Durango reps meet with counterparts
One goal of the Colorado representatives was to help establish student-exchange programs. Another goal was to explore economic partnerships. For example, the Mexican city is home to a mountain-bike factory, while the U.S. city is home to many mountain-bike purchasers.
The meetings have been held since the 1980s, interrupted only by the Mexican peso crisis of 1994, notes the Durango Telegraph (Jan. 2).
Parks agency under fire for grizzly bear science
CANMORE, Alberta – Parks Canada, which oversees national parks, is under fire from a think-tank that says the government agency makes decisions to protect grizzly bears in Banff National Park without valid or reliable wildlife biology and science.
The report, titled “Science Fiction or Science Fact? The Grizzly Biology behind Parks Canada’s Management Options,” accuses the agency of systematic bias that has resulted in restrictions of human use and extension of government authority beyond existing park boundaries. The report’s authors, who are affiliated with the Fraser Institute, argue the estimated number of bears in connected populations has nearly doubled since 1988.
Bill Fischer, superintendent of Banff, stood by his agency’s research and methods. Banff’s population of grizzly bears, estimated at 60, is the slowest growing population of grizzly bears ever studied in North America, he told the Rocky Mountain Outlook (Jan. 2).
Summit commissioner proposes smoking ban
SUMMIT COUNTY – County Commissioner Gary Lindstrom is calling for a countywide ban on smoking in bars and restaurants, but he is getting little support from other elected officials.
Typical was the comment of Frisco Mayor Bob Moscatelli, who “abhors smoking” but said he would hate a government-imposed smoking ban even more, reports the Summit Daily News (Jan. 3).
“If my wife and I go into a restaurant and there is smoke, we turn around and leave or never go back. It is our choice to do that,” Moscatelli said.
Silverthorne Mayor Lou DelPiccolo likened a smoking ban to the war on drugs, a useless waste of money, he believes. And County Commissioner Tom Long said smoking bans are not about smoking, but rather about control.
“My problem comes from minding everybody in the world’s business for them,” he said.
But Lindstrom has support from Dillon Mayor Barbara Davis, and careful support from Breckenridge. Town manager Tim Gagen said bar and restaurant owners generally favor a smoking ban if it is applied across the board. Breckenridge plans a public forum to test public opinions on a smoking ban.
Lindstrom said he smoked for 33 years, and taught smoking cessation for 10 years.
“It is a real-hot button issue with me. My mother and father died from smoking,” he said. “I really think we should have a countywide smoking ban.”
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