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Mountain News

Aspen hits carbon-reduction goal



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Welder busy with boxes

NEVADA CITY, Calif. – James L. Lester, 24, a welder, used to drive monster trucks, but he has little time for that since he began welding bear-resistant trash enclosures under the name Iron Bear.

Lester tells the Tahoe Daily Tribune that he has sold 500 of the steel enclosures for use in national parks and forests, as well as at mountain homes. He’s been at it about a year, one of five companies in the nation catering to a burgeoning market to keep bears and humans separate.

The steel boxes are heavy, weighing 350 pounds, and large enough to hold two 32-gallon garbage cans. A detachable handle locks the steel door to keep stinky trash safe from marauders. His creations go for $650 each.

To test his boxes, he took one to a zoo, and tempted a 300-pound bear with salmon inside the box. It withstood that test, and has withstood every other test in the market place of the Sierra Nevada, where he seems to sell many of his trash enclosures.


Taos aims to reduce light pollution

TAOS, N.M. – After being lobbied for a decade, the Taos County commissioners have approved regulations that restrict outdoor lighting. All new and replacement lighting fixtures must shield light sources to minimize light broadcast upward. Exempted, reports the Taos Daily News, are agriculture lighting, seasonal decorations, sports fields, and a molybdenum mine.

Silverthorne growing taller

SILVERTHORNE, Colo. – Lofts and mixed-use (commercial and residential) developments are showing up with greater frequency in down-valley mountain towns. The latest town to entertain a proposal is Silverthorne, located along Interstate 70 about halfway between the Keystone and Copper Mountain ski areas.

There, a Florida-based developer proposes a 50-foot tall building that would have a coffee shop, bakery, and wine bistro at the ground-floor level, with three levels of housing to accommodate studios and one- and two-bedroom condominiums. The condos are projected to finish at $375 to $425 per square foot. That delivers a 1,600-square-foot condo to the marketplace for $632,800.