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Study aims to determine if seeding clouds works

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But the Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance recommends "breaking the habit of feeding our wildlife in artificial feedlots." By drawing elk together for artificial feeding, says the group, the elk become more vulnerable to potentially devastating outbreaks of chronic wasting disease, tuberculosis, and other diseases.

A similar argument has been waged in Colorado during the last several years. Elk ranching has grown, but state wildlife officers argued that congregating elk in such a fashion allowed chronic wasting disease to spread more rapidly.

East West gets OK for big project at Truckee

TRUCKEE, Calif. —A Colorado-based development company has received the town council’s OK for the largest mixed-use subdivision since the town’s 1993 incorporation.

East West Partners’ plans a large hotel, golf course, and commercial buildings, as well as 725 housing units, about a third of them "affordable," reports the Sacramento Bee. East West has two other projects nearby.

However, Truckee Mayor Josh Susan described Gray’s Crossing as "just the beginning – the opening of the flood gates" of development in the area. A variety of other projects, including several by firms based in Colorado’s Vail Valley, are planned in the area from Truckee to Lake Tahoe.

Aspen isn’t for the middle-aged

ASPEN, Colo. — Aspen isn’t for the middle-aged. That’s the conclusion of The Aspen Times columnist Janet Urquhart.

"I’m lost in that gray area of middle age, too old to know what bling-bling means and too young to conceal my shame behind a pair of those giant eyeglasses with the beefy thick frames that appeal to women of a certain vintage," she writes.

All retirees have to do is play, she says. For young people, life is all about work and play. But for in-betweeners, life is all about work, since you’re too tired to play by the time the workday is done.

What seems to bring on these observations is the Aspen Skiing Co.’s all-out press for the favour of the freestyle extremers, as in the X Games and so forth. "As if middle age wasn’t already staring me in the face, Aspen is going out of its way to make me feel past my prime," she says.

Convenience, but it is not taken for granted

TELLURIDE, Colo. — For a decade, Beth and Ray Bailis, and now their two children, have been living outside of Telluride at a place called Hastings Mesa. It’s off the grid, which means they get all their electrical power from solar panels, wind turbines, and a propane-powered generator. Also, in winter, they must snowmobile six miles to the nearest plowed road.