide a Wi-Fi network by ski season to 95 per cent of outdoor areas in the town, and 90 per cent of indoor areas. The town is strung out along a valley approximately 10 miles long.

Users can get free Internet access of up to 300 kilobits per second in one-hour increments. After one hour, users will be required to register again for more time. Internet service with speeds up to three megabits per second will be available with pay plans.