Gunnison to pay for cloud seeding, again |

Gunnison to pay for cloud seeding, again

Allen Best

CRESTED BUTTE – Gunnison County is signing on to have the clouds above it seeded for the third straight winter. Cost is projected to be $92,000 and the county commissioners are planning to seed for five years to measure effectiveness, explains the Crested Butte News.Cloud seeders say they can boost precipitation from 10 to 20 percent, but also point out that if they don’t have clouds, as is common in cases of drought, then they can’t produce snow from nothing.How valid are the claims of 10 to 20 percent? That’s hard to answer, as there have been almost no double-blind experiments, which scientists say are necessary to deliver unbiased results. Results from operators have in-built biases. A national study released last year said the best evidence for winter cloud-seeding came from experiments done in the Leadville-Breckenridge-Vail area in the 1960s.

JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. – Expensive, private and almost-private golf courses are proliferating in Jackson Hole. There are two now, with three more planned, which means 900 more memberships, some at a cost of $100,000 plus annual dues, on top of the existing 920 memberships.In reporting this, the Jackson Hole News & Guide wonders whether the market truly exist for this much private and every expensive golf? The newspaper found several reports from 2001 that found supply outstripping demand, with the result of bankruptcies in beach resorts. But the newspaper cited no evidence of financial difficulty in mountain resort valleys.David Hutchinson, president of Valley Blue Sky Inc., a group of investors from Aspen and Sun Valley who are buying a planned golf course and real estate complex called Canyon Club, argues that there will be demand for “things that are special and of high quality.” The newspaper did find an expert who concluded that to make private golf courses work in high-mountain valleys, with their short playing seasons, that real estate has to be part of the proposition. Vail, Colorado

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