Activists try to rename Lake Powell
MOAB, Utah -
An effort is under way to replace the name "Lake Powell" with "Glen Canyon Reservoir." And it
would appear that these activists have federal policy on their side.
That's because a Lake Powell already existed in Colorado
before Glen Canyon in Utah was dammed to create the reservoir. The lake is located in Rocky
Mountain National Park, at the headwaters of the Colorado River. The U.S. Board of Geographic
Names rules state that no two geographic features in a single watershed can have the same name,
argues Bill Bernat, of the Glen Canyon Institute, writing in the August/September issue of
the Canyon Country Zephyr .
Less valuable to name-change proponents is the federal
policy that suggests modification "where ambiguity is likely to occur." The two Lake Powells are
roughly 500 miles apart, one tiny and located near timberline, the other vast and surrounded by
For some, there's another matter involved. The name "lake"
should be reserved for natural bodies of water, while "reservoirs' should apply to artificial
Just the same, a good many people think that the name
"lake" applies to natural bodies of water and "reservoirs" to artificial creations. Writing in
Colorado Central ,
a magazine based in Salida, Ed Quillen recalls editing a newspaper in Breckenridge during the
1970s when he and the local chamber of commerce disagreed over what to call the local impoundment,
Dillon Reservoir or Lake Dillon.
Sheep Mtn. may become Mt. Kiamia
Colo. - Closer to Durango, another name change is making headlines. Wherever you are in the
mountain towns of the West, there's probably a Sheep Mountain nearby. Colorado alone has 33,
including one hulking, white-backed 13,188-foot summit south of Telluride.
But a man from New Mexico is proposing to rename this peak
Mount Kiamia, an amalgam of acronyms (Killed in Action and Missing in Action). The U.S. Board of
Geographic Names is to decide upon the proposal, but the agency makes it clear that no approval
will be forthcoming unless there is local consensus.
home listed for $1M
- Aspen will soon have its second $1 million "affordable house."
The town obviously takes a broad view of affordable
housing. In this particular project the developer sold lots to qualified workers, who then built
their own homes or had them built. There was no limit on how much they could spend on their homes.
When one is sold, the owner can set a price based on cost plus 4 percent annual appreciation,
explains The Aspen Times . The high-end "affordable" project is designed with doctors, lawyers
and such in mind.
Avalanches force outfitter changes
B.C. - The Revelstoke Coroner has cleared the guiding company involved of any negligence in the
avalanche that killed seven people on Durand Glacier last winter but has issued recommendations
Among other things, reports Pique newsmagazine, the coroner says
ski tour operators should subscribe to more detailed avalanche warning information, and guidelines
should be set up to define what constitutes an acceptable risk when skiing in the
Avalanches left 24 people in British Columbia dead last
winter. Partly to counter the bad news, a senior guide for Selkirk Tangiers, a heli-ski tour
operator from Revelstoke, visited the Aspen and Vail areas recently to drum up business. One
Aspen-area local who has been on 11 heli-skiing trips to Revelstoke said he missed last year and
may miss this year, but it was because of the economy, not the snow danger.
The Aspen Times
newspaper notes that heli-ski trips aren't for the faint
of wallet. Seven-day, low-season packages cost $4,200, and high-season packages cost $6,200. But
Selkirk Tangiers reports an 80 percent return rate among customers. Customers on the seven-day
trips are guaranteed 100,000 vertical feet.
draws crowds to A-Basin
BASIN, Colo. - One of Colorado's oldest ski resorts, Arapahoe Basin, was nearly the last resort to
But the guns were finally put to full use this year,
resulting in an estimated 2,000 to 3,000 skiers and snowboarders during the opening weekends,
reports the Summit Independent Daily . Plus, ski company officials say that the earlier opening allows
A-Basin to recruit seasonal employees instead of waiting until after Keystone, Breckenridge and
other nearby resorts have already opened. With snowmaking, A-Basin very probably will gain the
longest ski season in the Rockies.
A-Basin has also inked another five-year joint marketing
and ticketing agreement with Vail Resorts. Under the deal, A-Basin gets a cut each time a Vail
Resorts Buddy Pass is scanned at A-Basin.
evicted from mining cabins
Colo. - Beyond the golf course, the ice arenas and the houses with glass windows that seem to be
measured by the acre, there's another side to Breckenridge. There, far from the busy streets and
along the forested flanks, are little mining cabins from a century ago.
These cabins constitute what is, in effect, a substantial
affordable-housing project. Some residents are industrious, many rugged sorts and more than a few
clutch the bottle or their bags of drugs. But now they all have something in common - they're
looking for new homes.
Summit County and Breckenridge are collaborating on a $9
million purchase of 1,840 acres of land, including many of these cabins. As dedicated open space
is not supposed to have people living there, eviction notices have gone out, reports the Summit Daily News .
Developer agrees to darken skies
COUNTY, Utah - Night-sky partisans won a small battle for darkness recently, persuading a
developer to replace or retrofit at least some of the acorn-shaped street lamps he had placed in
the Redstone commercial development. The development is located in the Kimball Junction area along
Those acorn-shaped lamps are intended to look vaguely
old-timely, something like a gas flame. As such, the lights beam into the sky, not down to the
ground. Because of this light pollution, a county ordinance restricts their use.
County authorities dragged their heels about forcing
compliance, reports The Park Record , but organizers from the nightlight organization, Utah Skies,
gathered 400 signatures on a petition demanding changes. The developer then agreed to modify the
lighting, among other things putting on reflectors to deflect the light toward the ground.
considers new growth cap
B.C. - Long ago Whistler set a cap on growth. By all estimates, the resort will reach that
buildout of 55,500 bed units (including resident housing) within two years. If the community
sticks with that plan, only redevelopment and renovations will then be allowed.
But for some time the municipality has been considering
what-ifs. Alternatives range from a 10 percent increase in beds dedicated to local residents to an
increase in overall development, with market housing paying the costs for locals. The discussion
is framed within the community's long-standing goal of achieving sustainability.
One concern driving many discussions, reports Pique newsmagazine, is a fear
that as Whistler builds out, the locals will scamper elsewhere and the service economy will go to
hell in a handbasket, much in the same way Aspen and Vail are perceived. It is assumed that 75
percent of market bed units that currently house employees in Whistler will be lost by the year
puts price on blue sky
Wyo. - So, can you eat the scenery? That's the age-old question for people in pretty (and
expensive) places of the West. In Wyoming, a college professor is trying to figure out how much
prettiness should mean to the paychecks of school teachers.
Robert Godby, an economist from the University of Wyoming,
is calculating pay based on three primary criteria: 1) how close a school is to a national park;
2) how close to a city of 50,000 or more; and 3) the cost of living. In his thinking, teachers
would get bonuses proportionate to how far they lived from cities and national parks, as well as
proportionate to the cost of living.
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