Buffalo herd annoys neighborhood
Colo. - "Where the buffalo roam" isn't just a line in a song to neighbors of Mary Baumberger, who
has a small ranch among the vacation homes near Granby Reservoir. Her herd of bison seems to have
roamed freely during the last two summers, to great annoyance in the neighborhood.
However, Baumberger seems to have the law on her side.
Colorado is a free-range state, meaning that it's the responsibility of landowners to fence
livestock out if they don't want them grazing on their property. As a practical matter, most
ranchers do fence their livestock in, simply because they don't want them hit by traffic.
In this case, the situation is further muddied by the
contention of the state brand inspector that bison aren't livestock, although there's at least one
trade organization that insists they are. That organization promotes buffalo as a healthy
alternative to beef.
At any rate, the Sky-Hi
News (Aug. 28) says that officials in Grand
County are trying to figure out what local laws they can conceive that will target bison, yaks or
other such hobby animals of the New West without stepping on the toes of state laws established in
the Old West.
Telluride enjoys banner fungi festival
Colo. - Mushroom lovers were all smiles at the 23rd annual Telluride Mushroom Festival.
"It was another of those banner years for boletes, with a
bumper crop so thick you were lucky not to stumble over them no sooner that you exited your car
Fresh bolete sliced, diced and saut`E9ed to perfection in red wine and olive oil, with a
sprinkle of tamari and chopped garlic. Ah divine!" wrote festival coordinator Art Goodtimes in
The Telluride Watch . Goodtimes also is a county commissioner, affiliated with the Green
A regular at the festival is Paul Stemets, an advocate of all things fungi. He argues that the
medical community has ignored the medicinal properties of mushrooms despite the broad evidence,
including Alexander Fleming's discovery of the mold fungus penicillium. While the medical
community has yet to pay appropriate attention to the antiviral and antibiotic properties of
mushrooms, he says, the cognoscenti of the pharmaceuticals are now actively, and some secretly,
looking at mushrooms for novel medicines.
Television crew scams free meals
Colo. - Businesses in resort towns are generally willing to lend a bed or serve a dinner if it
means free publicity. But a video-toting trio who ate a swath through Leadville had several
They told the local chamber of commerce they were
preparing a feature about the entrees representative of the town, with the results to be broadcast
on the Travel Channel. They ate well, too, but one restaurant owner told the Leadville Chronicle (Sept. 4)
that she became skeptical. The group ordered the best items on the menu, then set up a camera on a
tripod and recorded a 16-year-old female eating - down to licking the plate clean. Other hosts,
however, were inclined to believe the crew was legit, even after proferring $150 in free
Custody battle ends in bloodshed
Utah - The story of a dispute about child custody that turned exceedingly ugly may have ended. Two
of the three protagonists have died, and authorities have cleared the third individual, a
developer from the Park City area.
In August, Natalie Turner, 31, who was director of the
chamber of commerce at Hailey, which is near Sun Valley, ID went to the Park City area accompanied
by her boyfriend, David Charles Gayler, also 31. The two seemed intent on seizing Turner's two
children, ages 4 and 6, from their father, a developer in the Park City area.
What happened next depends largely upon the story told by
the father and ex-husband, John Pochynok. According to the Park
Record (Sept.7), Pochynok says he opened the door,
expecting to see his children and was instead shot. The boyfriend, Gayler, apparently did the
shooting. Somehow, the three all ended up in a car, which was met by a sheriff's deputy and a
Based on reports, statements and videotapes, authorities
in Utah concluded that Turner, the chamber director, got out of the car, asked the officers to
shoot her and then aimed generally at them before pulling the trigger but with no result. She
aimed at them and asked again, and this time the officers shot her.
The boyfriend was jailed but was found hanging from his
neck by a sheet tied to a stall in a bathroom. The father of the two was reported to be at home
healing his wounds. He was shot twice with a .357 handgun.
Sept. 11 flag
remains atop peak
- After Sept. 11, a local group climbed a 12,800-foot mountain called Peak One near Frisco and
planted an American flag. It has flown for the last two years, and when several locals announced
plans for a procession up the mountain to replace the flag, the Forest Service applied a veto.
That's the agency's principal policy - no permanent installations without special permits.
Quickly, however, forest supervisor Martha Ketelle reversed the policy. "We feel it's better to
let the flags stand," she told the Summit Daily News (Sept 5).
Vail aggravated by highway noise
VAIL, Colo. -
Vail is making more noise about the roar from Interstate 70. Council members are talking about
trying to get the speed limit through the town lowered from the existing 65 mph to 55 mph or even
45 mph, as slower moving cars and trucks create less noise. One council member is even talking
about a lawsuit against the state, based on the idea that noise is infringing on the environment
and property values. While the state transportation department has been building earthen berms
along the highway, absence of space precludes their construction in many spots.
Vail residents have been annoyed with I-70 for decades.
Putting the highway into a tunnel seems intolerably expensive. Lately, sound walls have been
investigated as well as other devices, but with no clear solutions. As well, traffic volumes have
grown, and cars have become larger and noisier. Some people in the town are forecasting that this
will become the next big community conversation.
pitched to clear up Tahoe
Calif. - Federal money appears to be headed toward Lake Tahoe in an attempt to thin the adjoining
forests to avert large fires. With fewer fires, there will be less mud washing down from mountain
slopes, thereby preserving the lake's clarity. The Tahoe Daily
Tribune (Aug. 28) says that $30 million in
federal funds has been promised.
Forestry consults at a recent workshop said they want broader authority to cut in forests than
environmental groups ordinarily approve. For example, they want permission to cut large trees when
necessary and thin fuels around streams and on steep slopes. They say they also need incentives to
cut the smaller trees that are ordinarily worth little.
Area caters to backcountry skiers
Alberta -Sunshine Village ski area already has an area, called Delirium Dive, where avalanche
transceivers, shovels and buddies similarly equipped are prerequisites. Now, for those who have
tamed those runs, the ski area has a new Wild West area, reports the Banff Crag & Canyon (Aug.
28). John Ross, marketing director for Sunshine Village, estimated that only 1 percent of skiers
will have the necessary skills.
Vail analyzes impacts of expansion
VAIL, Colo. -
Scientists are attempting to chronicle the impact to wildlife of Vail's Blue Sky Basin, the
1999-2000 expansion that was the largest ever in North America. So far, there are no startling
Deer stuck around during construction and tree-cutting,
but elk disappeared, at least in the short term. Red-backed voles decreased while golden mantle
ground squirrels and chipmunks increased. Somewhat surprising, snowshoe hares have
There were no apparent conclusions reached about impacts
to lynx, the iconic animal in a controversy that was capped in 1998 by an arson fire that
destroyed a restaurant and other buildings atop Vail Mountain. These studies were paid for by Vail
Resorts, the ski area operator, and will continue for another three years.
- compiled by